The Cypress Pine (Callitris intratropica) is a termite resistant tree that occurs only in the high rainfall areas of the Kimberley region. The species is now in decline. Only isolated clumps and few individual trees remain on Kachana Station.
While we have witnessed further decline of these beautiful native trees due to wildfires, we have successfully nurtured a remnant pocket of Cypress pines above the Elgee Cliffs. Each year we put in place a fire-break to protect the fragile seedlings and saplings. We use a controlled burn to reduce the amount of dry and dead vegetation around the stand of young and mature pines.
One of our treasures is a small forest that due to controlled firebreaks and back burning had not seen a fire in over 20 years. (Many parts of the Kimberley see a fire every three years!) Without our presence and commitment this forest would no longer exist. Instead it has expanded and contains a huge diversity of plants and animals. Our aim is to keep creating the right conditions for plants and animals to thrive and to protect this unique ecosystem.
November 2014 a direct lightning-strike ignited a fire that raged through most of the forest. Biodiversity took a hiding. We are pleased to report that life, diversity and abundance are bouncing back.
We were very excited when we sighted flocks of adult and juvenile Gouldian Finches (Erythrura gouldiae) on Kachana Station from 2005 onwards in an area that has been actively managed for grazing cattle. The Gouldian Finch is listed as an endangered species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC). As with the Rainforest our aim in that area is to keep out wild-fire. Through planned management of stock we increase the productivity and biodiversity of this area. Such management protects natural finch habitat (bushes and old trees with hollow branches) while enhancing the availability of grass seeds that the finches depend upon.