Arnhem Land tropical savanna

Australia

A tropical savanna ecoregion found in the very central north of Australia, including its offshore islands of Groote Eylandt, the Tiwi Islands and Wessel Islands. It is characterised by strong season rainfall with a wet summer and drier through the rest of the year. It has a lush, evergreen vegetation with dense grasslands.

Arnhem_Land_tropical_savanna (2)

Status

Protection
0 %

Status

Size

154,737 km²

UNESCO World Heritage Sites​

 

Background – Dr Mark Nadir Runkovski, 2010 / Map – CC Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported – Nrg800, 2011

ACT
Help your Ecoregion
So what can you do to help your ecoregion? Below is a list to help you support your ecoregion, while also achieving life's everyday tasks. Don’t underestimate your power in doing good for nature!

PRODUCTS

Food and Homeware: Good Riddance

Services

Waste Management: NT Recycling Solutions

At Home
Below is a list of actions you can easily take at home to minimise your impact on the ecoregion in which you live, and the rest of the planet too!
In your Garden
Below is a list of native plants and habitat creation tips you can use in your garden or on your property to give your ecoregion and its species a boost!

CANOPY LAYER

Plant attractive feature trees that stand out in savanna landscapes such as Cotton Tree (Bombax ceiba), Spring Bloodwood (Corymbia ptychocarpa) Noni-fruit (Morinda citrifolia), Leichhardt Pine (Nauclea orientalis) and the stately palm, Livistona benthamii if you have space. To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating hollows in old, dead tree limbs.

SUB-CANOPY LAYER

Plant native sub-canopy trees and tall shrubs like Helicopter Tree (Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. americanus), Fine-leaved Sand Palm (Livistona inermis), Red Condoo (Mimusops elengi), Indian Almond (Terminalia catappa) and Darwin Pandanus (Pandanus spiralis). To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating tree hollows in old, dead tree limbs.

SHRUB LAYER

Plant native shrubs such as the stunning Darwin Cycad (Cycas armstrongii), Golden Grevillea (Grevillea aurea), Litchfield Hibiscus (Hibiscus petherickii), the clumping Wendland's Palm (Hydriastele wendlandiana) and the beautifully-named Melaleuca cornucopiae for structure. These plants create dense shrubby refugia for birds and mammals. To create habitat, consider installing insect hotels, compost-heaps and bird-baths in this layer.

GROUND LAYER

Plant native grasses such as Chrysopogon oliganthus and Plume Sorghum (Sorghum plumosum) along with the sedge Fimbristylis dichotoma in seasonally-wetter areas, with Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra) in drier areas. Use Black-anther Flax-lily (Dianella revoluta), Scarlet-flowered Bloodroot (Haemodorum coccineum) and Annual Hibiscus (Abelmoschus moschatus) for colourful features. To create habitat, consider installing a pond or bog-garden with native aquatic and riparian plants, log-piles for sheltering amphibians and reptiles and leave areas of leaf-litter for important insects.

Learn

A largely open and expansive ecoregion found throughout the very central north of Australia, within the Northern Territory. The ecoregion contains a broad array of savannas, grasslands, shrublands and woodlands characterised by the strong wet and dry seasonal differentiation. The area also boasts numerous large wetlands, tidal flats and large river systems. Geology of the area is dominated by sandstone which has weathered to form often grand and statuesque plateaus and gorges. Biodiversity is high with many species endemic tothe region including over 160 plants and many species that have only recently been discovered. Much of the area is in a relatively undisturbed state and there are no IUCN-listed ecosystems within the ecoregion.

Ecoregion Structure
The structure of the ecoregion is defined as the key living and non-living features characterising its ecosystems, and the differences between how these ecosystems are arranged. For example, layers of vegetation, geology, habitat features and landscapes.

Geology

Rugged sandstone plateaus and gorges with otherwise gentler topography of sedimentary floodplains and lowlands

Climate

Tropical

Iconic Landscapes

Native plant communities

Scenes by @blueringmedia
Ecoregion Composition
The composition of the ecoregion is defined as the biodiversity that inhabits its ecosystems, and the differences between this biodiversity. For example, communities, populations, species, subspecies and genetic traits.
Keystone Species​
Keystone species are those that have a disproportionately large effect on the ecosystems in which they live, relative to their natural abundance there. In other words, species with a really important role in the health of ecosystems.

Darwin Stringybark
(Eucalyptus tetrodonta)

Saltwater Crocodile
(Crocodylus porosus)

Flagship Species
Flagship species are those that are chosen by people to represent a wider conservation message, usually for a given place or social context, and as such often carry conservation messages for wider biodiversity.
Recently Extinct Species
All around the world, biodiversity is declining at a concerning rate. For some species it's already too late, and they have disappeared from the ecoregions they once called home. These are some examples of those lost species.

Lord Howe Fantail
(Rhipidura cervina)

Lord Howe Thrush
(Turdus vinitinctus)

Ecoregion Function
The function of the ecoregion is defined as how its structural and compositional components all work together to form ecological relationships and processes which change over time through geological shifts and evolution by natural selection.

Keystone Relationships

Saltwater Crocodiles are incredibly important keystone species whose acute hunting skills keep food-chains in balance, predating on both native and introduced prey, throughout the north of Australia.

Life-support Systems​

Biodiversity is fundamental to a healthy planet and thriving communities, but the world's species are under tremendous threat.