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A BIOLOGICAL SURVEY OF THE

EYRE PENINSULA SOUTH AUSTRALIA

R Brandle

Science Resource Centre

Information, Science and Technology Directorate Department for Environment and Heritage

South Australia 2010

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Eyre Peninsula Biological Survey

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The Biological Survey of the Eyre Peninsula was an initiative of the Biological Survey and Monitoring Section for the South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage

The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of the State Government of South Australia.

The report may be cited as:

Brandle, R. (2010). A Biological Survey of the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia. (Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australia).

Limited hard copies of the report were prepared, but it can also be accessed from the Internet on:

http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/biodiversity/biosurveys

EDITOR

R. Brandle – Science Resource Centre, Information Science & Technology, Department for Environment and Heritage. PO Box 1047 Adelaide 5001

AUTHORS

R. Brandle, P. Lang, P. Canty, D. Armstrong – Science Resource Centre, Information Science & Technology, Department for Environment and Heritage. PO Box 1047 Adelaide 5001

G. Carpenter – Native Vegetation & Biodiversity Management Unit, Department of Water, Land &

Biodiversity, GPO Box 2834.

J. Cooper - PO Box 128, Port Lincoln SA.

© Department for Environment and Heritage 2010 ISBN: 978-1-921466-42-7

Cover Photograph:

A southern Eyre Peninsula view north from the Marble Range to South Block range.

Photo: R Brandle

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Eyre Peninsula Biological Survey

Abstract

Specific objectives of the Biological Survey of the Eyre Peninsula Biogeographic Region were to collate the existing flora and fauna information and systematically sample the diversity of habitats present in the region for vertebrates.

The fauna survey conducted across the region from 2001-2005 is the focus of this report, but it builds on a number of previous smaller regional surveys. Plant data from the 1696 visits to survey sites were collated from 22 separate surveys conducted between 1978 and 2008. Fauna data was used from a subset of 283 survey sites which were collated from six surveys conducted between 1990 and 2008.

Survey sites across the Eyre Peninsula Study Area have sampled native vegetation communities in all environmental associations (Laut et al. 1977). The sampling effort within different landform types reflects the dominance of those types within the study area. Plains and dunes were dominant, most commonly with calcareous surface rock or strew and sandy soils. Fire history was known for 13% of sites.

At least 1167 plant taxa from 85 Families were detected at the 1696 survey sites within the study area, of which 969 were indigenous natives. Plant species richness at sites ranged from 1 to 96 with hill landform types having the highest site species richness and tidal flats the lowest. Sandy soils were significantly less species rich than clay or loam soils. The most species rich floristic communities were woodland groups associated with moister more fertile hill environments. The surveys added an extra 17 new rated species to the SA Herbarium collection and 194 plant taxa have current Commonwealth or South Australian legislated conservation ratings. The surveys also recorded 198 introduced taxa with one or more present at 74% of the sites.

Cluster analyses were used to define 95 floristic community groups which were broadly defined under 36 vegetation alliances including: coastal shrublands, mangrove forests, samphire low shrublands, grasslands, hummock grasslands, sedgelands, shrublands, mallee woodlands and true woodlands dominated by Eucalypts, Sheoaks or Native Pines. A number of floristic groups had limited representation in the study area of which 12 were considered to require some follow up assessment of status and potential conservation requirements.

Vertebrate fauna information was collected for birds, mammals, reptiles, and to a lesser extent frogs. The specimen collection at the South Australian Museum confirms that 27 species of native mammal were known to occur on Eyre Peninsula since the arrival of Europeans. An extra 16 species have become extinct in the region over the last 5000 years with many likely to have disappeared since European settlement. The surveys detected 23 native mammal species at sample sites. This included one from jaw bones that was thought to be extinct, and two resulting from deliberate introductions. The survey also resulted in the addition of a new species to the State’s known mammal fauna. Three mammal species had South Australian Threatened species ratings of which two were also rated nationally. Of the six introduced mammal species that are widespread across the region, four have been have been listed nationally as threatening processes.

The study area supports a high diversity of terrestrial bird species which reflects the variety of vegetation types and climatic zones in the region. Of the 171 species known to inhabit the study area, 150 were recorded at the 273 survey sites sampled for birds. The most species rich families were the raptors, parrots/cockatoos and honeyeaters.

Only four species were recorded at more than 50% of sites. The study area supports eight species that are listed as threatened under the Commonwealth EPBC Act and an extra 27 as threatened or rare under the SA NPW Act. For three EPBC listed species the study area represents a significant proportion of the species’ distributions. Habitat analyses showed that Red Gum, Mallee Box, Eyre Peninsula Blue Gum and Sugar Gum woodlands supported the highest numbers of species per site whilst chenopod low shrublands the lowest. The survey also provides further evidence of the importance of Sugar Gum woodland as a unique bird habitat in SA.

The specimen collection at the South Australian Museum confirms that three frog and 84 reptile species were known to occur on Eyre Peninsula since the arrival of Europeans. The survey detected three frog and 83 reptile species at survey sites. The Skinks were the most species rich of the nine families of reptiles represented by the species detected at sites. Only four species were detected at more than a quarter of the sites reflecting the diversity of habitat types and climatic range across the study area. No reptile or frog species occurring in the study area was rated as nationally threatened. Of the seven reptile species with a South Australian conservation rating only one was listed as threatened, the remainder being classed as rare. Five species were near endemic to the study area and 14 were identified as having populations that were significantly isolated from other regions. These species should be monitored to detect distributional declines before they become rare or vulnerable to extinction.

The diversity of landforms and climatic range across the Eyre Peninsula biogeographic region provides for a diversity of plants and animals that make up the vegetation communities still represented in the region. Vegetation clearance and degradation has affected many of these, making conservation action critical for the continued survival of many species and communities. The surveys have been important in providing an overview of the distribution and habitat requirements for many species and provide a baseline for long term comparisons.

