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New South Wales: Quoll Headquarters - 164 hectares - Steve Haslam

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Victoria: Witchwood - 9.1 hectares - Jill Redwood

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Queensland: The Roost - 39.75 hectares - Lynn Childs

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Tasmania: Lyn and Geoff's Refuge - 10 hectares - Lyn and Geoff Murray

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Western Australia: Tippaburra Valley - 2470 hectares - Buddy Kent

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New South Wales: Falls Forest Retreat - 80 hectares - Mary White

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Victoria: Wingura - 2.5 hectares - Suzanne and John Brandenberger

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Queensland: Cooper Creek Wilderness - 66.74 hectares - Prue Hewett

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VIC: Gap Road Botanical Sanctuary - Michael Bankes

 

Michael Bankes is the owner of Gap Road Botanical Sanctuary, a property located approximately 20km south west of Euroa. The property is a dedicated wildlife sanctuary used for wildlife rehabilitation. It is Michael's intent to live on the site within the next 18 months, and to create a model for other landholders to follow. Ultimately, Michael intends the property to be an endemic botanical garden with around 20% being a native botanical garden. Currently in place is a Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority's wetlands grant to improve, re-establish and encourage endemic invertebrates, birds, animals and plants.

 

 

Gap Road Botanical Sanctuary covers 23 hectares at 450m altitude within the Central Victorian Uplands bioregion. The property contains a network of small interconnected wetlands which transition between rare spring soak woodlands and high quality swampy riparian woodlands (EVC 83). It is a very diverse site featuring north facing granite terraces that drop steeply from the high plateau to the lower granitic foothills. Spring fed streams run through the length of the site ensuring year round growth of soft ferns and maiden hair ferns. The buffer around these wetlands is a mixture of plant communities depending upon the aspect and altitude. They include vulnerable valley grassy forest, herb-rich foothills and rare rocky outcrop escarpments.

 

 

More than 135 plant species have been recorded on the property to date, although this list is incomplete. Seasonal wildflowers, orchids, grasses, tree ferns, ground ferns, rushes and sedges populate riparian areas. Dominant tree species include blue gums (Eucalyptus globulus), yellow box (E. melliodora), messmates (E. obliqua), candlebarks (E. rubida), silver wattles (Acacia dealbata), blackwoods (A. melanoxylon) black wattles (A. mearnsii) and tick bush (Kunzea ambigua).

 


Wildlife species known to inhabit the sanctuary include eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), swamp (Wallabia bicolor) wallabies, bare-nosed wombats (Vombatus ursinus), ringtail possums (Pseudocheirus peregrinus), koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus), short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus), red-bellied black snakes (Pseudechis porphyriacus), blue-tongued (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides) lizards, and southern rainbow skinks (Carlia tetradactyla). Many frogs have been recorded, and Michael understands sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps), phascogales (Phascogale spp.), copperhead snakes (Austrelaps spp.), striped legless lizards (Delma impar) and monitors (Varanus spp.) are also present.

 


Gap Road Botanical sanctuary is also home to diverse birdlife including wedge-tailed eagles (Aquila audax), falcons, goshawks, barking (Ninox connivens) and powerful (N. strenua) owls, southern boobooks (N. boobook), tawny frogmouths (Podargus strigoides), yellow-tailed black-cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus funereus), sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita), gang gangs (Callocephalon fimbriatum), galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla), eastern (Platycercus eximius) and crimson (P. elegans) rosellas, king parrots (Alisterus scapularis), cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus), laughing kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae), sacred kingfishers (Todiramphus sanctus), ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus), herons (Ardea spp.), pacific black (Anas superciliosa) and wood (Chenonetta jubata) ducks, golden whistlers (Pachycephala pectoralis), butcherbirds (Cracticus spp.), magpies (C. tibicen), currawongs (Strepera spp.), blackbirds (Turdus merula), eastern whipbirds (Psophodes olivaceus), willie wagtails (Rhipidura leucophrys), flame (Petroica phoenicea) and yellow (Eopsaltria australis) robins, yellow-faced (Lichenostomus chrysops) and white-eared (L. leucotis) honeyeaters, grey fantails (Rhipidura albiscapa), doves, finches, treecreepers, crows, cuckoos and wrens.

 

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