Mid-north agricultural districts - community action planning

The mid-north agricultural districts conservation action plan project addresses critical conservation issues across an area of approximately 2.1 million hectares from the Light River and northern Yorke Peninsula in the south to near the townships of Port Pirie and Booleroo in the north.

Regional landforms across the area are diverse, ranging from the low lying saline wetlands near Snowtown and Whitwarta, to the plains around Owen, to the distinct north-south ranges from Gawler to Orroroo. The region includes around 280 kilometres of predominantly low energy coastline, including the upper St. Vincent Gulf and part of the east coast of the Spencer Gulf.

Native vegetation

The coastal strip of the mid-north agricultural districts is dominated by large areas of samphire and chenopod vegetation, with mangroves (Avicennia marina) occurring in sheltered inter-tidal areas. Throughout these areas along the coast there are low dunes and cliffs dominated by shrubs, such as coastal daisy-bush (Olearia axillaris) and wattles (Acacia ligulata, A. cupularis).

River red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) woodlands occur along the majority of rivers and creeks in the region. Other common wetland vegetation includes lignum (Muehlenbeckia florulenta), Broughton willow (Acacia salicina) and common reed (Phragmites australis). On terminal saline lake systems, salt-tolerant species such as samphire and nitre bush (Nitraria billardierei) occur.

Mallee is the common vegetation type in the semi-arid areas in the east and west of the region. Typical over-storey tree species include yorrell (Eucalyptus gracilis), gilja (E. brachycalyx), red mallee (E. oleosa) and beaked red mallee (E. socialis). In the far east of the region, mallee vegetation is interspersed with arid communities dominated by bluebush (Maireana sedifolia, M. pyramidata) and black oak (Casuarina pauper).

Temperate grassy woodlands and grasslands occur on higher rainfall ranges and valleys in east of the region. Common grassy woodlands include drooping sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillata), blue gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon) and the nationally endangered peppermint box (E. odorata) grassy woodlands. In other higher rainfall areas, woodlands with a more shrub dominated understorey occur. Common temperate grasslands include spear-grass (Austrostipa spp.), wallaby grass (Austrodanthonia spp.) and the nationally endangered Iron-grass (Lomandra spp.) grasslands.

Database records show 133 native plant species of conservation significance within the project area. Of these, 26 of these are listed as nationally threatened and 107 are considered rare, vulnerable or endangered at state level.

Species of note include:

  • a number of threatened orchid species
  • two threatened wattle species
  • two threatened hop-bush species
  • silver daisy-bush (threatened)
  • bead samphire (threatened)
  • spiny everlasting (critically endangered)
  • spalding blown-grass (endangered).

Significant animals in the project area

Database records show 108 native animal species of conservation significance within the project area. Of these, 21 are listed as nationally threatened and 87 are considered rare, vulnerable or endangered at state level.

Species of note include:

  • pygmy blue-tongue lizard (endangered at national level)
  • plains-wanderer (vulnerable at national level)
  • Flinders worm-lizard (vulnerable at national level)
  • diamond firetail (threatened at state level)
  • fairy tern (threatened at state level)
  • hooded plover (threatened at state level).

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