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Contents

Abstract ...iii

Contents ... iv

Figures ... vi

Tables ...viii

Appendices ... x

Acknowledgements ... xi

INTRODUCTION... 1

Background and Aims... 2

THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT ... 3

INTRODUCTION... 3

METHODS... 3

RESULTS... 5

Biogeographic Subregions and Environmental Associations ... 5

Landform ... 8

Slope and Aspect... 9

Rock outcrop... 9

Surface strew ... 10

Soil ... 10

Estimated cover of Bare Earth and Litter ... 11

Fire History ... 12

DISCUSSION... 14

VEGETATION ... 23

INTRODUCTION... 23

The study area... 23

Previous studies ... 23

Objectives ... 24

METHODS... 25

Site Selection and Nomenclature ... 25

Data collection... 26

Data storage and analysis ... 26

RESULTS... 27

Taxonomic Summary... 27

Taxonomic Issues... 27

Species Frequency ... 28

Species Richness ... 28

Significant Species (conservation rated, endemic,) ... 31

Introduced Plants... 33

Vegetation Community Descriptions ... 35

DISCUSSION... 44

MAMMALS... 45

INTRODUCTION...45

The study area... 45

Previous studies ... 45

Objectives ... 45

METHODS...48

Site Selection and Nomenclature ... 48

Data collection... 48

Data storage and analysis ... 49

RESULTS... 50

Taxonomic Summary... 50

Common Species ... 50

Species Richness ... 52

Species Habitat Affinities... 54

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Significant Species ... 55

Introduced Mammals ... 56

Biogeography... 57

DISCUSSION... 58

BIRDS ... 61

INTRODUCTION... 61

METHODS... 61

Survey Coverage ... 61

Data collection... 61

RESULTS... 62

Total Birds ... 62

Common Species ... 62

Species Richness ... 62

Significant Species ... 62

Habitats ... 66

DISCUSSION... 71

REPTILES & FROGS... 73

INTRODUCTION... 73

The study area... 73

Previous studies ... 73

Objectives ... 73

METHODS... 76

Site Selection and Nomenclature ... 76

Data collection... 76

Data storage and analysis ... 76

RESULTS... 78

Taxonomic Summary... 78

Common Species ... 78

Species Richness ... 81

Species Habitat Affinities. ... 82

Significant Species ... 84

Biogeography... 87

DISCUSSION... 91

SUMMARY ... 93

REFERENCES... 97

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Figures

Figure 1. Map of study area showing the location of 1696 survey sites from the 22 surveys mentioned in the

text...2

Figure 2. The Eyre Peninsula biogeographic region and subregions that comprise the study area. ...3

Figure 3. Eyre Peninsula study area showing the locations of the 55 Environmental Associations it contains (after Laut et al. 1977)...7

Figure 4. Site frequency in Landform Pattern categories within the Eyre Peninsula Study area. ...8

Figure 5. Site frequency in Landform Element categories within the Eyre Peninsula Study area. ...8

Figure 6. Frequency histogram for bare earth cover estimates for 1500 site visits. ...11

Figure 7. Frequency histogram for litter cover estimates for 1495 site visits...11

Figure 8. Map of the study area with survey sites and fire history...12

Figure 9. Frequency histogram (in 10 year categories) of years since the last fire ...13

Figure 11. Remnant vegetation (shaded area) covers 39% the Eyre Peninsula biogeographic region (Dark grey lines). Three biogeographic subregions are also shown (refer to Physical Environment chapter for details). ...24

Figure 12. Study area with survey sites: black circles = 7 Gawler sites, white squares = 39 Kulliparu CP sites, black triangles = 7 Lake Newland CP sites, white circles = 7 Temperate Grassland sites, X = 9 Venus Bay CP and Bettong Monitoring sites, + = 33 Lincoln NP sites ...25

Figure 13. Study area with survey sites: black circles = 28 Tidal Salt Marsh sites, white squares = 10 Shirrocoe Mgt Plan sites, black triangles = 5 Pureba sites, X = 13 Koonibba sites, + = 12 Venus Bay CP CR and Environs sites, white stars = Brush Cutting Monitoring sites. ...25

Figure 14. Study area with survey sites: black circles = 234 Coastal Dune and Clifftop sites, white squares = 94 Eyre Peninsula (DEP1977) sites, black triangles = 1 Gawler Craton site, X = 11 Yellabinna RR sites, + = 31 Hincks & Hambidge CP sites...25

Figure 15. Study area with survey sites: black circles = 249 North Eastern EP, white squares = 291 North Western EP sites, + = 307 Southern EP sites. ...25

Figure 16. Study area with survey sites: white squares = 240 EP Fauna sites, + = 52 Crown Land Assessment sites...25

Figure 17 Average plant species richness for quadrats and the number sampled within each survey. Coloured bars relate to surveys with different sampling areas as indicated in the text. Error bars indicate 95% confidence intervals...29

Figure 18. Plant species richness by biogeographic subregion blocks. Error bars indicate 95% confidence intervals. ...29

Figure 19. Average plant species richness by landform. Error bars indicate 95% confidence intervals (only landforms with 5 or more sites presented)...30

Figure 20. Average plant species richness by broad surface soil type. Error bars indicate 95% confidence intervals (only landforms with 5 or more sites presented)...30

Figure 21. Dendrogram from Hierarchical Cluster Analysis using PC-ORD...35

Figure 22. Leucophyta brownii low shrubland highlighted in pale blue. ...43

Figure 23. Remnant vegetation (shaded area) covers 39% of the Eyre Peninsula biogeographic region. The distribution of survey sites within the Environmental Associations that make up the biogeographic regions of the study area are plotted by survey name (refer to Physical Environment chapter for details). The 3 and 2 letter camp-codes relate to Table 17. ...47

Figure 24. Native mammal species frequency histogram for Eyre Peninsula survey sites with some mammal species data (n=284). ...52

Figure 25. Non-native mammal species frequency histogram for Eyre Peninsula survey sites with some mammal species data (n=284). ...53

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Figure 26. Bat species frequency histogram from capture data for Eyre Peninsula survey sites (n=37)...53 Figure 27. Bat species frequency histogram from echolocation call recorded data for Eyre Peninsula survey sites

(n=93). ...53 Figure 28. Mean native mammal species richness by structural vegetation types. Error bars indicate 95%

confidence intervals...54 Figure 29. Mean native small mammal species richness by structural vegetation types. Error bars indicate 95%

confidence intervals...54 Figure 30. Mean non-native mammal species richness at sites by structural vegetation types. Error bars indicate

95% confidence intervals...54 Figure 31. Reptile species frequency histogram...81 Figure 32. Reptile average site species richness by landform type. Error bars indicate 95% confidence intervals...81 Figure 33. Reptile average site species richness by surface soil texture type. Error bars indicate 95% confidence

intervals. ...81 Figure 34. Reptile average site species richness by vegetation structure type. Error bars indicate 95% confidence

intervals. ...81 Figure 35. Reptile average site species richness by time since fire. Error bars indicate 95% confidence intervals. ...81

