Tallaringa Conservation Park bio-surveys
Located on the fringe of the Great Victoria Desert, the Tallaringa Conservation Park is a vast wilderness of vegetated dunes and stony outcrops. The park is home to many important wildlife species brilliantly adapted to live in its arid environment.
Working with the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, and NT's Desert Wildlife Service, a team of Traditional Owners surveyed flora and fauna at 12 sites, six in the south-western corner and six in the northern section of the park.
The southern parts of Tallaringa received significant rain during May 2015 that created an abundance of native flowering annual plants and attracted bird species from across the region.
Sites were selected to represent the major habitat types occurring within each study area. Fauna at each site was surveyed for three consecutive nights according to standard South Australian Government survey procedure using Elliott traps, funnel traps, pitfall traps and observational bird census. Incidental observations from the wider area were recorded throughout the survey period. Similarly, flora at each site was surveyed using standard SA Government procedure to allow comparison should the sites be re-surveyed in the future.
Fauna at each site was surveyed for three consecutive nights using various types of traps, with birds and their habitats noted through observation. Approximately 30 species of reptiles, 3 species of small mammals and 70 bird species were recorded.
Seven bird species and at least four reptiles not previously been recorded in Tallaringa were identified. This included the rare Chestnut-breasted Whiteface which is seldom observed and one of only two bird species endemic to South Australia.
Flora was carefully recorded at each site to ensure changes could easily be recognised in future surveys. Although some of the flora specimens are still to be identified, it appears that a number of them had not previously been seen in the park. There are also at least seven species of mulga found co-existing in the park… such diversity in one area like this is very rare..
There were no weeds found in the surveyed areas but future monitoring will be important to ensuring that Buffel grass and other weeds don’t spread into the park.
TO’s who participated in the survey were undertaking a Certificate II course in Conservation and Land Management and were able to use the survey to complete some of the required course work.
For more detailed information please see the report below.