Brigalow tropical savanna

Australia

A wide band of semi-arid and subtropical coastal vegetation dominated by acacia species in largely woodland and grassland-dominated communities. The area has been heavily modified since European arrival in Australia and is one of the most persecuted ecoregions on the continent.

Status

Protection
0 %

Size

408,242 km²

UNESCO World Heritage Sites​

Nil

 

Background – Dr Mark Nadir Runkovski, 2023 / Map – CC Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported – Hesperian, 2007

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: Enviroshop

Services

Catering: Atiyah

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 some of this ecoregion's most impressive trees like Narrow-leaved Bottle-tree (Brachychiton rupestris), Broad-leaved Bottle-tree (Brachychiton australis), Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla), Ooline (Cadellia pentastylis), Indian Cherry (Cordia dichotoma), Poplar Box (Eucalyptus populnea) and Broad-leaved Leopard Tree (Flindersia collina) 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 gorgeous Bumble Tree (Capparis mitchellii), Weeping Myall (Acacia pendula), Leichhardt Bean (Cassia brewsteri) and Northern Bean Tree (Lysiphyllum carronii), ecologically-important Bulloak (Allocasuarina luehmannii) and the unusual Omphalea celata and Supplejack (Ventilago viminalis). To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating tree hollows in old, dead tree limbs.

SHRUB LAYER

Plant native shrubs bursting with colourful, nectar-rich flowers such as Pretty Wattle (Acacia decora), False Sandalwood (Eremophila mitchellii), Pink Phebalium (Phebalium nottiii), Weeping Pittosporum (Pittosporum angustifolium) and the ornamental Black Cypress-pine (Callitris endlicheri) 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 Queensland Bluegrass (Dichanthium sericeum) and Fairy Grass (Sporobolus caroli) along with the important Kangaroo Grass (Themeda triandra) in drier areas. Use Golden Everlasting (Xerochrysum bracteatum), Drumsticks (Pycnosorus globosus) and the lovely, purple Broad-leaved Parakeelya (Calandrinia balonensis) and Swainsona oroboides for colourful features. Try mass-planting native lilies such as Crinum flaccidum and Calostemma luteum for feature colour-blocks in spring. 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

The savannas, woodlands and forests of this ecoregion form a large transition between coastal rainforests and forests of eastern Australia and the continent’s arid interior. The climate is generally warm all year round with slightly cooler winters and often hot summers, with droughts common. This large ecoregion covers huge swathes of central-eastern Queensland and central-northern New South Wales. Unfortunately it has been heavily cleared and altered for agricultural purposes such as grazing and the farming of cotton. What remains are often extremely fragmented remnants of woodland, vine scrub, pockets of forest and grasslands dominated by Brigalow and other species characteristic of the ecoregion. The remaining areas continue to support important populations of endemic species, many of which are listed as threatened with extinction.

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

Ranges, slopes and plains of largely ancient sand and clay deposits, basalts and alluvium

Climate

Tropical - Subtropical

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.

Brigalow
(Acacia harpophylla)

Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat
(Lasiorhinus kreftii)

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.

Ooline
(Cadellia pentastylis)

Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby
(Onychogalea fraenata)

Bulloak Jewel
(Hypochrysops piceatus)

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.

Eastern Hare-wallaby
(Lagorchestes leporides)

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

The Bulloak tree forms an amazing keystone relationship with the life-cycle of the critically endangered Bulloak Jewel. The tree hosts native mistletoes that parasitise it, and attract the adult butterflies to lay their eggs on the Bulloak branches. The young caterpillars are looked after during day and night by a specific "babysitter" ant that only lives in Bulloak woodlands. The caterpillars are totally dependent on the ants, who see it through to maturity.

Life-support Systems​

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