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Tables

Table 1. Surveys conducted in the Eyre Peninsula study area and the number of sites per year in which they were sampled. NB. # sites may be lower than the sum of sites sampled per year for a survey where sites were re-sampled in subsequent years. (BS# = a unique Survey number relating to the Biological Databases of

South Australia BDBSA). ...4

Table 2. Eyre Mallee biogeographic subregion - summary of remnant vegetation within each environmental association and the number of flora and fauna sites sampled in each (2009). ...5

Table 3. Eyre Hills biogeographic subregion - summary of remnant vegetation within each environmental association and the number of flora and fauna sites sampled in each (2009). ...6

Table 4. Talia biogeographic subregion - summary of remnant vegetation within each environmental association and the number of flora and fauna sites sampled in each (2009)...7

Table 5. Site frequency for slope and aspect. Percentages for aspect class are for each slope class excepting the slope class totals which are a percentage of the 1550 sites with data. ...9

Table 6. Site frequencies for rock outcrop type and cover categories. ...9

Table 7. Site frequencies for surface strew size and cover categories...10

Table 8. Site frequencies for surface soil textures...10

Table 9. Vegetation mapping group summary ...23

Table 10. Plant species within the database that have unresolvable taxonomic issues...27

Table 11. Summary of the number of conservation rated species at National and State levels contained in the collection of the South Australian Herbarium. ...31

Table 12. Summary of the number of conservation rated species at National and State levels by the Eyre Peninsula biogeographic region and subregions. ...31

Table 13. List of taxa recorded at survey sites that are restricted to the Eyre biogeographic region within South Australia. Total and within subregion block site frequency are presented. Species marked with an asterisk (*) indicate species has also been recorded in adjacent biogeographic regions but the EPBR is likely to support the bulk of the species’ distribution (SA Herbarium database). ...32

Table 14. Introduced plant species, the number of sites at which they occurred and the average cover abundance class estimates. Only species with a maximum cover of >25% at at least one site are presented in decreasing maximum cover value order. ...33

Table 15. This table highlights the level of non-native plant species at sites in a geographic context. For each Environmental Association (Laut et al. 1977) within biogeographic subregions the proportion of sites that support introduced plant species and average number of those species at affected sites is shown. For a map of the location of Environmental Associations refer to Figure 3, p. 7. ...34

Table 16. Numbers of specimens held in the mammal collection of the South Australian Museum for the Eyre Peninsula biogeographic region and summarised by the decade of their collection...46

Table 17. Vertebrate survey site clusters sampled for the six separate surveys analysed for this report. Refer to Figure 23 for locations...48

Table 18. Site frequency of mammal species recorded for each survey (records from repeat visits to sites not included)...51

Table 19. Bat records from echolocation call recordings from 71 sites where recordings were collected and captures from 27 sites where trapping took place...52

Table 20. Number of sites at which selected mammal species were recorded within each sub-region block, Pearson’s chi-square value and the exact p value modelled for the datasets using 1000 iterations (Statexact 4). Values in bold indicate observed frequencies that were higher than expected values for a random distribution. ...58

Table 21. Common birds of Eyre Peninsula...62

Table 22. Rare and threatened bird species of Eyre Peninsula. ...62

Table 23. Use of vegetation types by birds in the Eyre Peninsula survey area. ...66

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Table 24. Numbers of specimens held in the herpetology collection of the South Australian Museum for the Eyre Peninsula biogeographic region and summarised by the decade of their collection. Data for 2001-2009 has been shaded grey as the numbers are not representative of the whole collection for the last decade and don’t include many of the 997 records from the Eyre Peninsula Fauna Survey. ...74 Table 25. Reptile species present at more than 10% of 304 survey sites in decreasing site frequency order. Also

displayed are the number of records at all sites and the % recording rate (# sp. records/total # records for all spp.)...78 Table 26. Site frequency of reptile and frog species recorded for each survey. The numbers in brackets indicate the

number of individuals recorded. Records from repeat visits to sites were not included. ...79 Table 27. Reptile Family species richness at site summary. ...81 Table 28. Species site frequencies for landform unit categories that differed significantly from an expected random

distribution using Chi-square. Values marked with bold indicate greater than expected frequencies...82 Table 29. Species site frequencies for surface strew categories that differed significantly from an expected random

distribution using Chi-square. Values marked with bold indicate greater than expected frequencies...82 Table 30. Species site frequencies for rock outcrop categories that differed significantly from an expected random

distribution using Chi-square. Values marked with bold indicate greater than expected frequencies...83 Table 31. Species site frequencies for surface soil categories that differed significantly from an expected random

distribution using Chi-square. Values marked with bold indicate greater than expected frequencies...83 Table 32. Species site frequencies for structural vegetation categories that differed significantly from an expected

random distribution using Chi-square. Values marked with bold indicate greater than expected

frequencies. ...83 Table 33. Reptile species for which the study area represents a significant distributional boundary. Distributional

affinities indicate where the rest of a species distribution lies (E=east and W=west with N and S

indicating weather a species is restricted to the north or the south in those other areas). Endemic indicates the species has a distribution restricted to the study area and adjacent biogeographic regions. Isolated indicates that whilst the species has a wider distribution the populations on Eyre Peninsula are isolated from other regions. The letter D in the species column indicates a true arid adapted species...87 Table 34. Reptiles species significantly associated with particular biogeographic sub-regions. Number indicate site

frequency in each sub-region block. Pearson’s chi-square value and the exact p value modelled for the datasets using 1000 iterations (Statexact 4). Values in bold indicate observed frequencies that were

higher than expected values for a random distribution...90

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Appendices

APPENDIX 1. Site Frequencies for Landform Pattern and Landform Element ...103

APPENDIX 2.Summary of the number of plant taxa in taxonomic Family order that were recorded at survey sites in the study area...111

APPENDIX 3. Plant taxa list from survey sites by Family with site frequency, in alphabetic species order. ...113

APPENDIX 4. Taxa requiring specific alteration to taxonomy and/or site data prior to analyses ...131

APPENDIX 5. Plant species within the Eyre Peninsula Biogeographic Region with National and South Australian conservation ratings...132

APPENDIX 6. Plant taxa with regional conservation ratings for Eyre Peninsula that were recorded at survey sites....135

APPENDIX 7. Non-native plant taxa that were recorded at survey sites with site frequency data for each of the three biogeographic subregions (IBRA V6.1) comprising the study area. ...140

