Conservation successes at Fish River Station

Fish River Station is a vast 180,000 hectares in size and exceptionally diverse with a range of habitats including savanna woodlands, rainforest and floodplains. Situated alongside the Daly River, it is home to 21 threatened species, including the Northern Quoll, Gouldian Finch and the Northern Masked Owl.

We worked with the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC), the Australian Government’s National Reserve System Program, and Pew Environment Group, to help the purchase of Fish River Station by the ILC in 2010. Since then, we have been working closely with the ILC to deliver some great achievements:

  • 25 Indigenous Australians have been employed on the station to perform conservation activities on the ground
  • Significant feral animal control has occurred
  • A new Ranger Station is currently being established at the old Fish River homestead
  • Comprehensive biodiversity surveys have been undertaken – to measure the plant and animal life and their habitats
  • Fire management has reduced destructive late season bushfires from 36% of Fish River to approximately 4% of the area per year

One of the biggest achievements at Fish River Station has been the establishment of a groundbreaking carbon abatement fire program.

This groundbreaking partnership marks the first time that a conservation NGO in Australia has been involved in purchasing land that will be handed back to its Traditional Owners and managed for conservation.  Together with our partners, we are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect biodiversity, provide Indigenous communities with cultural and livelihood benefits, and promote further conservation throughout northern Australia.

A former cattle ranch, the property’s isolation made developing the infrastructure necessary for ranching difficult, leaving a wide spectrum of ecosystems untouched. Varied habitat means varied wildlife, and Fish River Station shelters an astounding array of important species, including nearly 400 plant species.

Indigenous people and the northern savannahs are intricately connected. Much of the north is a complex mosaic of country that has traditionally been managed by hundreds of Indigenous groups. We continue to work with the ILC and Traditional Owners to develop long-term, sustainable management plans for the property. The employment of Indigenous Rangers is critical to this work so that traditional knowledge and modern science are combined for lasting results!

Find out more about how we fight fire with fire.

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