Derek Cooper and Polly Smart are the owners of Emu Creek (formerly known as Rasheed’s Run), a property situated in Flinders Ranges, South Australia. The property is a residence and dedicated wildlife sanctuary, and the owners are working to promote the regeneration of the land to provide a safe haven for native wildlife.
The property spans approximately 182 hectares across former pastoral country, which has remained de-stocked for over ten years. The land is characterized by undulating, lightly wooded terrain interspersed with ephemeral creeks. The property also features open grasslands and old-growth river red gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) lining the two creeks.
Around 40% of vegetation is comprised of native cypress (Callitris glaucophylla), along with three species of acacia. At least seven species of saltbush have been identified within the genera Atriplex, Einadia, Enchylaena, Maireana and Sclerolaena as well as several stands of emu bush (Eremophila longifolium).
A wide range of wildlife is present on Emu Creek including western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus), euros (Macropus robustus), short-beaked echidnas (Tachyglossus aculeatus), eastern bearded dragons (Pogona barbata), shingleback lizards (Tiliqua rugosa) and mulga snakes (Pseudechis australis), as well as the occasional red kangaroo (Macropus rufus). The property is also home to over thirty species of birds including emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae), wedge-tailed eagles (Aquila audax), tawny frogmouths (Podargus strigoides), ringneck parrots (Barnardius zonarius), inland thornbills (Acanthiza apicalis) and the occasional dotterel.