Great Victoria Desert

Australia

A large and expansive desert ecoregion of many small sandhills, grassland plains, gibber plains and salt lakes.

Great_Victoria_Desert

Status

Protection
0 %

Size

422,466 km²

UNESCO World Heritage Sites​

Nil

 

Background – CC Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported – Marian Deschain, 2011 / 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: The Brew

Services

Environmental Consulting: Low Ecological Services

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 Baarla (Eucalyptus gongylocarpa) and Ooldea Range Mallee (Eucalyptus canescens) if you have the 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 like Ponton Creek Mallee (Eucalyptus articulata), Red Mallee (Eucalyptus socialis) and Belah (Casuarina cristata) or tall shrubs like Mulga (Acacia aneura) and Emu Tree (Hakea francisiana). To create habitat, consider installation of nestboxes for native birds and creating tree hollows in old, dead tree limbs.

SHRUB LAYER

Plant native shrubs that are hardy to desert conditions including Narrow-leaved Hop-bush (Dodonaea attenuata), Honeysuckle Grevillea (Grevillea juncifolia), Cactus Bossiaea (Bossiaea walkeri), Pin Bush (Acacia nyssophylla), Western Myall (Acacia papyrocarpa), Tar Bush (Eremophila glabra) and Sandhill Hibiscus (Alyogyne pinoniana). To create habitat, consider installing insect hotels, compost-heaps and bird-baths in this layer.

GROUND LAYER

Plant tufts of cottage-garden style herbs and grasses like Lobed Spinifex (Triodia basedowii), Ruby Saltbush (Enchylaena tomentosa), Davenport Daisy (Lawrencella davenportii), Annual Yellowtop (Senecio gregorii) and the stunning, profusely-flowering Cephalipterum drummondii. 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 Great Victoria Desert is a global hotspot for plants and animals that are adapted to the extremes of survival. Reptiles, desert plants and birds are all well-adapted to tolerate hot days, cold nights and little standing water. The ecoregion is home to intriguing mammals as well, although many species have been driven to extinction largely due to introduced predators like cats. Reptiles are particularly well represented with over 100 species recorded by scientists in the desert’s ecosystems. The ecoregion also contains large protected areas as well as important Indigenous Protected Areas and the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (or APY) lands.

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

Large sand dune and sand plain desert

Climate

Desert

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.

Greater Stick-nest Rat
(Leporillus conditor)

Chestnut-breasted Whiteface
(Aphelocephala pectoralis)

Mt Finke Grevillea
(Grevillea treueriana)

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.

Lesser Stick-nest Rat
(Leporillus apicalis)

Long-tailed Hopping-mouse
(Notomys longicaudatus)

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

The Pearl Bluebush is a succulent-like small bluish-white shrub that is one of the few desert plants to provide moisture to grazers. This species is vital as a source of protein and hydration to many native animals.

Life-support Systems​

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