Unmanaged land 1992
After management with cattle 1997
On Kachana Station we use our small herd of cattle as a "tool" to:
Recover Water Security
Rebuild Rangeland Health and Productivity
Capture and Store Carbon
“Pulsed grazing” implies high animal densities for a short duration and controlled recovery periods for the plants and microorganisms.
For landscape revitalization (advancing biological succession) we generally use animal densities between 300 and 1200 head/hectare all depending on what exactly it is that we are trying to achieve at the time. Anything less would be like trying to pump up a tyre with the air pressure that comes out of the end of a wind sock. When we run these densities we manage the feed accordingly to promote desired herd-behaviour.
These high densities create a high level of edge effect at the micro environment level. To favour biodiversity we also create edge effect at the paddock level by creating a planned “mosaic”. We skip strips or only treat some areas once a year. As we progress we aim for more complexity in our mosaic.
Animal maintained landscapes are "scale neutral". What we currently do on fifty square kilometres with 50 to 100 head of cattle, we could do on five thousand or more square kilometres with more animals. The same principles apply. However, the viability of such actions depends on the value society places on fresh air, clean water and healthy biodiverse landscapes. Pastoralists can only become "land doctors" in broader landscape settings with appropriate community support.
In areas that are understocked and where there are insufficient wild herbivores to keep the vegetation healthy we use fire. During the wet season we put in fire-breaks and patch-burns to mitigate the effects of possible wildfire during the dry months.
See the mosaic effect in a brittle area north of Cockatoo Creek, Kachana Station, during the dry season 2005
For more information on how we put our cattle to work please visit the Kachana Land-Care website.