National Parks Association
of Queensland Inc

Over 80 years of advocating for QLD National Parks

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Protect the Bush Alliance Apsey Survey

The 8,000 hectare Apsey property is embedded in a suite of State Forests with Wondul Range National Park just to the north.  It is considered a key area for connectivity, being located within one of the largest tracts of remnant vegetation within the Brigalow Belt South Bioregion (one of the most cleared parts of Queensland, and subsequently an area with few National Parks).  Interestingly, Apsey is located at the confluence of two important conservation corridors - the Great Artesian Rim Corridor and an east-west link that connects this corridor with the Great Eastern Ranges.  The property also contains several valuable refugia sites - places that allow plants and animals to escape weather extremes, thereby allowing both species and their habitats to adapt to changes in climate.  In addition, 8 regional ecosystems are found on the property that have high to very high priority for reservation -  the property is part of the Inglewood Sandstone Subregion, of which only 0.4% is captured in protected areas.

The history of this property is a testimony to the stewardship of the late Victor and Audrey Apsey, who lived in Inglewood their whole lives.  The property was never 'developed' because they "understood that remnant forest did not need to be cleared to grow cattle and they appreciated nature for what it was".  Credit should also go to local QPWS staff who cultivated a strong relationship with the Apsey's and who recognised the landowners efforts over many years to retain intact the natural values of their land.

The intention of the survey effort was to highlight the conservation values of the property and build the case for its gazettal.  The focus of the May Survey was birds (especially honey-eaters) and developing a flora list for the site.  During the three days:
  • 217 plant species were recorded including new populations of Macrozamia machinii, a rare cycad.
  • 65 birds species were recorded including the rare Turquoise Parrot and Glossy Black Cockatoo.
  • A population of Homoranthus vagans was found, backing up the only existing record of this species.  This Myrtaceous shrub is endemic to the property and it is estimated that only 250 individuals exist in the wild.  Currently this species is not listed in state or federal legislation, highlighting another role for the Alliance.
The Alliance is a collection of organisations and individuals (including botanists, zoologists and ornithologists) that have combined their species identification skills to conduct plant and animal surveys on high conservation areas threatened by mining or development.  The Alliance was born out of member responses to the likely loss of the 8,000 hectare Bimblebox Nature Refuge in central Queensland to coal mining.  Several foundation member groups traveled to Bimblebox during 2012, discovering populations of the endangered Black-throated Finch and documenting the rich plant diversity on site.  The Alliance meets bi-monthly at the NPAQ Office (10/36 Finchley Street, Milton).  For more information, please contact the Alliance Survey Coordinator, Tanya Pritchard at surveys@ptba.org.au.