The Boneo Park property is made up of a variety of habitat types spanning approximately 330 hectares. In 2013, around 200 hectares of land was placed under a conservation covenant with the Trust for Nature to ensure it is protected into the future.
The property has a long history of human interaction and climatic changes. Approximately 12,000 years ago, when Tasmania was connected to the mainland, Port Phillip Bay was a grassy plain with the Maribyrnong, Werribee and Yarra rivers joining and flowing out to meet the Tamar River. These rivers combined into a large swamp which at the time drained off the continental shelf to the south-west. This ancient land connection is found in some of the plants growing locally and shells and crustaceans found in the peat deposits within the wetland. This grassy plain was then flooded becoming Port Phillip Bay. In the interceding years the sea level rose and fell a number of times. The Bunerong/Boonerwurrung people were harvesting shellfish from its shores, as evidenced by the numerous midden sites along the edges of the older (Pleistocene) dune system at Boneo Park on which the Moonah and Drooping Sheoak still grow. With the receding shoreline the estuarine catchment became blocked through successive dune formation creating a wetland which became a rich resource for the original inhabitants. The shell midden sites found along the fringes of the old coastline reflect its use.
Since European settlement land use has been varied, the peaty soils were exploited by succeeding generations of European immigrants for market gardening, grazing, lime extraction and fertilizer production. Drains were constructed modifying the hydrology and the vegetation across the swampland.
The property, as we see it today, is a product of all these histories. The property has shown to be extremely resilient and anecdotal evidence suggests the property now is the best it has been in the last 50 years.
The major habitat types on the property are the wetlands, the woodlands and the grasslands.
BONEO PARK SURROUNDING LAND USE
REHABILITATION OF SWAMP
Before cattle removed
One year after cattle removed
Two years after cattle removed
For a full list of birds that visit Boneo Park: