Rangeland inventory and condition survey in the Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia

Page last updated: Thursday, 1 November 2018 - 2:19pm

We surveyed rangelands in the Carnarvon Basin between 1980 and 1982. The survey describes and maps the natural resources of the region’s pastoral leasehold land. This survey provides land managers, advisers and administrators with a baseline record of the area’s natural resources, to assist with planning and land management.

How to use this survey

This survey can help pastoral industry managers to plan and manage for sustainable use of pastoral natural resources, and protect degraded areas or areas at risk of degradation.

This survey:

  • identifies and describes the condition of soils, landforms, vegetation, habitat, ecosystems, and declared plants and animals
  • assesses the impact of pastoralism
  • recommends land management, including recommended carrying capacities, for each pastoral lease.

The department has surveyed and reported on 14 rangeland areas since 1972. Most of Western Australia’s rangeland pastoral leases have been surveyed, except for pastoral leases in the Southern Goldfields region and to the north-east of Wiluna–Meekatharra. The 15th rangeland survey – in the Southern Goldfields region, covering the area known as the Great Western Woodlands – is in progress and will be published in 2019.

Survey area and inventory summary

This survey covers about 74 500 square kilometres in the Carnarvon Basin and Shark Bay regions, and includes the catchments of the Lyndon and Minilya rivers and the lower reaches of the Gascoyne and Wooramel rivers. A Payne, P Curry and G Spencer surveyed the area between 1980 and 1982 and published the results as Technical bulletin 73 'An inventory and condition survey of rangelands in the Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia'.

Vegetation of the Carnarvon Basin area is dominated mainly by perennial shrubs. A small number of botanical families contain a large proportion of the dominant perennials in the area. The genera Acacia, Eremophila and Cassia are pre-eminent in the taller shrub communities; the genera Atriplex and Maireana dominate in the low chenopod shrublands; the genus Eucalyptus dominates in the low woodlands; and the genera Triodia and Plectrachne dominate in the hummock grasslands.

Condition summary

The survey report provides condition statements for the whole survey area and for each land system. Pasture and soil condition was assessed at almost 11 000 points throughout the survey area. Findings include:

  • 45% of these points were in good rangeland condition
  • 32% were in fair rangeland condition
  • 23% were in poor rangeland condition.

Contact information

Matthew Fletcher
+61 (0)8 9166 4019