APPENDIX 8. Detailed Floristic Group Descriptions ...143

APPENDIX 9. Trapping Effort at survey sites for each visit...311

APPENDIX 10. Mammal site frequency within landform pattern categories...309

APPENDIX 11. Mammal site frequency within land unit categories ...310

APPENDIX 12. Mammal site frequency within Surface Strew Size categories ...311

APPENDIX 13. Mammal site frequency within Surface Strew Cover categories ...312

APPENDIX 14. Mammal site frequency within Slope classes ...313

APPENDIX 15. Mammal site frequency within Surface Soil Texture categories ...314

APPENDIX 16. Mammal site frequency within Structural Vegetation categories ...315

APPENDIX 17. Bird species recorded on Eyre Peninsula currently held electronically in the Biological Databases of South Australia...317

APPENDIX 18. Reptile species records from all electronically data-based sources within the Eyre Peninsula Block of the Eyre and Yorke Biogeographic Region...321

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Eyre Peninsula Biological Survey

Acknowledgements

Funding sources:

The South Australian Government provided the majority of the funding required to coordinate and carry out the Fauna component of the Eyre Peninsula survey as well as data entry, management, analysis and report writing. A significant part of the vegetation survey and mapping were externally funded. Key external funding sources were: the National Estate Grants Program; and the National Forest Inventory (NFI), Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS). Key external people that helped with the NFI funding were Claire Howell (BRS) and Roger Pfitzner (Forestry SA).

Access to land:

For the major vegetation surveys the majority of sites were on non-government owned land. The cooperation of all these private and company landholders in providing access and relevant information is greatly appreciated and gratefully acknowledged. Access to these areas was critical for gaining a comprehensive dataset and understanding of the flora in the region. Whilst for the fauna survey many of the sites were selected to sample within SA Government reserves managed by DEH and SA Water, a significant proportion were also on privately owned land. The cooperation of the following landholders, in allowing us continuous access over five day periods and the establishment of

permanently marked photo-points, was much appreciated: Agars BW & KS, Agars HS, Agars PG & WJ, Allens Z, Andersons M S, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Baillie D S & B D, Bascomb K, Beelitz KE & CA, Berryman K, Blumson S, Brace M, Brown PG, Cash D, Cash J, Chilba Pastoral Co., Ciccone P & Martin KJ, Corcoran M, Curtis B N & L K, District Council of Cleve, District Council of Elliston, District Council of Le Hunte, Fitzpatrick RD, AR & A, Freeman J, French JB & MJ, Gill B, Gillett KC, Gosling TD, Habberman W, Handtke CJ & EM, Harris CD, Haskett P D & C I, Jansen W & S, Kelsh I, Kenny K, Leiblich SJ, Macdonald KD & WG, McCarthy KD, McCracken SJ, Millard D, Mitchell WR, Morgan I, Mullins R, Murphy JS, Newton L & J, Nielsen RO, Nunan RA & Porter CJ , Oakfront Pastoral Co., Oats WE & LC, O'Brian M & M, Pedler DR, Penna IJ, Peter S, Piltra Holdings, Pine Vale Pastoral Co., Polkinghorne BW & JA, Puckeridge T & M, Richardson H & R, Richter PJ & Welbourn CE, Ryan LL, Scholz WW, Scott DA & ME, Sheppardson A & E, Shlinke RS, District Council of Streaky Bay, Taylor B, Taylor R, Telfer G K &

D H, Tucknott SI, Turnbull M D, Williams K.

Survey team accommodation:

Special thanks also to those landholders who accommodated survey teams on their properties: Frank Shaeffer, Sue Grund, Malcolm Peters, Robert Norris, Bruce & Karen Agars, Janine Bascomb, Phil Wake, Des & Lorraine Fauser, Bill Norsworthy, Ian Sluiter (Nyroca Scout Camp), Kim Williams & Jo Kelsh, Craig Welbourn & Pia Richter, Rob & Jillian Oats, Leon & Debbie Kloock, Roger Mullins, Peter & Deane Schlink, Craig Nixon & Joe Stellman (DEH),

Survey field staff and volunteers for the fauna surveys:

Andrew Freeman, Andrew Graham, Ann Stefanovic, Anthony Hay, Brian Blaylock, Cath Kemper, Dave Cunningham, David Armstrong, David Hirst, David Stemmer, David Thompson, Deb Hopton, Elijah Bravington, Ellen Roberts, Emma Kinnane, Emma Stephens, Gavin Kluske, Graham Carpenter, Hafiz Stewart, Harald Ehmann, Helen Owens, James Thiessen, Jan Forrest, Jane Cooper, Jarrod Eaton, Jeff Turpin, John Macdonald, Julie Schofield, Kate Lloyd, Keith Bellchambers, Kirrily Blaylock, Kirstin Long, Kris Murray, Lynn Pedler, Mark Hutchinson, Matt McDowell, Melanie Spurling, Nerissa Haby, Nick Neagle, Peter Canty, Peter Langdon, Peter Mahoney, Peter Needle, Philippa Schmucker, Queale, Randall Johnston, Renate Weisner, Sarah Pennington, Stuart Pillman, Stuart Southcombe, Tim Groves, Tonja Wright, Tony Robinson, Trevor Cox, Sue Kenny, Kate Graham, Sue Graham, Chris Hall, Alison Wright, Felicity Smith, Steve Milne, Leah Kemp, Karl Hillyard, Thomas M (apologies to any one involved who missed a mention – your assistance is appreciated). Special thanks to Peter Canty and Peter Lang who surveyed all vertebrate sites for vegetation in the central, far west and southern parts of the study area from 2003-2005, and also to Lee Heard, Nerissa Haby, Peter Lang and Tom Brandle for assistance with reconnaissance surveys.

Survey field staff and volunteers for the vegetation surveys (1995, 1998, 1999):

Kate Graham, Sue Kenny & Lee Heard (Survey coordinators). Sue Bellette, Annie Bond, Maureen Boyle, Gavin Burgess, Sandy Carruthers, Lee Davidson, Rosemary Ferguson, Doug Fotheringham, Christine Gabrovsek, Vicki Hagan, Belinda Hille, Liz Josephs, Lynne Kajar, Sandy Kinnear, Peter Lang, Louise Malcolm, Denzel Murfet, Nick Neagle, Alison Opperman, Karen Parry, Ron Sandercock, Tamara Scholtz, Meryl Sherrah, Felicity Smith, Karan Smith, Kathleen Smith, Rosemary Taplin, Ron Taylor, Kristine Trengove, Di Wallace-Ward, Lee Webb, David Whiterod, Greg Wilkins, Greg Wise.

