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 Sandstone – Yalgoo – Paynes Find area survey was undertaken between 1992 and 1993 by AL Payne, AME Van Vreeswyk, HJR Pringle, KA Leighton and P Hennig. This survey was published in 1998 as Technical bulletin 90 An inventory and condition survey of the Sandstone – Yalgoo – Paynes Find area, Western Australia.
The area surveyed covered about 94 700 square kilometres. Three small townships fall within the area, namely Sandstone in the east, Paynes Find in the central south and Yalgoo in the west.
Pastoralism was the most extensive land use in the area. Fifty-four pastoral leases fall wholly, and 12 partly, within the survey area and collectively occupied about 86 460 square kilometres (91% of the area).
There were no major river catchments in the survey area, apart from a very small portion of the Greenough River Catchment in the far north-west. The survey area internally drained into the salt lake systems of Lake Barlee, Lake Noondie, Lake Mason, Lake Moore and Mongers Lake.
There were 12 broad soil groups: the most outstanding characteristics of the soils were the predominant red colour and the widespread presence of a siliceous hardpan. Most soils were sandplains and granitic country, and variable-depth red earths overlying hardpan on level to gently inclined plains.
The flora was diverse, with 719 vascular species recorded, 706 of which are native. Cotton bush (Ptilotus obovatus), curara (Acacia tetragonophylla) and mulga (Acacia aneura) were the ubiquitous perennials in the survey area.
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:
- 45% of the points were in good or very good rangeland condition
- 32% were in fair rangeland condition
- 23% were in poor to very poor rangeland condition.