Wildlife Land Trust / Sanctuaries / NSW / Andrew and Cate’s Refuge

Andrew and Cate Colson are the owners of a property situated in Forest Reefs, approximately 30km south of Orange, New South Wales. The property has been subdivided from a large livestock property and is now a residence and hobby farm housing a small herd of alpaca. The owners have fenced several areas including remnant bushland for passive restoration and are managing invasive plants such as blackberry.

The property covers 12.14 hectares, with four areas of the block reserved for regeneration. It features remnant stands of mature bundy box (Eucalyptus goniocalyx) and broad-leaved peppermint (E. dives) with an understorey of native shrubs and forbs and a kangaroo (Themeda triandra) and wallaby (Rytidosperma spp.) grass groundcover. This remnant habitat is connected to yellow-box woodland mapped as a High Value Roadside habitat.

Other areas of the property have been planted with white box (E. albens), yellow box (E. melliodora), manna gum (E. viminalis), bundy box and various acacia species. These plantings are in good condition and range from one to ten years old. The remainder of the property has a mix of exotic pasture species interspersed with emerging wallaby grass.

Wildlife present includes eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus), short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus), swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor), brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) and various native reptiles.

Birdlife is abundant, and dusky woodswallows (Artamus cyanopterus) are regularly observed. The property is also home to nankeen kestrels (Falco cenchroides), black-shouldered kites (Elanus axillaris), brown quails (Coturnix ypsilophora), superb fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus), red-browed finches (Neochmia temporalis), eastern spinebills (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) and yellow-rumped thornbills (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa).