Desert Channels Foundation
It’s the cornerstone of the Lake Eyre Basin … the heart of Australia - a very special place.
Flood waters in the desert (Lorraine Kath)
To see it, is to be captivated; to know it, is to be consumed.
Be prepared to fall in love …
The Desert Channels region is the cradle of the Australian ethos.It is the home of Waltzing Matilda, the birthplace of Qantas and it was witness to the genesis of the Australian Labor Party.
It is wide horizon country loaded with icons.Its ancient landscapes range from the western watershed of the Great Dividing Range, through the sprawling Mitchell Grass plains and the channel-braided floodplains of the Channel Country, to the endless ranks of Simpson Desert sand dunes.
Charles Sturt came and went, Burke and Wills came … and died, Harry Readford traversed it with 1000 head of stolen cattle, Sidney Kidman exploited its booms but, before them all, a thousand generations thrived in this harsh and unremitting land, their trade-routes tracking along the watercourses that carried the landscape’s lifeblood.
Cattle on the move (Jayne Douyere)
It supports unique plants, animals and ecosystems.The Edgbaston Goby is a fish found nowhere else in the world apart from a few puddles of shallow spring water, and the ancient Waddi tree is restricted to three spots, two of them in the Desert Channels region. Here is the last Queensland stronghold of the once abundant Bilby; and the elusive Night Parrot, rediscovered in 2013 after an absence of 100 years, still clings to an enigmatic existence, giving up an occasional clue to confound.
The Desert Channels region is the Queensland section of the Lake Eyre Basin. The mighty dryland river systems of Outback Queensland are critical catchments for the lake itself and the wetlands that underpin aquatic and waterbird life in the heart of the driest inhabited continent.
The foundation of these healthy waterways are the river catchments.Well-managed river catchments host healthy ecosystems which, in turn, support productive primary industries and vibrant communities.
The vast Mitchell Grass Downs fed a wool industry that made Australia wealthy; the amazing Channel Country, arguably the finest natural cattle-fattening country in the world, is the centre of organic beef production.Independent, resilient and resourceful people live, and make a living, in a region that is as tenacious as they are.
For all its persistence, the Desert Channels region is incredibly fragile.It is a land moulded by, and bound up in, the boom and bust cycles driven by the pulses of the mighty desert river systems.
Its character has changed with 150 years of European settlement: there are forests of weeds encroaching from the north; feral pigs along the watercourses; camels in the desert; and foxes, rabbits and cats all over, and it is coming under increasing pressure from extractive industries like mining and gas.
These unregulated river systems feed an unrivalled part of the world: the Channel Country, and the lakes and wetlands of the Lake Eyre Basin. With the decline of the wetlands of the Murray-Darling Basin, those of the Lake Eyre Basin are critical breeding and feeding bastions for many of Australia’s waterbirds, and for a host of international migratory birds.
Worth seeing? ... Absolutely!
Worth protecting? ... Undoubtedly!
Worth supporting? ... Without question!
Join the cause … donate now!
With your support, Desert Channels Foundation can help ensure the Lake Eyre Basin remains secure, healthy and productive, sustainably managed by skilled land managers who know that a healthy environment is a productive one.
All donations over $2 are tax deductible, so donate now!