Lloyd Hancock, owner of ‘Saddler Springs’ and ‘Edenvale’ at the headwaters of the Merivale River system in the Carnarvon Range, southern inland Queensland, engaged BOOBOOK to conduct an ecological assessment of these properties.
In Lloyd’s opinion the properties, covering 12,200 hectares, are environmentally fragile and economically marginal for cattle grazing and it is his intention to convert these pastoral leases to a form of tenure “most appropriate” to the nature of the country itself and best use in terms of human need.
To quote Lloyd, “We have developed and documented a vision for such a change in tenure. In so doing, the first and last question we asked is What does the Land permit us to do? Of course, central to that question is a thorough environmental assessment of both properties”.
BOOBOOK commenced work at the properties in November 2008. Baseline data relating to the biodiversity of ‘Saddler Springs’ and ‘Edenvale’ has been collected including the compilation of fauna and flora lists, mapping of weeds and rare flora, classification of vegetation types, identification of biodiversity hotspots and mapping of springs.
To date, about 300 native species of flora have been recorded during our surveys. Highlights include rare or geographically restricted flora such as the daisy Rutidosis glandulosa, a bluebell Wahlenbergia celata, cliff bluebell Wahlenbergia islensis, a flax-lily Dianella fruticans and Carnarvon fan-palm Livistona nitida. Many records represent the first collections for the Maranoa Pastoral District, including the collection of the sedge Isolepis australiensis which represents a range extension of several hundred kilometres.
Significant fauna recorded to date include Herbert’s rock-wallaby Petrogale herberti, eastern pebble-mound mouse Pseudomys patrius and squatter pigeon Geophaps scripta.
The diverse country on these properties, including high basalt ranges, sandstone ridges and undulating sand plains, is simply spectacular.