Central Ranges xeric scrub


A central Australian ecoregion dominated by sandstone plains and rocky highlands and having a high diversity of reptile fauna.

Central Ranges xeric


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287,406 km²

UNESCO World Heritage Sites​



Background – CC Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported – Bidgee, 2017 / Map – CC Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported – Hesperian, 2007

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!


Food and Homeware: The Brew


Holidays: Crossroads EcoMotel

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!


Plant Ghost Gum (Corymbia aparrerinja) and Desert Bloodwood (Corymbia opaca) if you have the space. To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating hollows in old, dead tree limbs.


Plant native sub-canopy trees and tall shrubs including the amazing MacDonnell Ranges Cycad (Macrozamia macdonnellii), Red Cabbage Palm (Livistona mariae), Western Myall (Acacia papyrocarpa), Mulga (Acacia aneura), Umbrella Wattle (Acacia ligulata), Bat's-wing Coral-tree (Erythrina vespertilio), Whitewood (Atalaya hemiglauca), Whitchetty-bush (Acacia kempeana) and Wirewood (Acacia coriacea). To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating tree hollows in old, dead tree limbs.


Plant native shrubs that are hardy to desert conditions including the sweet-scented Chocolate Cassia (Senna pleurocarpa), Native Cotton (Gossypium australe), Flying Saucer Bush (Acacia hilliana), Native Fuchsia (Eremophila latrobei), Native Raisin (Solanum centrale) and Honey Grevillea (Grevillea eriostachya). To create habitat, consider installing insect hotels, compost-heaps and bird-baths in this layer.


Plant tufts of cottage-garden style herbs and grasses like Desert Petunia (Dipteracanthus australasicus), Pink Mulla Mulla (Ptilotus exaltatus), Davenport Daisy (Lawrencella davenportii), Poached Egg Daisy (Polycalymma stuartii), Darling Lily (Crinum flaccidum) and Broad-leaved Parakeelya (Calandrinia balonensis). Grasses are also an important staple for native wildlife so try Native Lemongrass (Cymbopogon ambiguus) and Weeping Spinifex (Triodia brizoides). 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.


The Central Ranges xeric scrub contains one of Australia’s centres of plant diversity with over 850 types of desert-adapted species, many of which are localised or endemic. The hot, desert climate is spared in many parts by the varied topography, shady canyons and deep gorges that are scattered throughout. In some of these refuges, huge palm groves found nowhere else on earth and unique geckos, herbs and insects maintain important strongholds. The ancient landscape has been scoured and transformed by the movements of water and wind. Dominant vegetation is largely composed of acacia species like myalls and mulgas, with open spinifex grasslands and plains in flatter areas.

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.


Rocky highlands of sandstone and weather sediments to flat, sandy plains



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.
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.

Red-tailed Black-cockatoo
(Calyptorhynchus banksii)

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.

Short-tailed Hopping-mouse
(Notomys amplus)

Lake Mackay Hare-wallaby
(Lagorchestes asomatus)

Lesser Bilby
(Macrotis leucura)

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

Predatory Katydids are amazing insect hunters. By mimicking the trill of male cicadas they lure large numbers of these insects into their jaws where they become the next meal. These insects are important pest control agents in the desert.

Life-support Systems​

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