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Dryandra Woodland, Wandering Narrogin Rd, Narrogin, WA, Australia

Photographs None
List Register of the National Estate (Non-statutory archive)
Class Natural
Legal Status Registered (21/03/1978)
Place ID 9928
Place File No 5/06/094/0001
Statement of Significance
Dryandra Woodland is one of the most significant places within the wheat belt region of WA. It is of major significance in maintaining ecological processes being one of the few pockets of uncleared land which is large and varied enough to continue to provide a habitat for wheat belt species. Dryandra Woodland provides habitat for twenty-one of the forty-six species of native mammals which remain in the wheat belt making it critical to the maintenance of bio-diversity within the wheat belt region and the State. Dryandra Woodland plays an important role in the maintenance of populations of at least three nationally endangered fauna species: woylie (BETTONGIA PENICILLATA), red tailed phascogale (PHASCOGALE CALURA) and over 50% of the total known population of numbat (MYRMECOBIUS FASCIATUS). The place also supports at least two species endangered at the State level, the Tammar wallaby (MACROPUS EUGENII) and crested shrike tit (FALCUNCULUS FRONTATUS). In addition, eighteen conservation priority plant species also occur in the place. Compared with the nearby wheat belt nature reserves of Tutanning (697 species) and the south coast national parks of Walpole/Nornalup (698 species) and Fitzgerald River (1,748 species), Dryandra Woodland has a rich flora of 816 identified native plant species. The place also has a high diversity of species of fungus. Although only limited surveys of this group have been conducted to date more than 100 species of larger fungi have been recorded in Dryandra . The place contains a diverse native vertebrate fauna with twenty-one mammal, ninety-eight bird, fifty-six reptile and eight frog species. This number of species is relatively high for the wheat belt region. Dryandra Woodland is also an important flora and fauna transition between the arid zone and south-west forest and is therefore of considerable biogeographic interest. The place contains expressions of a number of vegetation communities in excellent condition which are characteristic of the wheat belt region. Dryandra Woodland has high aesthetic characteristics and is highly valued by the community of the region and the south-west of WA.

The local Nyungar people have strong cultural links with the Dryandra Woodland. The Commission has determined that this place has Indigenous values of National Estate significance. The Commission is currently consulting with relevant Indigenous communities about the amount of information to be placed on public record.

It is possible that historic values of National Estate significance may exist within this place. As yet these values have not been identified, documented nor assessed.
Official Values Not Available
Description
The Dryandra Woodland lies about 160km south-east of Perth in the wheat belt region of Western Australia. It comprises a number of discrete blocks scattered over approximately 50km and separated by areas of agricultural land. The Dryandra Woodland is found within the south-western province of the Yilgarn Block, an ancient plateau composed mainly of granite, with intrusions of dolerite and capped with laterite. Past weathering of the plateau in the Dryandra area has produced a gently undulating countryside, with distinct breakaway slopes that can be partitioned into three broad landform units: Norrine (lateritic uplands), Noombling (valley slopes) and Biberkine (valley floors). The vegetation associations of Dryandra are closely linked to these landform units. Dryandra Woodland lies on the boundary between the Darling and the Avon botanical districts of the south-west botanical province. As a result Dryandra's flora is a transition between the higher rainfall area of the jarrah forest to the west and the semi-arid wheat belt of the east. Twelve vegetation associations in Dryandra have been mapped and are closely linked to the landform and soils of the area. The high country of the area is a laterite plateau, sometimes with light, sandy soils lying on it. The upper storey of the landform unit is a woodland of powderbark (EUCALYPTUS ACCEDENS), jarrah (E MARGINATA) and a few marri (E CALOPHYLLA). The shrub layer is diverse and spectacular when in flower. It is dominated by various species of Dryandra, especially D NOBILIS and D ARMATA. Other shrubs include ADENANTHOS, CONOSPERMUM, BANKSIA SPHAEROCARPA, ISOPOGON spp and ACACIA PULCHELLA. On poorer soils where the upper storey is absent the mallee, EUCALYPTUS DRUMMONDII occurs, occasionally in dense stands. There is little or no ground cover. The plateau can give way to a slope either abruptly (in a breakaway) or gradually. If there is a breakaway, open forest of brown mallet (E ASTRINGENS) usually occur just below it. This rapidly changes into powderbark slopes. Where no breakaway occurs the plateau vegetation changes more gradually into powderbark slopes, a woodland of powderbark with a shrub layer which is usually sand plain poison (GASTROLOBIUM MICROCARPUM), although in some areas this is replaced by BOSSIAEA ERIOCARPA. Further down the slope the upper storey changes to wandoo (E WANDOO) with a shrub layer composed almost entirely of sand plain poison. Rock she oak (ALLOCASUARINA HUEGELIANA) occurs on granitic soils around exposed granite outcrops. The valley floor vegetation consists of a woodland or open woodland of wandoo with no shrub layer and a ground cover of grasses and sedges. In heavier soils jam (ACACIA ACUMINATA) occurs. On areas of alluvial white sand the dominant upper storey is marri while the under storey contains much LEPTOSPERMUM sp and HYPOCALYMMA sp as well as sand plain poison. In some areas DRYANDRA SESSILIS is an important under storey component. Wandoo often forms a proportion of the upper storey. Alluvial soils on the slopes are covered with a closed heath with little or no upper storey. Of note is 8,300ha of brown mallet plantations which were planted between 1926-62 in areas once covered by wandoo woodlands. Dryandra Woodland has a rich flora which includes species from both jarrah forest and the semi-arid wheat belt. In addition to the diverse array of vascular plants, there are many species of fungi, mosses, liverworts and lichens. Many of the larger fungi are hypogeal (underground) species, an integral part of the rare woylie's (BETTONGIA PENICILLATA) diet. The place contains a diverse fauna with elements of both the Jarrah forest and the wheat belt. The herpetofauna generally reflects the Woodland's position on the transition zone between the wheat belt and the jarrah forest, with several species existing at the eastern or western limits of their range. This fauna includes the golden flecked burrowing frog (HELEIOPORUS BARYCRAGUS) which is largely restricted to the western Darling Range.
History Not Available
Condition and Integrity
The place is actively managed by the Department of Conservation and Land Management for conservation of flora and fauna and mallet timber production. It is considered to be in good condition within the context of the wheat belt region, though it is far from pristine. Fox baiting in the reserve and adjacent land has led to a dramatic increase of the small to medium native mammal populations. Since the early part of the century most of this woodland has been cut over for sawlogs, fencing material and firewood. The broad scale cutting of wandoo ceased in 1977 (Forest Department 1981). Very low volumes of wandoo and powderbark (about twenty-five trees per year) were still cut until 1993 (D Mitchell pers comm 1995). At least 8,316ha of brown mallet (a species native to the Dryandra Woodland) plantations were established in the Dryandra Woodland between 1926 (Forest Department 1926) and 1962 (Sutton et al, 1994) . Plantations of this species were successfully established over 3,430ha. Some 2,812ha contain more open mallet stands with a limited range of under storey species and mallet failed to establish over the remaining 2,074ha. This area now carries a mixed vegetation including areas of wandoo, powderbark, rock sheoak, heath and communities associated with rocky outcrops. Over the next 100 years the brown mallet will be progressively cut and regenerated to the original native vegetation. The poorly established plantation areas will be the first to be rehabilitated (Sutton et al 1994). The Dryandra settlement is located within the place.
Location
About 25,000ha, Wandering Narrogin Road, 18km north-west of Narrogin, being a discontinuous area of forest comprising State Forests 51 and 53 and reserves or former reserves 16201, 18856, 25768, 31670, 26643 and 31378.
Bibliography
Beard J.S.(1981). Vegetation Survey of Western Australia. Swan 1:1,000,000 Vegetation Series. University of Western Australia Press, Nedlands.

