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Great Western Woodlands

Region: Southern Rangelands (Goldfields-Nullarbor)


Encompassing 16 million hectares of woodlands and heathlands interspersed with salt lakes, the Great Western Woodlands represents the largest remaining intact Mediterranean habitat in the world. It is home to more than 20 per cent of all known Australian plant species and provides a haven for a community of animal species that are now threatened elsewhere in Australia.

As the national and international significance of the Great Western Woodlands has gained increasing recognition over the past five years, a greater focus has been placed on the some of the key threatening processes affecting both biodiversity and biosecurity across the landscape. These key threatening processes include altered fire regimes, loss of habitat and the spread of invasive species including weeds and feral animals.

The Ngadju people are the Traditional Owners of a large section of the Great Western Woodlands. Through the Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation (NCAC) they have sought increased capacity to undertake work that addresses their environmental concerns. Initiatives to date have included an initial fire management program, a project mapping water trees, two significant knowledge documentation programs with CSIRO and the development of a Conservation Action Plan.

Initially established in recognition of the ecological and cultural significance of the region (particularly to the Ngadju Traditional Owners), the Great Western Woodlands Priority Area has been maintained and expanded in order to build engagement and optimise partnership opportunities across the pastoral and indigenous land management interface.

Key EBBC or priority fauna in area:

  • Endangered Red-tailed Phascogale (Phascogale calura)
  • Endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoo (Calyptorhyncus latirostris)
  • Vulnerable Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata)
  • Vulnerable Chuditch/Western Quoll (Dasyurus geoffroi)
  • Vulnerable Bilby (Macrotis lagotis)

Other assets in the area:

  1. Helena and Aurora Ranges
  2. Dundas Nature Reserve
  3. Fraser Range
  4. Rowles Lagoon and associated lakes and Lake Cronin
  5. Banded Ironstone Formations

People/Groups engaged

  1. Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation
  2. Gondwana Link
  3. Goldfields-Nullarbor Rangelands Biosecurity Association
  4. Goldfields Voluntary Regional Organisation of Councils
  5. South Coast Catchments Council
  6. Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (Kalgoorlie Office)