Located 50 kilometres north east of Jerramungup in the Shire of Kent, Lake Magenta is part of a large nature reserve located in the state's
Salinity in this area is a problem and water quality in the lake has progressively declined over the years. As in other areas, farming has removed much of the tree
cover and this had led to a raising of ground-water levels. As the groundwater rises it brings with it salt that has been trapped deeper underground.
When trees covered the wheat-belt, they acted as pumps, removing water from the soil and keeping the salt locked up deeper underground. Now the trees have
been removed increasing salt levels in the soil are posing a severe threat to farmland in the entire south west of the state.
Lake Magenta is located close to Lake Cobham, Lake Lockhart and Lake Morris. Water levels in all the lakes fluctuate depending on rainfall.
The lake and surrounding wetland is an important habitat for birds including malleefowl, western rosellas, fairy wrens, honey eaters and various parrot species.
As the area is seldom visited by people, it remains in a relatively unspoiled condition.
There was initial opposition to the establishment of a nature reserve in this area as it was seen by local pastoralists as a haven for dingoes and foxes. Despite this
the nature reserve was declared in November 1959 with an initial size of 94,170 Ha. This was later increased to 108,000 Ha.
In 1969 the reserve was declared a prohibited area and only those with permits could visit.
More than 300 plant species have been recorded in the reserve and in 1982 a survey found 98 bird species using the area. Later surveys found another 21 species
of birds. 42 reptile species, 10 frog species and 14 native mammal species also live in the reserve. Due to the number of different bird species, the area is classified as an
I.B.A. (Important Bird Area.)
The heath mouse was thought to be extinct (in W.A.) until a population was discovered at Lake magenta. It is, as far as we can ascertain, the only remaining population in W.A.
Ariel baiting to remove feral predators such as cats and foxes has bee carried out since 1996 and as the baiting takes effect, native species
are being re-introduced into the reserve.
NPW Website for more information
Best time to visit: