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.
- 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 Pilbara region was surveyed between 1995 and 1999 by AME Van Vreeswyk, A Payne, K Leighton and P Hennig. This survey was published in 2004 as Technical bulletin 92 An inventory and condition survey of the Pilbara region, Western Australia.
The area surveyed covers 181 723 square kilometres. Seven towns fall within the survey area: Port Hedland, Onslow, Pannawonica, Wittenoom, Marble Bar, Nullagine and Newman.
Pastoralism was the most extensive land use. Forty-four pastoral leases fell wholly or partly within the survey area and collectively occupied about 105 240 square kilometres (58%) of the area.
Mining was an important land use and was largely confined to ironstone ranges and greenstone belts.
Twenty-one broad soil groups were identified within the survey area. The most outstanding characteristic of the soils was the predominant red colour. Stony mantles and shallowness were a feature.
The flora of the area was diverse, with 1137 vascular species recorded during the survey. Of these, 1094 were native species. Forty-one of the 95 plant species on the Declared and Rare Priority Flora listing for the survey area were collected during the survey.
The survey report provides condition statements – for the time of the survey – for the whole survey area and for each land system. Pasture condition and soil condition were assessed at points throughout the survey area.
The survey found that:
- 77% of the points were in good or very good rangeland condition
- 11% were in fair rangeland condition
- 12% were in poor or very poor rangeland condition.