Fencing boosts biodiversity for Goondiwindi graziers

Goondiwindi graziers Kim and Judy Felton-Taylor are enjoying increased biodiversity while maintaining production on their cattle property ‘Terella’ after working with QMDC and Landcare to successfully manage 130 hectares of riparian and remnant vegetation.

The couple began working closely with Landcare coordinators and QMDC Technical staff in 2009 and one year later undertook a Regional Incentives Project to enhance biodiversity values on their land.   

The Felton-Taylors wanted to protect their property’s remnant vegetation and preserve and increase linkages and corridors. Erosion along their waterways was also a concern as some of the adjacent soil was sodic and therefore dispersive.

‘Terella’ supports 300 head of cattle on its 1150ha, with an additional 600ha of adjoining forestry under lease.  Kim and Judy, (pictured on the banks of Kerrimbilla Creek) adopt cell grazing management and also grow fodder.

In a bid to diversify from cattle, the couple also grows Jojoba, and Judy now uses the crop to produce their own line of jojoba products, including soaps and moisturisers.

The project with QMDC, which targeted 130ha of vegetation including riparian vegetation, allowed for fencing to restrict stock access to sensitive areas thus reducing the threat of erosion, increasing the biodiversity value and improving the area’s overall health.

Thanks to the fencing, Kim and Judy are finding mustering easier and have witnessed significant benefits to wildlife on their farm.

“The vegetation connects the forestry on our place with the other shade lines across the property and glossy black cockatoos are around, I’ve seen them in the hollows of the smooth-barked apples,” Kim said.

In 2012, ‘Terella’ became a Land For Wildlife property and the Felton-Taylors accessed funding through the Land For Wildlife Plus Incentives Program to build a fence along the remaining area of their creek.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe result is a vast improvement in groundcover in the riparian areas.

“Some eroded areas are also starting to grass up, so hopefully in the long term this will lead to less erosion along the creek.

“We have enjoyed working with QMDC and Landcare to improve our property. The process has always been very transparent, and the technical officers have worked well with us to develop plans that promote connectivity and biodiversity whilst maintaining our focus on production,” Kim said.

The Queensland Murray-Darling Committee is supported through funding from the Queensland Government and the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program. For information on Land For Wildlife Visit http://www.qmdc.org.au/biodiversity-pests/land-for-wildlife.html