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Department for Environment staff and other individuals who assisted the project with advice and in person:

Thanks also to regional DEH staff who assisted with the survey preparation, in particular Dave Armstrong for organising blasting of pits in calcrete and making himself available for a number of surveys, Leigh Amey, Sheridan Martin, Tom Gerschwitz, Anthony Freebairn, Joe Dufek, Katrina Pobke, Amy Ide, Brett Dalzell and Joe Tilley. Thanks also to people outside of DEH, Di Ancell, Hazel O’Connor, Simon Bey and Merrick Savage provided valuable local knowledge, advice and support for the major vegetation surveys.

Key people that assisted with specimen collection support and determinations:

Plants: SA Herbarium staff and honouraries - Rosemary Taplin, Denzel Murfet, Peter Lang, Andrea Ramsay, Helen Vonow, Graham Bell, Martin O’Leary, Dean Cunningham, Bob Chinnock, David Symon, Helmut Toelken, John Jessop, Bill Barker, Robin Barker, Helen Smyth.

Vertebrate fauna: SA Museum staff – Dr Mark Hutchinson, Dr Cath Kemper, David Stemmer, Carolyn Kovac, Philippa Horton.

Anabat determinations: - Terry Reardon, Dennis Matthews.

Hair analysis: - Nerissa Haby, Ellen Krahnert

Invertebrates: - Queale, Jan Forrest, Archie McArthur, David Hirst.

Data entry and validation:

Emma Kinnane, Ellen Krahnert, Emma Stevens, James Thiessen, Merrine Thomas, Tonja Wright, Lynne Kajar

Report editing and proof reading:

Jeff Foulkes, Kirrily Blaylock and Brian Blaylock.

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Eyre Peninsula Biological Survey

INTRODUCTION

Brandle R1

1 Science Resource Centre, Department for Environment and Heritage, GPO Box 1047, Adelaide SA 5001.

Background and Aims

The Biological Survey of South Australia is a program of systematic surveys conducted across the state to provide a broad baseline inventory of the state’s flora and fauna. It was established under the auspices of the Biological Survey Coordinating Committee, an interdepartmental group comprising representatives from the SA Museum, Environment and Heritage, SA Research and Development Institute, and Primary Industries and Resources SA (Foulkes and Gillen 2000). The aim of these surveys is to systematically and consistently sample a representative range of the ecological habitats found in South Australia (Brandle 2001). The information is collected to assist with long- term natural resource management and the conservation of the state’s biological diversity.

This project was funded by the Department for Environment and Heritage to complete the baseline dataset for the agricultural regions of South Australia.

Specific objectives of the Biological Survey of the Eyre Peninsula Biogeographic Region (EPBR), as defined in the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia (IBRA V6.1, Thackway and Cresswell 1995), were:

• To observe, collect and identify species of plants and vertebrate fauna present in the area by sampling sites selected to represent the diversity of habitats present in the region. The flora and fauna survey conducted across the EPBR from 2001- 2005 is the focus of this report, but it builds on a number of previous smaller regional surveys.

Information from these surveys is included in this report

• To provide the South Australian Plant Biodiversity Centre and South Australian Museum with collections representative of the diversity of plants, vertebrates and invertebrates in the region.

• To document and classify the patterns of species and communities across the region .

• To establish ecological relationships between the vegetation, vertebrate fauna and the physical environment across the EPBR.

• To evaluate the conservation status of species and communities within the EPBR, as a basis for conservation strategies.

• To establish a long-term monitoring system and associated database to enable subsequent evaluation of broad-scale environmental change.

Biological Surveys Included in This Report Data from 22 surveys have been used in this report (Figure 1). Field data for all of these surveys has been extracted from the Department for Environment and Heritage’s Survey and Opportune databases (Environmental DataBase of South Australia EDBSA).

The 22 surveys were:

• EYRE PENINSULA (1978-80) Department for Environment and Planning. North-western Eyre Peninsula. Vegetation only.

• LINCOLN NATIONAL PARK (1983) Department for Environment and Planning. Resource assessment for Lincoln National Park. Vegetation and fauna, however only vegetation data has been stored on the database. (NPWS 1989).

• KULLIPARU CONSERVATION PARK (1990) Nature Conservation Society of SA. Kulliparu CP and adjacent pastoral land and Heritage Agreements. Vegetation and Fauna. (Brandle 2000).

• LAKE NEWLAND CONSERVATION PARK

(1991) Scientific Expedition Group. Lake Newland CP. Vegetation and fauna.

• TEMPERATE GRASSLANDS (1991) World Wildlife Fund grant. Focussed on temperate grassland communities in SA. Vegetation only.

(Hyde 1995)

• VENUS BAY C P & BETTONG (1992-96).

National Parks and Wildlife SA. Venus Bay CP.

Vegetation and fauna. (Copley et al. 1999)

• BRUSH CUTTING MONITORING (1993)

Department for Environment & Heritage. Areas of SA where commercial cutting of Melaleuca uncinata is permitted. (Neagle 1994).

• SOUTHERN EYRE PENINSULA (1995, 99, 03) Department of Housing and Urban Development.

South of 34o latitude on EP. Vegetation only (some vertebrate surveys in the south).

• COASTAL DUNE & CLIFFTOP (1995-97). Coast Protection Branch Dept Environment & Heritage - dune and clifftop communities along the entire coast of mainland SA. Vegetation only.

(Oppermann 1999)

• TIDAL & SALT MARSH COMMUNITIES (1995- 98). Coast Protection Branch Dept Environment

& Heritage. Mangrove and coastal saltmarsh communities in SA. Vegetation only.

(Fotheringham 2000)

• NORTH EASTERN EYRE PENINSULA (1998) Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Covers an area extending east from Pinkawillinie Conservation Park to just south of Iron Knob, then south to below Arno Bay on the coast and west to Hincks Conservation Park. Vegetation only.

• NORTH WESTERN EYRE PENINSULA (1999) Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Covers an area from Streaky Bay in the north west, across to Pinkawilline CP in north east, south to just west of Hincks CP in the south east and west to the coast near Lake Hamilton in the south west. Vegetation only.

• VENUS BAY CP, CR AND ENVIRONS (1999) Planning SA. Venus Bay Conservation Reserve and adjacent areas. Vegetation only.

• PUREBA (1999) Dept. for Environment &

Heritage supported by Mines and Energy. Pureba Conservation Park and Nunnyah Conservation Reserve. Vegetation only.

• CROWN LAND ASSESSMENT (1999, 2005) Coast Protection Branch, Dept. for Environment

& Heritage. Coastal areas from Streaky Bay to Baird Bay. Vegetation only.

