It’s no secret that our little island paradise is brimming with some of the most beautiful and unique flora in the world. Boasting an estimated 24,000 species of endemic plant life, Australia’s incredibly rich plant diversity is one of this country’s greatest natural assets. From humble mosses, to proud gum trees, many distinctive plant species call Australia home. This robust natural environment has been made possible by Australia’s geographic isolation from the rest of the world, and the wide array of landscapes and climates that exist within it.
However, with the effects of climate change becoming more acute, extreme weather events such as drought, floods and bushfires are increasing in frequency and severity. This has wreaked havoc on our delicate ecosystems, with 60 Australian plant species now considered to be extinct, and over 1180 plant species currently threatened. It has become more important than ever to protect our native flora and restore ecological health. Thankfully, there are a number of conservation projects around Australia dedicated to ensuring the survival of our unique plant life.
Poho is passionate about community, celebrating local artists, creators and doing everything we can to give back to the natural world that we rely so heavily on for our work. We came across The Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) just over a year ago after a long search for a charity/organisation for Poho to partner with. The work of AWC really stood out to us, they are the largest private land owner and manager of land for conservation in Australia with a mission to protect endangered wildlife and their habitat and rehabilitate wilderness right across the country. They work hand in hand with indigenous groups, governments and landholders across 30 properties.
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) is a not-for-profit organisation devoted to the conservation of threatened wildlife and ecosystems throughout Australia. The Australian Wildlife Conservancy achieves this through the acquisition of land and the establishment of sanctuaries on these sites. Currently, AWC manages/owns 6.5 million hectares of land for conservation purposes, which has been made possible through the generosity of donors, innovative partnerships with Indigenous groups, governments and landholders.
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy takes a practical approach to conservation, with fire management being a critical element of the maintenance of Australia’s ecological health. Fire has shaped the Australian landscape for tens of thousands of years, with many plant species and ecosystems depending on it to remove plant litter and activate germination. For instance, banksias and eucalyptus have serotinous cones or fruits that require heat to open them up and release their seeds. Indigenous Australians have long understood this unique relationship and used controlled burning to stimulate the process of bush regeneration. However, due to the decline of traditional Indigenous burning, increasingly poor rainfall and soaring temperatures, the fires have become more and more destructive, decimating everything in its path.
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy is focused on the prevention of this indiscriminate destruction and the restoration of balance through the implementation of fire management strategies. AWC’s land managers tailor fire management strategies to the specific conditions of the region/ecosystem where the prescribed burning is set to occur. For instance, strategies used to manage a fire in Australia’s deserts differ from strategies implemented in wetter rainforests. The Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s prescribed burning covers more than 1 million hectares annually, with fire management programs being implemented on their sanctuaries in Brooklyn (QLD), Mornington - Marion Downs (WA), Newhaven (NT), and others across the nation. AWC’s fire management strategies are critical in limiting the spread of catastrophic wildfires during the dry season, encouraging ecologically friendly bush regeneration, and enabling Australia’s native ecosystems to prosper.
To help support the great work that the Australian Wildlife Conservancy does, click here.