State: VIC | Hectares: 29,864 | IUCN Category: IV | Partners: Trust for Nature (Victoria)
When Trust for Nature first considered turning Neds Corner Station - a 30,000 hectare sheep and cattle station - into a conservation reserve, the scale of the task was daunting. But nine years later, this National Reserve System property is an important part of Victoria's conservation landscape - the largest privately-owned conservation property in the state.
Trust for Nature purchased Neds Corner Station in 2002 with support from the Australian Government's National Reserve System and help from private donors and the local community.
The property stretches 35 kilometres along the Murray River west of Mildura, covering banks fringed with river red gums and sweeping saltbush plains, providing habitat for several nationally-threatened species, including the southern bell frog and the regent parrot. Once part of the Kidman pastoral empire, Neds was used largely for sheep and cattle grazing from the 1850s. The property is a mosaic of rare landforms and threatened ecosystems, but like much of the Murray-Darling Basin it is under threat from salinity, erosion and water scarcity. Neds Corner is valuable for more than just its environmental features - it has been a key part of life in the Mallee for more than a century and is still a favourite spot for campers, fishers and bushwalkers.
A full-time property manager and ranger work on Neds Corner Station and since its purchase Trust for Nature has removed sheep as well as paddock fences, allowing native vegetation to regenerate and native wildlife to roam free. Rabbit numbers have fallen as a result of a major baiting and burrow removal effort and revegetation with endemic species is encouraging native animals back to the property. Monitoring native plants and animals is another vital part of the work at Neds Corner enabling the Trust to fine-tune its biodiversity management practices.
Trust for Nature continues to work with volunteers, partners and local Indigenous groups to achieve its long-term conservation vision for Neds Corner Station.