• KOONIBBA (2001) Aboriginal Lands Trust.

Koonibba aboriginal land. Vegetation only.

(Landless 2001)

• HINCKS & HAMBIDGE CP (2001) Planning SA.

Hincks and Hambidge Conservation Parks.

Vegetation only.

• EYRE PENINSULA FAUNA (2001-05, 07) Dept.

Environment & Heritage. Eyre Peninsula Biogeographic Region. Vegetation and fauna.

• GAWLER (2001) Dept. Environment & Heritage.

Gawler Ranges. Vegetation and fauna.

• YELLABINNA RR (2005) Iluka Resources.

Yellabinna Regional Reserve. Vegetation only.

(Badman unpubl.)

• GAWLER CRATON (2006) Dept. Environment &

Heritage for Primary Industries SA. Yellabinna Regional Reserve and the south-east part of the Maralinga Tjarutja Aboriginal Lands. Vegetation only.

• SHIRROCOE MGT PLAN SURVEY (2008) Dept.

Environment & Heritage. Shirrocoe pastoral lease. Vegetation and fauna.

A complete list of all 1696 sites from these surveys including the coordinates (projection GDA94) are provided in Appendix 1.

The approach of this report is for the subsequent chapters to stand alone as reports on the various sections of the survey. Hence each chapter will contain its own introduction, methods, results and discussion section.

Figure 1. Map of study area showing the location of 1696 survey sites from the 22 surveys mentioned in the text.

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Eyre Peninsula Biological Survey

THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

Brandle R1

Introduction

The physical attributes of the Eyre Peninsula region have been well documented in the Natural History of the Eyre Peninsula (Twidale et al. 1985) and the Environments of South Australia (Laut et al. 1977).

Both accounts use maps to delineate landform types.

However they differ in their approaches. Twidale et al.

(1985) provided more interpretation of the various physical parameters relating to landform, soils, hydrology and climate, based on researchers findings in the area over the previous 40 years. Laut et al.

(1977) used a descriptive and rigidly structured approach at an environmental association level, which they defined using Landsat imagery in combination with previous research data. Information on location, area, topographic relief, altitude, drainage networks, climate and groundwater resources were summarised for each association whilst further detail for the variety of land units within each association was listed under landform, surface water and soils.

It is not the intention of this report to review or compare these treatments as both are useful to those wishing to gain an understanding of the diversity of geomorphology and physical attributes found across Eyre Peninsula. They are specifically mentioned here as they provide the basis to understanding the summary of information collected at 1696 biological survey sites that contribute to this report of the biological assets of Eyre Peninsula Biogeographic Region (EPBR).

The Australian continent has been regionalised using biogeographic principles (Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia [IBRA], Thackway &

Cresswell 1995). In South Australia this is based on Environmental Association line work developed by Laut et al. (1977), though the bioregional boundaries differ significantly in many areas including the Eyre Peninsula. The Eyre Peninsula comprises three of the five biogeographic subregions that make up the Eyre Yorke Block Biogeograhic Region. It is these three regions (Eyre Mallee, Eyre Hills and Talia) that make up the study area for this report. On the east coast it cuts the Eyre Peninsula off from the Middleback Ranges to the north, halfway between the towns of Cowell and Whyalla, runs south of the Gawler Ranges

and loops around the mostly cleared parts of the western Eyre Peninsula meeting the west coast 33 km west of Fowlers Bay (Figure 2). The boundary runs between the 250 – 300 mm rainfall isohyet which in many areas is accompanied by a change in vegetation from the mallee that dominates Eyre Peninsula to more arid adapted woodlands to the north.

Figure 2. The Eyre Peninsula biogeographic region and subregions that comprise the study area.

The Eyre Peninsula is dominated by undulating limestone plains which in many areas are overlain by longitudinal sand dunes. Significant uplands in the form of the Marble Ranges and Koppio Hills characterise the southern Eyre Hills subregion whilst the hills and ranges to the north of Cleve characterise the northern section of the Eyre Hills subregion. An interesting feature of the Eyre Peninsula are the granite inselbergs that occasionally rise out of the plains. A more detailed summary utilising the three sources mentioned above can be found in the Biodiversity Plan for Eyre Peninsula (DEH 2002).

This chapter aims to summarise the physical components of the Eyre Peninsula measured at survey sites to determine habitat relationships for the vegetation and vertebrate fauna that was sampled across these sites.

Methods

Survey sites referred in this paper were sampled in accordance with the Biological Survey of South Australia (Heard and Channon 1997), though sites sampled prior to 1990 are lacking some physical information. Each site has a point location with accuracy within 300m. The physical descriptors are based on McDonald et al. (1990) and include:

Landform Pattern, Landform Element, Site Slope and Aspect, Outcrop Cover and Lithology, Surface Strew Size, Cover and Lithology, Surface Soil Texture Class.

Estimates of Bare Earth and Litter Cover were also recorded. Location of sites within biogeographic subregions and environmental associations was determined using ARCGIS, as was fire history.

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4

The selection of sites varied depending on the scale of the survey for which the information was collected.

However, most surveys aimed to sample the variety of landforms and vegetation communities across the geographic extent of their study area, with the intention of sampling discrete vegetation communities (as opposed to sampling ecotonal areas). Twenty-two different survey programs have contributed to the 1696 sites located on Eyre Peninsula (Table 1). A number of these are part of large regional projects (BS# 30, 80, 103, 107, 128). Others such as BS 1 and 430 are large regional surveys focusing on adjacent regions where a small number of sites have overlapped this study area.

Others are targeted for specific environmental features on a statewide basis such as BS 82 the Coastal Dunes and Clifftop survey. The remaining surveys mostly target smaller regions, conservation reserves or are associated with specific monitoring programs. The

majority of sites relate to 30m x 30m vegetation quadrats (89%). Others ranged from 10m x 10m plots to 20 replicate 5m x 5m plots along a point transect.

50m x 50m plots were used in the dry mallee country at the edge of the study region, and 100m x 100m plots for large regional surveys that primarily surveyed north of the study area. The percent cover classes that are estimated for rock outcrop, surface strew, bare earth and litter relate to the size of these vegetation quadrats.

Site selection and methodologies for surveys will be dealt with more thoroughly in specific papers dealing with the vegetation and vertebrate fauna of the Eyre Peninsula biogeographic region. The physical parameters have been summarised in this chapter as a reference for the physical habitat variables within the following chapters in this report. Sites and their locations are presented in Appendix 1.

