Rangeland inventory and condition survey of the north-eastern Goldfields, Western Australia

Page last updated: Wednesday, 12 May 2021 - 10:35am

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The north-eastern Goldfields rangelands were surveyed between 1988 and 1990. The report provides land managers, advisers and administrators with a baseline inventory of the natural resources of the region’s pastoral leasehold land to assist with planning and implementing land management practices.

How to use this survey

This survey can help pastoral industry managers to plan and manage for sustainable use of pastoral natural resources, and protect degraded areas or areas at risk of degradation.

This survey:

  • identified and described the condition of soils, landforms, vegetation, habitat, ecosystems, and declared plants and animals
  • assessed the impact of pastoralism
  • recommended land management, including recommended carrying capacities, for each pastoral lease.

Survey area and inventory summary

The north-eastern Goldfields survey was undertaken between 1988 and 1990 by H Pringle, S Gilligan and AME Van Vreeswyk. The survey was published in 1994 as Technical Bulletin 87 An inventory and condition survey of rangelands in the north-eastern Goldfields, Western Australia.

The area surveyed covered about 100 570 square kilometres and encompassed most or all of the following salt lake systems: Lake Ballard, Lake Rebecca, Lake Marmion, Lake Raeside, Lake Darlot and Lake Carey. There were no major river catchments in the area.

Pastoralism was the most extensive land use in the survey area, covering about 83 322 square kilometres (83% of the survey area). The principal soil types of the survey area were deep earthy red sands on sandplains and shallow red earths overlying hardpan on level to gently inclined plains.   

The major vegetation communities were spinifex hummock grasslands, wanderrie tussock grasslands – usually with an overstorey of mulga (Acacia aneura) – mulga tall shrublands/woodlands, chenopod low/mid shrublands and eucalypt/Casuarina cristata (black oak) woodlands. The most common and abundant genera were Acacia, Atriplex, Cassia, Eremophila, Eucalyptus, Maireana and Triodia.

Condition summary

The survey report provides condition statements – for the time of the survey – for the whole survey area and for each land system. Pasture and soil condition was assessed at more than 12 000 points throughout the survey area.

The survey found that:

  • 39% of these points were in good rangeland condition
  • 33% were in fair rangeland condition
  • 28% were in poor rangeland condition.

Contact information

Joshua Foster