Watchalunga Nature Reserve

Watchalunga provides habitat for the nationally endangered Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren.

Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren at Watchalunga; photo Subbu Conley
92 ha (0.98 km2)
2.5 km from Finniss on the Fleurieu Peninsula
Major aims
Threat abatement, revegetation and protection of critically endangered Fleurieu Peninsula Swamp ecological community
Key threatened species
Nationally endangered Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wrens, native fish and frogs
Nature Foundation
Traditional owners
Ngarrindjeri people. Watchalunga Nature Reserve is contained within the significant Ngarrindjeri Meeting of the Waters site, a registered archaeological and anthropological heritage site.

Introducing Watchalunga

Watchalunga comprises approximately 92 ha of low-lying Fleurieu Peninsula swamp on the lower Finniss River, and is listed as a critically endangered ecological community. It is an important patch of remnant habitat containing highly significant South Australian biodiversity.

The nature reserve also provides important aquatic habitat to support native fish and may still be a refuge for the nationally vulnerable Yarra Pygmy Perch and the nationally endangered Murray Hardyhead. Previous flora surveys have identified 36 indigenous species and more species are likely to be found with more detailed inspections.

Reserve Management

Nature Foundation is working to minimise threats to habitat and wildlife at Watchalunga and to restore critical habitat to create a sanctuary for threatened wildlife including Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wrens. Priority pest plants including Tall Wheatgrass, Kikuyu, Wild Aster, African Daisy and Artichoke Thistles are controlled and past revegetation areas and firebreaks are maintained.

The nature reserve is available to researchers and groups interested in monitoring and studying the important biodiversity of Watchalunga.

Traditional Owners

We are committed to developing partnerships with Aboriginal people to enhance conservation outcomes and increase cultural understanding. The Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority’s Aboriginal Learning on Country team was involved in early restoration work at the property, undertaking weed control, fencing, and revegetation work.

Visit Watchalunga Nature Reserve

Nature Foundation opens Watchalunga Nature Reserve during volunteer events that support conservation work on the property. Past events have included revegetation of areas to enhance habitat for endangered Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wrens and other wetland fauna.

To find out how to get involved with conservation activities on our Nature Reserves see our events page or contact us to register your interest.

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