Results

The 1696 sites containing physical survey information contributing to this summary were collected from 22 separate surveys. These are listed in Table 1 which indicates the number of sites sampled in each year for each survey.

Surveys conducted prior to 1990 did not use the full biological survey methodology as described by Heard and Channon (1997). For example BS46 (Temperate Grassland – WWF) and BS121 (Brush Cutting Monitoring). A number of surveys have had repeat visits to sites which are included in the Table 1. Of 1696 sites, 1462 were visited once whilst 234 have had

more than one visit. However, most of these visits do not relate to re-sampling vegetation, as the Eyre Peninsula fauna survey was conducted three to four months after the vegetation survey. Surveys where vegetation was sampled on more than one occasion were limited to Venus Bay Conservation Park and Bettong Monitoring BS#71 (total of nine sites of which most were re-sampled more than once) (Copley et al.1999) and Eyre Peninsula Fauna Survey (BS# 128), where 13 sites in the Koppio Hills region were re- sampled to investigate the effects of the 2005 Wangary fire (Lang et al. 2009).

Table 1. Surveys conducted in the Eyre Peninsula study area and the number of sites per year in which they were sampled. NB. # sites may be lower than the sum of sites sampled per year for a survey where sites were re-sampled in subsequent years. (BS# = a unique Survey number relating to the Biological Databases of South Australia BDBSA).

BS

# Survey name

1978 1979 1980 1983 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 # sites

1 GAWLER 7 7

21 KULLIPARU CONS. PARK (NCS) * 39 39

27 LAKE NEWLAND CONSERVATION PARK 7 7

30 EYRE PENINSULA (DEP 1977) * 89 3 2 94

46 TEMPERATE GRASSLANDS WWF * 7 7

71 VENUS BAY C P AND BETTONG MONITORING 5 9 8 8 8 9

78 TIDAL & SALT MARSH COMMUNITIES 9 6 13 28

79 LINCOLN NATIONAL PARK * 33 33

80 SOUTHERN EYRE PENINSULA 307 5 1 307

82 COASTAL DUNE & CLIFFTOP 151 36 47 234

103 NORTH EASTERN EYRE PENINSULA 249 249

107 NORTH WESTERN EYRE PENINSULA 291 291

110 VENUS BAY CP, CR AND ENVIRONS 12 12

113 PUREBA 5 5

121 BRUSH CUTTING MONITORING * 16 16

127 KOONIBBA 13 13

128 EYRE PENINSULA FAUNA 37 55 48 50 47 16 240 131 HINCKS & HAMBIDGE CP 31 31

179 CROWN LAND ASSESSMENT * 27 25 52

428 YELLABINNA RR (ILUKA RESOURCES) 11 11

430 GAWLER CRATON 1 1 599 SHIRROCOE MANAGEMENT PLAN SURVEY 10 10

* surveys marked with asterisk lack landform pattern information.

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Biogeographic Subregions and Environmental Associations

Eyre Mallee

The Eyre Mallee biogeographic subregion is described as a dunefield in an erosional land type. The landform is characterised by stable and closely spaced, north- west to south-east longitudinal dunes that are locally broken by granite hills and ridges of metamorphic rocks. The geology is described as: vast sand dunes and interdune corridors of clay, silt and very fine sand;

evaporite deposits in numerous salt lakes (gypsum, halite); kopi ridges and dunes; some silcrete and calcrete (rare). Soils are mostly sand soils with weak pedologic development, red calcareous earths and red siliceous sands. Vegetation form is described as mallee heath and shrublands and the climate is characterised by moisture being the main limit on crop growth with growth index highest in spring .

This subregion is the largest of the three comprising the study area (50%, of which 35% retains native vegetation cover) and encompasses 18 environmental associations (Figure 3). These, along with their total area (km2), percentage of remnant vegetation, the number of sites and the area of remnant vegetation to each sample site are listed in Table 2. The summary indicates site coverage of the remnant vegetation within environmental associations of 1.1 to 35.4 km2/site and 7.4 km2/site for the biogeographic subregion. Sites at highest densities within remnant vegetation (i.e. <5 km2/site) are in the smaller associations supporting <25% remnant vegetation, whilst sites at the lowest densities (i.e. >20 km2/site) are in the larger associations supporting >70% remnant vegetation.

Table 2. Eyre Mallee biogeographic subregion - summary of remnant vegetation within each environmental association and the number of flora and fauna sites sampled in each (2009).

Environmental Association (Laut et al. 1977)

Area (km2)

% of area under remnant vegetation

# flora sites in association

remnant vegetation (km2)/ flora

site

# fauna sites in association

remnant vegetation (km2)/ fauna

site

Blue Range 65.1 47 5 6.15 3 10.26

Bookabie 1351.8 54 75 9.72 13 56.07

Ceduna 1296.1 39 99 5.34 14 37.74

Corrabinnie 1326.4 92 41 29.69 10 121.71

Darke Peake 77.1 23 13 1.35 4 4.40

Hambidge 3534.7 28 92 10.87 10 99.97

Hincks 289.5 83 16 14.97 8 29.94

Isabella 296.0 16 10 4.77 0

Koongawa 5386.8 35 125 15.08 26 72.48

Kyancutta 735.5 17 17 7.26 4 30.87

Lock 187.4 5 2 5.05 0

McLochlan 1039.6 71 34 21.64 4 183.95

Midgee 1207.8 61 53 13.87 15 49.02

Mt Dampier 64.0 20 5 2.57 0

Scrubby Peak 245.2 72 5 35.48 0

Tooligie 43.4 3 1 1.09 0

Wharminda 702.5 9 17 3.63 0

Wirrula 5005.0 11 63 8.94 18 31.28

Unmapped 2

50% of the study area and 40% of sites 22853.8 35 675 12.1 129 62.9

Eyre Hills

The Eyre Hills biogeographic subregion is described as dunefield on a depositional land type. The landform is characterised by low limestone dune ridges and small granitic islands with dunes. The geology is described as: Ripon Calcrete and Loveday Soil in aeolian sand sheets, dune sand and red soils (terra rossa). The soils are mostly sands of minimal pedologic development, brown calcareous earths, brown sands, shallow red brown sandy soils and sandy soils with yellow clayey mottled subsoil. The vegetation form is described as mallee heath and shrublands, which describes most of the communities within the northern block but only a proportion of the southern block. Also of note are woodlands, grassy woodlands and grasslands associated with the Koppio Hills and Marble Range (though these are now significantly reduced through

clearance). The climate is described as classic,

"Mediterranean" with peaks of plant growth in autumn and spring and moderate growth in winter. This subregion is split into a northern and southern block by the Eyre Mallee subregion. The climatic summary above is only relevant to the southern block which has long term annual averages between 400 – 500 mm at most rainfall stations. In contrast the northern block ranges from 300 – 400 mm and has higher evapotranspiration rate, giving it a climate more similar to the Eyre Mallee region. However it is recognised as having a more reliable growing season, particularly in the south-eastern half.

