David Brook is the owner of Araluen, a property located in Upper Main Arm, approximately 35km northwest of Byron Bay, New South Wales. The sanctuary is a dedicated wildlife sanctuary used for wildlife rehabilitation and education. Ongoing annual monitoring of the property is being conducted to determine a more complete picture of the wildlife and changes that may be occurring as a result of the continuous habitat regeneration activities. David intends to continue these bush and habitat rehabilitation works, as well as regularly monitoring plant and animal species and hosting education field days on the sanctuary for Landcare and other relevant groups. Araluen has a Voluntary Conservation Agreement with the Nature Conservation Trust of NSW and is also a member of the Land for Wildlife network.
The sanctuary covers approximately 12.6 hectares bordering the Brunswick River and Mt Jerusalem National Park, with predominant vegetation types including rainforest, moist blackbutt, grey gum, ironbark and two variations of brush box forest, as well as previously cleared regrowth areas which are now dominated by wattle, red ash and rainforest species. Lowland Rainforest in NSW North Coast and Sydney Basin Bioregion, an Endangered Ecological Community listed under the TSC Act, is known to occur on Araluen, as is the green-leaved rose walnut (Endiandra muelleri subsp. bracteata), also listed as Endangered under the TSC Act.
Furthermore, the land is within an area identified as a priority for the Greater Eastern Ranges conservation corridor initiative, part of a Moist Climate Change Corridor identified by the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water, and has also been mapped by DECCW as containing Key Wildlife habitat. Additionally, the sanctuary contains an underrepresented Regional Ecosystem and a vulnerable Forest Ecosystem (Wet Bangalow Brushbox).
A limited fauna survey conducted in April 2009 documented the presence of 34 terrestrial vertebrate wildlife species on Araluen including 22 bird, four mammal, three reptile, five frog and five snake species. Vulnerable species listed under the TSC Act known to occur on the sanctuary include the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), red-legged pademelon (Thylogale stigmatica), Stephen’s banded snake (Hoplocephalus stephensii), and the spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus maculatus), which is also listed as Endangered under the EPBC Act.