The biggest Australian conservation story of the year
Reappearance of more than 18 species including Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby and Western Quoll
Rebound in native wildlife populations and native vegetation accompanies feral management program
Wild Bush Luxury property Arkaba Conservancy in the Ikara-Flinders Ranges of South Australia is proudly celebrating its tenth anniversary of conservation this November.
Wild Bush Luxury owner and founder Charles Carlow set up the company in 2006 with the vision to create a nature tourism business with conservation at its heart; aiming to provoke, inspire, educate and reconnect guests to the bush through experiences that are natural, exclusive and truly Australian and in turn, using tourism as a means to conserve the landscape.
With this vision in mind, Carlow added the 60,000 acre property to the company’s portfolio of luxury tourism destinations in November 2009. Originally a working sheep station, yet sitting within one of Australia’s most ecologically significant landscapes, Carlow was committed to reversing the impact of over 150 years of livestock grazing by allowing natural processes to re-establish themselves in the landscape.
Ten years of conservation work has seen marked changes and Arkaba is now a sanctuary for native fauna and flora while natural springs have reappeared following years of impact from livestock.
For the first time in 18 years, two colonies of Yellow-footed Rock Wallabies have been established on Arkaba’s Elder Range and several new native bird species have been sighted on the property including the Owlet Nightjar, Stubble Quail, Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo, Nankeen Night Heron, White-winged Fairy Wren, Black-fronted Dotterel and Spotted Nightjar. Sightings of Echidnas, which were previously prey to feral predators, in particular foxes, have significantly increased. Sightings of Red and Western Grey Kangaroos, Common Wallaroos, Fat-tailed Dunnarts and reptiles including Bearded Dragons, Gidgee Skinks and King Brown snakes have also increased. After being extinct in South Australia for a century, a Western Quoll was sighted on Arkaba in 2017.
The regeneration of native flora across Arkaba is also testament to the success of ten years of extensive conservation initiatives. The absence of livestock has allowed ancient plant species to regenerate, including the Bullock Bush, Narrow-leafed Emu Bush, Oswald’s Wattle and Leafless Cherry. Native grasses once wiped out by livestock are also returning, including Bottle-washers, Wallaby Grass and Wire Grass. South Australia’s iconic River Red Gums have regrown across Arkaba’s creek lines, contributing to the health of the area’s water courses. Natural springs and waterholes are also reappearing, in turn providing native wildlife with reliable natural water sources.
Reflecting on the past decade of conservation efforts, Charles Carlow couldn’t be more thrilled to see the impact Wild Bush Luxury has had on this breathtaking outback landscape and the wildlife that inhabits the area.
“The success of our business is inextricably linked with the health of our environment and we have a direct interest in its conservation. And it is all the more reassuring for us to see our passion for what we do reflected in the engagement that we see from our guests, who hopefully leave us having expanded their knowledge and awareness boundaries,” Carlow said.
Executive Officer of Luxury Lodges of Australia Penny Rafferty highlighted the breadth of the accomplishment and the lasting impression of the company’s conservation work in Australia.
“The conservancy story at Arkaba is quite simply one of the clearest legacy stories for sustainability of business, environment and tourism out of the Luxury Lodges of Australia collection. All have clear purpose at the heart, but seeing ten years of work bring such great, impactful and measurable results for Arkaba and Australian wildlife and land care is a story to be celebrated and all involved congratulated, and more importantly, thanked,” said Rafferty.
Buoyed on by the visible results of ten years of work, the Wild Bush Luxury team is delighted to welcome the next decade of conservation.
About Wild Bush Luxury
Wild Bush Luxury’s mission is to reconnect guests with the bush, through experiences that are thought-provoking and inspirational. Our concept of ‘Wild Bush Luxury’ brings a touch of style to any experience of Australia’s extraordinarily diverse habitat: a ‘down to earth’ yet attentive level of service; an appreciation of the finer details and above all, a team of hosts and guides who are passionate about Australia’s environment, wildlife and culture.
The Wild Bush Luxury portfolio includes Bamurru Plains, Arkaba Conservancy and the Arkaba Walk.
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