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          Member | Join now

          By joining the biggest community of bird lovers in Australia, you can help us make a positive impact on the future of our native birdlife. The members of BirdLife Australia, along with our supporters and partners, have been powerful advocates for native birds and the conservation of their habitats since 1901.

          We are also the meeting ground for everyone with an interest in birds from the curious backyard observer to the dedicated research scientist. It doesn’t matter what your interest in birds is or how much you know about them, your membership will offer you the opportunity to increase your awareness and enjoyment.

          Birdlife Australia would be delighted to welcome you as a new member and we look forward to sharing our news and achievements with you throughout the coming year.

          Our Programs


          ‘Southern Cassowary’ was the winning image from last year's Bird Portrait Category, in the @BirdlifeOz Photography… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

          @GichingaWa Amazing huh! "The physiological secret to long migrations does not depend on a single 'magic' adaptatio… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

          More evidence that conservation works. Breeding seabirds on Macca have also bounced back tremendously since the int… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…


          Click here for the Latest news

          May 2020

          Malleefowl have been seen recently and other birds are returning after the very hot and dry summer that saw a decrease in sightings of many of the most common species. Major Mitchell Cockatoos have been noticed every day for the last 3 weeks and they have been regularly observed feeding on the ground around the Visitors’ Centre, cracking the spiny seed pods of the Cannon Ball, a small shrub that is common on Gluepot.

           Gluepot is well set up for social distancing, with a spacious Education Centre and three different camping grounds, each with 18 campsites which allow all participants to keep safely away from each other.

           Recent courses on reptiles and macro photography were enjoyed by all participants, despite having to maintain social distancing rules throughout.

           Just after the autumn courses, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the closure of the Reserve when all non-essential travel was halted and the South Australian state boarder was closed. This has allowed the rangers to focus on maintenance and our solar power array is being significantly upgraded.

           More courses are planned for September, October and November if restrictions on travel are lifted by then.


          March 2020

          The sounds of Gluepot are many.

          Australian Ringnecks and Mulga Parrots are our first break-of-day songsters, communicating in short high-pitched trills, closely followed by Yellow-plumed Honeyeaters bustling noisily together.

          The Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters seem to have found sufficient food since the January rain to keep them away from bird-baths and hides.

          Kookaburras, butcherbirds and Galahs visit the Homestead at varying times of day calling briefly, before flying away. On occasion, Variegated Fairy-wrens sing softly in the shrubs.

          Other outdoor visitors like the Mallee Dragon and Tree Skink come and go silently and unobtrusively, while communication with co-workers creates a pleasant buzz.

          Visitors can now enjoy Gluepot’s cooler nights and marvel at the passing overhead of the International Space Station. They can listen to the wind rustling leaves on the trees, the occasional ‘clop’ sound of a hopping kangaroo and look forward to the wonderful sound of rain on parched earth. 

          Long gone are the days of Belching Bertha generating electricity. Gluepot’s power-bank is relatively peaceful — a new inverter has been fitted and the solar array has had its seasonal tilt. Meanwhile, Gluepot’s fire extinguishers have just been serviced. Smoke alarms are checked regularly and currently are silent.

          The first Environmental Education Course for 2020, ‘Getting to Know Reptiles’, commences 7–8 March, facilitated by Dr. Mark Hutchinson.


          February 2020

          Gluepot Reserve has a magnetic attraction felt by both visitors and volunteers. It’s a place of fascination, relaxation, research, currently phenology and education.

          Many visitors ask the Gluepot volunteers “What is the best time to visit Gluepot?” Every season has value here.

          Now, in the height of summer, ‘survival’ is of the utmost importance. For us, as humans, personal safety is a priority. At Gluepot this is accomplished by remembering hats, maps, whistles, compasses, G.P.S., water, first-aid kits and communication devices e.g. satellite phones.

          The recent 11 millimetres of rain has done little to the parched land. The highest temperature recorded for January is 42.5°C.

          Gluepot has recorded 181 species of birds. They demonstrate various methods of survival.

          We have been surprised by the increased number of Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters, Yellow-plumed Honeyeaters and Brown-headed Honeyeaters seen at our bird troughs. The pecking order of birds drinking occurs in the cooler hours of early morning and evening. Our Homestead bird baths have required frequent re-filling.

          Other sightings include the Chestnut Quail-thrush, Chestnut-crowned Babbler and Apostlebirds.

          The kangaroos here are emaciated. The Mallee has adapted to survive. The occasional fox and rabbit are surviving.

          Our first Environmental Education Course for 2020 is ‘Getting to Know Reptiles’. The Facilitator is Dr Mark Hutchinson.


          December 2019

          Back here again as Ranger/Assistant Ranger for the eighth or ninth time since my first visit in December 2001, and my, how things have changed over the years!

          The mallee has suffered from several fires during  this time, resulting in a variety of new- and old-growth habitat which, in turn, attracts a range of birds with different preferences for new, medium and old-growth Mallee, Casuarina and Triodia.

          The ubiquitous Yellow-plumed Honeyeater was without doubt the commonest bird in the Reserve for the first part of the millennium, but this year has seen the rise to dominance of the Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, with huge numbers at the water troughs now outnumbering the Yellow-plumes by about 20 to 1. The Spiny-cheek’s gorgeous and varied liquid calls on a morning are an exquisite avian symphony, played by an orchestra of several hundred winged-flautists.

