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Paruna Sanctuary, in the beautiful Avon Valley east of Perth, forms an important wildlife corridor that links two regionally significant National Parks - Walyunga National Park and Avon Valley National Park – to create a combined protected area of approximately 19,500 ha. Flanked by the regionally significant Avon-Swan River, Paruna features stunning woodlands of Wandoo and Powderbark.
Fencing of the southern boundary of the sanctuary, combined with a regional feral animal control program, has allowed the successful reintroduction of two key mammal species to Paruna sanctuary and the adjacent National Parks – the nationally endangered Black-flanked Rock-wallaby and the Tammar Wallaby.
Paruna also supports a number of other threatened species, including the Chuditch (Western Quoll), as well as iconic small mammals such the Honey Possum.
Paruna Sanctuary is an important site for conservation in the Avon-Wheatbelt Bioregion both in it’s own right and because it forms a wildlife corridor between two national parks.
Paruna is home to a number of significant species including the threatened Chuditch (Western Quoll) and Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo. The Honey Possum lives in Paruna’s diverse heathlands, while the Western Pygmy Possum is another resident small mammal.
Across most of the Avon-Wheatbelt Bioregion, most of the small-medium sized mammals have disappeared as a result of fox and cat predation. AWC and the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife have worked collaboratively across Paruna and adjacent national parks to implement a regional feral animal control program, which has enabled the successful reintroduction of Black-flanked Rock-wallabies and Tammar Wallabies. The Black-flanked Rock-wallaby reintroduction is particularly significant, as it was here in the Avon valley where the species was first recorded in the 1840’s.
AWC is the only conservation organisation to measure in a robust scientific manner the ecological health of a network of sanctuaries. At Paruna, we undertake more than 300 live trap-nights and 11,000 camera trap-nights each year to measure a suite of ecological health indicators including:
Our performance against these indicators provides rigorous scientific data which enables us to track the ecological health of Paruna.
Key field programs at Paruna include:
Paruna sanctuary, located in the Darling Range, sits on the western margin of the ‘Yilgarn Block’, an ancient granite landform that formed over 2.5 billion years ago. Rivers and streams flowing off this ancient plateau have deeply dissected the landscape and created the hills and valleys of the contemporary Darling Range. The scenic Avon Valley, where Paruna is located, was carved out by the Avon River over thousands of years. Paruna sanctuary itself is characterised by extremely steep slopes, numerous streams and creeklines, and areas of exposed granite.
The 2,000 ha sanctuary predominantly follows the southern banks of the Avon River, linking the Avon Valley National Park with the downstream Walyunga National Park. Paruna is open to the public, and features a series of walking trails that allow the community to enjoy this stunning natural environment.
The vegetation of Paruna sanctuary is a complex mosaic of woodland, shrubland and heathland associated with a diverse geology and topography. Jarrah forest occurs predominantly on the smaller areas of lateritic plateau, while Powderbark is found on ridges and Marri woodland on slopes. The majority of the sanctuary consists of steep granitic slopes supporting stunning Wandoo woodland on the deeper soils and diverse heathlands and shrublands on the shallower soils. Along the Avon River, majestic Flooded Gum occurs with Melaleuca Paperbarks.
Around 400 species of plants are likely to occur on Paruna, including a number of priority species. A field herbarium has been established, with over 240 plants collected and identified to date, providing a valuable reference for ecologists.
Sanctuary Manager, Clint McGee, who is based at Paruna, delivers the Land Management programs, assisted by the Karakamia-based team. The Science program is delivered by field ecologists including Bryony Palmer and Chantelle Jackson. Mimi Scully runs the wildlife education and visitor programs.
In addition to permanent staff, there are a number of students, interns and long-term volunteers who assist in delivering the science and land management program at Paruna.
Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary is a 2,000ha sanctuary, forming a pristine wildlife corridor along the Avon River between Walyunga and Avon Valley National parks. Only an hour out of Perth, Paruna offers a number of spectacular walking trails through Jarrah, Wandoo and Powderbark forest combined with heathland and riparian habitat. Paruna is located in the Darling Range on the western margin of the ‘Yilgarn Block’, one of the oldest landforms on earth, formed over 220 million years ago.
Three high quality walk trails are available at Paruna sanctuary between 1 May and 30 September, 2017. Come for a few hours or stay the whole day! Due to the limited number of parking spaces available, we restrict the number of visitors on any given day. Along with our ‘one way’ trails, this means that you will feel as if you are alone in this wilderness as you are not likely to encounter any other people during your visit.
We also offer guided bird and wildflower walks in Spring.
For more information and bookings, please click here.