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Central Murchison

Region: Southern Rangelands (Murchison)


The Murchison Rangelands Priority Area encompasses a vast area of land stretching south from the Gascoyne River Catchment Priority Area to the Great Western Woodlands Priority Area. Featuring a diverse range of land uses, the region is one of the main pastoral (sheep and cattle) areas in Western Australia and incorporates the local government areas of Yalgoo, Murchison, Mount Magnet, Cue, Sandstone, Meekatharra, and Wiluna. The region is also home to the ecologically significant Nicholson Range.

The geography of the region is characterised by low hills and mesas separated by flat colluvium and alluvial plains. Vegetation is predominantly low mulga woodlands. Perennial grasses play a vital role in maintaining soil structure. Changing climatic conditions, combined with the impacts of total grazing pressure have put substantial pressure on the regenerative capacity of the landscape, challenging both the ecological and economic viability of the region.

Changing climatic conditions and historical degradation have placed substantial pressure on the regenerative capacity of the Central Murchison Rangelands, challenging both the ecological and economic viability of the region. This has also negatively impacted threatened species habitat across the region, affecting Malleefowl, Chuditch/Western Quoll and Western Spiny-Tailed Skink populations. Due to the dominance of pastoralism in the region there are huge opportunities for Rangelands NRM to work with producers to support improved land management across the Central Murchison Rangelands and to drive and regenerate productive capacity across the landscape and improve the region’s biodiversity values.

Key EBBC or priority fauna in area:

  • Endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris)
  • Endangered Western Spiny-tailed Skin(Egernia stokesii badia)
  • Endangered Paynes Find Mallee (Eucalyptus crucis praecipua)
  • Vulnerable Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata)
  • Vulnerable Shield-backed trapdoor spider (Idiosoma nigrum)

Other assets in the area:

  1. Murchison River
  2. Walga Rock
  3. Wooleen Lake
  4. Banded Ironstone Formations (across region)
  5. Ida Valley Reserve

People/Groups engaged in the area:

  1. Rangelands Fibre and Produce Association
  2. Meekatharra Rangelands Biosecurity Association
  3. Yalgoo Producers Group
  4. Bush Heritage
  5. In-Common
  6. Northern Agricultural Catchments Council
  7. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
  8. Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions
  9. Consortium of pastoral producer groups (Meekatharra Rangelands Biosecurity Association lead)