The combined area of the Eyre Hills biogeographic region makes up 26% of the study area, of which 30%

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6

retains native vegetation cover and comprises 25 environmental associations (Figure 3, northern block 8, southern block 17). These, along with their total area (km2), percentage of remnant vegetation, the number of sites and the area of remnant vegetation to each sample site are listed in Table 3. The summary indicates site coverage of the remnant vegetation within environmental associations of 1.7 to 84.5 km2/site and 10.2 km2/site for the biogeographic subregion (northern block 6.7 to 84.5 km2/site; southern block 1.7 to 18

km2/site). The most obvious difference between the north and south blocks is the density of sites within the remnant vegetation (means = 22 and 4.6 km2/site respectively). This reflects both the smaller size of the south block, lower area of remnant vegetation and the location in a more diverse landscape. The higher diversity in the landscape is reflected in the smaller size of the environmental association and supports a greater number of vegetation types which may relate to higher rainfall.

Table 3. Eyre Hills biogeographic subregion - summary of remnant vegetation within each environmental association and the number of flora and fauna sites sampled in each (2009).

Environmental Association (Laut et al. 1977)

Area (km2)

% of area under remnant vegetation

# sites in subregion

Area of remnant vegetation

(km2)/site

# fauna sites in association

remnant vegetation (km2)/ fauna

site

Northern Block 7082 35 195 12.8 45 55.4

Cleve 969.4 18 26 6.71 2 87.28

Ironstone Hill 268.0 99 17 15.68 12 22.22

Kimba 1093.6 16 18 9.88 3 59.26

Messenger 1895.9 34 62 10.43 15 43.09

Mt Desperate 875.9 38 32 10.49 8 41.94

Pinkawillinie 1612.6 42 36 19.03 5 137.02

Triple Hill 130.2 30 2 19.36 0

Yalarna 236.3 72 2 84.54 0

Southern Block 4589 22 281 3.6 31 32.7

Butler 773.0 7 24 2.14 0

Cobbler Hill 112.7 53 11 5.41 1 59.55

Cummins 370.9 4 4 3.45 0

Edillie 367.0 13 19 2.50 4 11.85

Greenly 68.8 31 4 5.27 1 21.06

Jussieu 25.9 94 6 4.06 1 24.38

Lincoln 327.2 76 63 4.96 9 34.71

Malata 199.6 27 8 6.82 0

Marble Range 152.2 41 18 3.45 3 20.70

Mt Gawler 193.4 9 4 4.15 0

Numulta 144.3 17 9 2.71 0

Peake bay 328.3 16 31 1.72 1 53.30

Salt Creek 33.8 53 1 18.04 0

Waretta 112.6 13 6 2.50 0

Woolawae 173.4 12 4 5.14 0

Yalunda 1057.4 20 63 3.44 11 19.69

Yeelanna 148.3 2 1 3.22 0

Unmapped 5

26% of the study area and 28% of sites 11671 30 476 7.4 76 46.2

Talia

At present the brief description for the Talia biogeographic region is identical to that presented for Eyre Mallee with a slight difference in the climatic description: "Mediterranean" climate, but with drier cooler winters and less growth than for the Eyre Hills southern block. This appears to be an error in the database as the subregion closely corresponds closely to the West Coast Environmental Region as described in the Environments of South Australia (Laut et al.

1977): “It is comprised predominantly of undulating to hilly plains on calcarenite with local rises and occasional steep sided hills on quartzite… Dunes are restricted to the coastal fringe where they occur in association with lagoons and lakes. Shallow brownish sands with many calcarenite outcrops occur throughout

the region, and support a woodland of Dryland Teatree and Drooping Sheoak in the south, or mallee in the north…. The region has a mild climate with winter rainfall maximum and dry summers with high evaporation. Mean annual rainfall varies from 500 mm in the south to about 350 mm in the north of the region, with most of the rainfall occurring between April and October.”

This subregion is the smallest of the three comprising the study area (24% of which 32% retains native vegetation cover) and encompasses 12 environmental associations (Figure 3). These, along with their total area (km2), percentage of remnant vegetation, the number of sites and the area of remnant vegetation to

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each sample site are listed in Table 4. The summary indicates site coverage of the remnant vegetation within environmental associations of 3 to 24 km2/site and 11.2 km2/site for the biogeographic subregion. The environmental associations with the most dense coverage of sites per km2 of remnant vegetation are small ones that have been targeted by specific surveys.

It is also worth noting that the percentage of remnant

vegetation cover for the Polda Environmental Association is likely to be under represented because of the large areas of grasslands from which the Drooping Sheoak open woodland has been removed by stock grazing. Whilst these areas are greatly modified they still support a number of native grassland species, most of which are only apparent in the spring.

Table 4. Talia biogeographic subregion - summary of remnant vegetation within each environmental association and the number of flora and fauna sites sampled in each (2009).

Environmental Association (Laut et al. 1977)

Area (km2)

% of area under remnant vegetation

# sites in subregion

Area of remnant vegetation

(km2)/site

# fauna sites in association

remnant vegetation

(km2)/

fauna site

Avoid Bay 204.7 71 18 8.09 4 36.40

Brimpton 159.6 16 3 8.36 0

Coffin Bay 109.4 86 17 5.69 4 24.20

Drummond 461.8 44 45 4.55 6 34.15

Inkster 3201.9 59 87 21.60 14 134.22

Kappawanta 1797.7 80 60 23.98 17 84.65

Kiona 145.1 25 4 9.06 1 36.25

Mt Cooper 404.7 20 26 3.19 1 82.86

Mungerowie 651.2 87 48 11.80 6 94.40

Newland 112.3 53 15 3.96 6 9.89

Polda 2841.4 45 129 10.14 31 42.19

Streaky Bay 756.7 35 88 3.00 0

unmapped 5

24% of the study area and 32% of sites 10846.7 56 545 11.3 90 68.7

Figure 3. Eyre Peninsula study area showing the locations of the 55 Environmental Associations it contains (after Laut et al.

1997).

References

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