          Change of a more ominous kind has come with the emergence of the Anthropocene and accompanying climate change: checking over the records this morning I find that when I was first here in December2001 there were NO 40°C-plus days that year, but last December there were six.  In January 2002 there were 10 40°C-plus days (the long-term average is six), in January this year there were 14 40°C-plus days.

          Maybe the Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater is better adapted to coping with worsening drought and higher temperatures than the Yellow-plumed Honeyeater?  

          Yes Mr Dylan, the times they are indeed a-changing.






          The Beginning

          The Black-eared Miner is one of Australia's most endangered birds. The species looked doomed to extinction, when in 1996 a Birds Australia volunteer reported sighting Black-eared Miners in the region of Gluepot Station. Further surveys confirmed that not only were Black-eared Miners and Malleefowl present in good numbers, but robust populations of four other nationally threatened birds occurred on Gluepot Station. The owner of the property indicated that he was happy to sell what was a marginal pastoral lease.? A mammoth effort by our members, supporters, volunteers and several organisations raised the large sum in just 10 weeks, and Birds Australia now owned its first publicly-funded Reserve in July 1997.

          Visitor Information

          Gluepot Reserve is located 1.5 hrs drive on well-maintained dirt roads north of Waikerie, SA. The Reserve is open to visitors year-round. Entry fees are payable upon arrival. Facilities include a visitor information centre, campgrounds, birdhides, driving and walking tracks, and brochures. Guided tours are also available. For detailed information click here.

          Access restrictions
          A few times each year the reserve is closed to the public for feral animal control.

          There are no further closures planned at this time.

          If you're planning a visit during a scheduled closure, please contact the Reserve Rangers on the details below.

          Biodiversity surveying

          Wedge-tailed Eagle nest

          Conservation on the Reserve

          Gluepot Reserve is part of the largest block of intact mallee left in Australia and so the viability of threatened bird populations and other flora and fauna is high. Prior to fires in 2006 (that burnt 8,000 ha) the last major fire on Gluepot was over half a century ago in December 1950. Importantly, some whole areas were not burnt at all during these widespread fires. A mosaic of fire impacts, together with a diversity of understoreys within the mallee and other woodland communities gives rise to a wide variety of niches for birds and other wildlife. Many of the trees within the mallee and Casuarina woodland are hundreds of years old with numerous hollows. Such old-growth habitat is essential for many species including threatened species, such as the Black-eared Miner.

          Gluepot Reserve is protected in perpetuity as a conservation reserve by the signing of a South Australian Heritage Agreement. Gluepot is also part of the National Reserve System and is further protected under the Commonwealth EPBC Act as 'critical habitat' - the first area of land on mainland Australia to have achieved this protection.


          Volunteers are the life blood of the Reserve and come from all over Australia and overseas to generously donate their time

          Since the Reserve was purchased in July 1997 volunteers have donated approximately 300,000 hours and 1,700,000 km in mileage which equates to a $5 million contribution. Every year 22,000 hours of volunteer effort are generously donated to Gluepot

          Volunteer Ranger positions have historically been booked out 2 - 3 years in advance. The Reserve's Assistant Ranger Training Program offers young graduates and under-graduates the opportunity to obtain training in many facets of conservation and park management, scientific research and monitoring methodology, and a wide range of other skills not available in any other training programs; and this service is free of charge. Overseas students come to stay at the Reserve for months at a time and many undertake special projects around the Reserve as part of their university course. The Reserve provides a supervisor/mentor to these projects.

          A skilled volunteer Management Committee is responsible for all management issues. They ensure the Reserve is manned on a continuous basis by Volunteer Rangers and Assistant Rangers.

          endangered Black-eared Miner

          Radio tracking

          Bird banding legend Wally Klau

          Research and Monitoring

          The Reserve has been extremely successful in creating a 'Quality Centre for Scientific Research' and attracts several Australian universities, students and research institutions to conduct ongoing research projects at Gluepot.

          Gluepot has 95 biodiversity sites, the greatest number of any Australian land area. These sites are monitored annually by Reserve personnel for vegetation, birds, mammals and reptiles. Gluepot also has the highest concentration of Atlassed sites in Australia, which contributes to BirdLife Australia's most successful and longest running bird monitoring project. Monitoring sites have also been established in burnt areas to monitor vegetation and fauna recovery in those areas.?

          Feral pests, such as goats and foxes, and noxious weeds are controlled and monitored.

          And of course Gluepot remains the field study centre for the endangered Black-eared Miner.

          International Excellence

          Gluepot is the recipient of 35 national and international awards in the fields of science and monitoring, biodiversity conservation, environment, sustainable ecotourism, health and the built environment - including five Landcare awards.

          The Reserve has been an industry leader in the accreditation process and was one of the first tourism attractions in South Australia to achieve Advanced Eco Certification and National Tourism Accreditation.

          By successfully combining the elements of biodiversity conservation through land management, scientific research and monitoring, environmental education and sustainable ecotourism, Gluepot Reserve has taken conservation management into a new era. The Reserve is providing an international model to show that sustainable use of the landscape is both feasible and desirable. A highly successful program of this size and complexity is unique in Australian land management.

          Contact Us

          Contact the Reserve Rangers for visitor information and access restrictions:

          PO Box 345, Waikerie SA 5330
          T (08) 8892 8600
          E gluepot@gluepot.org

          Contact the Chair of the Gluepot Management Committee for volunteering, media, and further details on the property:

          Duncan Mackenzie
          T (08) 8332 1204
          E dmackenzie@iname.com


          Gluepot newsletter

          January 2019