How to use this survey
Inventory and condition surveys can help people in the pastoral industry to plan for the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of those areas suffering from degradation or at risk of degradation.
The Sandstone – Yalgoo – Paynes Find area survey was undertaken between 1992 and 1993 by AL Payne, AME Van Vreeswyk, HJR Pringle, KA Leighton and P Hennig. This survey was published in 1998 as Technical bulletin 90 An inventory and condition survey of the Sandstone – Yalgoo – Paynes Find area, Western Australia.
The survey report identifies and describes the condition of soils, landforms, vegetation, habitat, ecosystems, and declared plants and animals. It also assesses the impact of pastoralism and makes land management recommendations, 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 2018.
Survey area and inventory summary
The area surveyed covers about 94 700 square kilometres. Three small townships fall within the area, namely Sandstone in the east, Paynes Find in the central south and Yalgoo in the west.
Pastoralism is the most extensive land use in the area. Fifty-four pastoral leases fall wholly, and 12 partly, within the survey area and collectively occupy about 86 460 square kilometres (91% of the area).
There are no major river catchments in the survey area, apart from a very small portion of the Greenough River Catchment in the far north-west. The survey area internally drains into the salt lake systems of Lake Barlee, Lake Noondie, Lake Mason, Lake Moore and Mongers Lake.
There are 12 broad soil groups and the most outstanding characteristics of the soils are the predominant red colour and the widespread presence of a siliceous hardpan. Most soils are sandplains and granitic country, and variable-depth red earths overlying hardpan on level to gently inclined plains.
The flora is diverse, with 719 vascular species recorded, 706 of which are native. Cotton bush (Ptilotus obovatus), curara (Acacia tetragonophylla) and mulga (Acacia aneura) are the ubiquitous perennials in the survey area.
The survey report provides condition statements for the whole survey area and for each land system. Pasture condition and soil condition were assessed at a number of points throughout the survey area. Findings include:
- 45% of the points were in good or very good rangeland condition
- 32% were in fair rangeland condition
- 23% were in poor to very poor rangeland condition.