Ridley Conservation Park

Where Is It?: Ridley Conservation Park Park is located on the western side of the Mannum-Swan Reach Road, approximately 10 kilometres south of Swan Reach. It is a long narrow park, 10 kilometres by 0.4 kilometres.

Owner: Department of the Environment, Water and Natural Resources.

Property summary: Total area 414 hectares – Hundred of Fisher, Section 144; Hundred of Ridley, Sections 479, 480 and 483.

History: It was part of a Travelling Stock Reserve which ran for roughly 5-10 kilometres parallel to the River Murray. This reserve linked the stock market of Burra to the north with Murray Bridge to the south. In 1966 when land was being resumed and purchased for the purpose of national parks, the Land Board proposed that portions of the TSR “be retained and dedicated as a Wildlife Reserve under the control of the Commissioners of the National Parks and Wildlife Reserves at the expiration of the current Annual Licence”. First proclaimed as Ridley National Parks Reserve on 30 May 1968 and re-proclaimed on 27 April 1972 as Ridley Conservation Park.

Habitat: The park covers a transition zone in the natural vegetation just to the south of Goyder’s Line between the mallee open scrub to the south and the semi-arid, low woodland to the north.

The park is covered by two major vegetation formations: 35 per cent comprises an open scrub of red mallee (Eucalyptus oleosa) and yorrell (E. gracilis), including some very large specimens. Also present are stands of murray pine (Callitris columellaris) and associated areas of shrubland dominated by hop bush (Dodonaea attentuata), and cassias (Senna spp.).

The remaining 65 per cent of the park comprises low open woodland of native apricot (Pittosporum angustifolium) and false sandalwood (Myoporum platycarpum). The understorey consists of spear-grass (Austrostipa spp.) and ephemeral herbs; wait-a-while (Acacia colletioides) also occurs in this formation.

A small area near the southern boundary of the park and much of the northern part is almost devoid of trees and can be sub-categorised as open grassland.

More information: DEWNR

Total Species Recorded to Date: 109 (non-passerines 44, passerines 65)

Common Species: Galah, Brown Treecreeper, Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Southern Whiteface, White-winged Chough, Grey Shrikethrush

Less Common Species: Little Eagle, Regent Parrot, White-winged Fairywren, Yellow Tbornbill, Striped Honeyeater