Wildlife Land Trust / Sanctuaries / NSW / Stephen’s Refuge

Stephen Otton is the owner of a property situated in Taloumbi, approximately 85km north of Coffs Harbour, New South Wales. The property is a recreational site and dedicated wildlife sanctuary, and Stephen intends to maintain the native vegetation for the benefit of local native species. The property was recently hit by fires, and Stephen plans to clear vegetation in some areas to improve accessibility and protect the property from future bushfires.

The property spans approximately 21.4 hectares and backs onto national parks on two sides. Half of the property is situated on a floodplain with a strong creek running through from the nearby Clarence Peak Mountain. Originally a cattle property, it has since reverted to native bushland and now consists of heavily wooded melaleuca and eucalypt woodland, native grassland, rainforest and swampland. A bushfire recently ran through the property and has burnt off much of the ground fuel, but most of the vegetation was largely undamaged.

An abundance of wildlife is found on the property including swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolour), eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) and coastal emus (Dromaius novaehollandiae). Other birds present include laughing kookaburras (Dacelo novaeguineae), eastern (Platycercus eximus) and crimson (Platycercus elegans) rosellas, finches and honeyeaters, as well as cormorants around the property’s billabong. A dingo (Canis lupus dingo) was also recently spotted, and some feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are also present.