Kings Plains catastrophic floods - please help if you can

Kings Plains is our main management base for four of our Cape York reserves.  Very sadly it has been devastated by the unprecedented flooding following Cyclone Jasper.  The flood was over 3m higher than anything seen there for at least 100 years and the waters rose so fast that our managers had to swim for it in the middle of the night.  Despite their valiant efforts, the damage is extraordinary.  All of our accommodation, 17 rooms, has been flooded and everything needs to be replaced.  Our machinery shed and workshop went way under.  All of our field gear has been lost.  And we very much fear that the bridge on the driveway has gone.  We are in shock and devastated by the losses.  It is going to be 6-9 months of hard work to make Kings Plains fully operational and the costs will be very large for a relatively small organisation.



We really really appreciate every donation we receive and 100% goes to the field.  We have no marketing, public relations, communications or fund raising staff.  Rather we have people out in the bush working incredibly hard in very challenging circumstances to try to do the very best we can for our precious wildlife.


Welcome to South Endeavour Trust

South Endeavour Trust was established in 2007 as an independent, not for profit, charitable trust with the sole purpose of contributing to nature conservation in Australia.


South Endeavour currently owns and manages twenty conservation reserves. To date we have focused on four areas of great conservation need, each of which has extraordinarily diverse biodiversity values. These are: Northeastern New South Wales; the Mulga Lands and ephemeral wetlands of northwestern New South Wales; the endangered rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands; and the intersection of the Wet Tropics and Cape York bioregions in Far North Queensland.


At South Endeavour we believe that private individuals and private sector organisations can make a very major contribution to nature conservation in Australia, both supplementing and complementing the public reserve system. We have great admiration for the committed efforts of the national parks services throughout Australia and for organisations such as Bush Heritage Australia and the Australian Wildlife Conservancy as well as for the myriad of smaller organisations and individuals who are doing so much to care for our precious environment.


We believe that there is no single right model for conservation. Rather, there are many right models that, working together, can make a very real difference to protecting the truly unique flora and fauna of this great and ancient continent.


Our primary objectives are three fold:

1. To make the greatest possible contribution to nature conservation that we can, which often means doing things that others cannot or will not do.  For example, we have recently purchased two small areas of very expensive farming land on the Atherton Tablelands for revegetation to complete an essential wildlife corridor that the local community has been working on for many years. This corridor is vital in providing a range of endemic small mammals the greatest possible chance of survival in the face of climate change.


2. To manage our conservation reserves as well as we practically can.  This means making good management decisions based on sound science and then carrying these decisions through on the ground, to make a real difference. Our major management focuses are: weed control, reducing feral animal numbers and using fire as a tool to maintain appropriate diversity and resilience.


3. To ensure that we build a sufficient capital base such that the annual income from that capital is sufficient to meet our management costs in perpetuity. This means that we are very focused on knowing and controlling our costs and that we have great regard for future management expenses in considering properties for purchase.  As a consequence, we tend to cluster our reserves within specific geographic areas to encourage efficiency in management and that we try to buy properties where the management requirements are known and, preferably, are limited.

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We would very much appreciate your help - fires and floods have made our challenging work even more difficult


The past two years have been incredibly tough for us at South Endeavour as they have been for communities and others so horribly impacted by catastrophic fires and then record floods.


Four of our Reserves, Bezzants Lease, Kewilpa, Myrtle Creek and Crooks Racecourse have been totally burnt in the course of major unstoppable fires.  Three others, Rockview, The Springs and Yantabulla have had large areas burnt but still have large areas of unburnt country.  This has been devastating for us to see, but even worse for our poor wildlife.  More recently the NSW floods totally submerged our Kewilpa and Myrtle Creek reserves as well as thousands of hectares of surrounding land.  Months later and the ground is still too wet to access, but we suspect that any terrestrial wildlife that could not climb has been killed.  We are desperate to get in and conduct surveys to assess just how bad the damage has been and to do what we can to aid recovery.


We are currently doing everything possible to try to secure the safety of the remaining wildlife and to give them the very best possible chance of surviving while the environment around them repairs itself.


Recovery from the fires and floods is both challenging and expensive. We will borrow from the future if we have to in order to protect our Reserves and their wildlife now, but every piece of help you can give us would be hugely appreciated.  


Please DONATE if you can.


Please realise that this will be a long fight.  It will be years before some of these fragile environments, such as the spaghnum bogs at Crooks Racecourse fully recover.  In the meantime the endangered wildlife that they protect, such as the Broad-toothed Rat and the Alpine Sheoak Skink will remain at risk.


We are in this for the long haul and we hope that you will consider coming with us.


DONATIONS are tax deductible and 100% of all monies received will be spent on-ground to help protect our wildlife. 


Spotted-tailed Quoll


It was so wonderful to discover this endangered Spotted-tailed Quoll on our Bezzants Lease Reserve just 5 weeks after a catastrophic fire. Our Quolls are now competing with cats, dogs and foxes for scarce food. Feral animal control has never been more important.



Our Founder - Simon Marais 

Simon Marais

Simon Marais, the Founder of South Endeavour Trust died in February 2015 after a short but valiant battle with a very aggressive cancer.


While best known as a leading investment manager, conservation was Simon's passion and South Endeavour Trust stands as a legacy to this passion.


When it came to conservation Simon didn't want to do everything, he just wanted to make a real difference with the things that we did do. And what a difference.


South Endeavour's portfolio now covers a string of reserves across northern NSW from the coast to the far western desert protecting an incredible array of endangered ecological communities,

actively used habitat for many endangered species and, most recently, some of the most important water bird breeding sites in the state.


In Queensland, we have two major projects. The first has been enhancing rainforest connectivity on the Atherton Tablelands to benefit a diverse range of threatened and endangered species from Cassowaries and Tree Kangaroos to an incredible range of high altitude possums. The second has focused on connectivity between the Wet Tropics and Cape York Peninsula bioregions. Our four reserves in this area protect over 110,000 hectares of spectacularly diverse lands as the rainforest gives way to the great savanna that stretches across northern Australia. These reserves protect a very large number of threatened and endangered species and their habitats.


One of Simon's major concerns as he contemplated his mortality was to ensure that South Endeavour would endure for what he described as "a thousand years". We had many discussions as to his wishes for the future in the grim months before his death and we have put in place funding arrangements to ensure that South Endeavour will endure in perpetuity.


Simon's leaving us has left a void that can never be filled, but we are determined to build on what Simon has created and make a real difference to conservation in Australia.