Burbidge A.A. (1977). The Management of Dryandra Forest for Wildlife Conservation Internal Report of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Perth.

Butler W.H. (1965). Report of a Survey of the Vertebrate Fauna of Contine Forest Reserve, South West Australia, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Perth.

Calaby J.H. (1960). Observations on the Banded Anteater MYRMECOBIUS FASCIATUS Waterhouse (Marsupialia), with particular reference to its food habits Proceeding of the Zoological Society, London , 135 (2) 183-207.

CALM (1991). A report on Aboriginal Activities and Nature Conservation in the South West of Western Australia Department of Conservation and Land Management, Perth.

Christensen P. (1978). Management conflict in Dryandra Forest Internal Report of the Forests Department of Western Australia, Perth.

Christensen P.E.S. (1980). The Biology of Bettongia penicillata Gray, 1837, and MACROPUS EUGENII (Desmarest, 1817) in Relation to Fire Western Australian Department of Forests, Como.

Coates A. (1993). Vegetation survey of Dryandra Woodland. Internal Report of Department of Conservation and Land Management , Perth.

Department of Conservation and Land Management (1985) Fire Considerations in Dryandra Forest. Internal Report of Department of Conservation and Land Management, Perth.

Forests Department (1926). Working Plan No. 42 General Preliminary Mallet Working Plan Working Circle. Internal Report of the Forests Department of Western Australia, Perth.

Forests Department (1981). Land use Management for Dryandra Forest. Internal Report of the Forests Department of Western Australia, Perth.

Friend JA. (1990a). The numbat MYRMECOBIUS FASCIATUS: History of Decline and Potential for recovery Proceedings of the Ecological Society of Australia 16, 369-377.

Friend JA. (1990b). Numbat Dawn Landscope Vol. 5, No. 4, Winter.

Kinnear J.E. (1992). Vexing the Vixens Landscope Vol. 7, No. 4, Winter.

Majer J.D. (1985). Invertebrate Studies in Disturbed and Pristine Habitats of Dryandra State Forest. Research Paper 80, Forests Department of Western Australia, Perth.

McArthur W.M., Churchward H.M and Hick P.T. (1977). Landforms and Soils of the Murray River Catchment of Western Australia CSIRO Div. Land Res. Mgt. Ser. No. 3, 1-23.

Ninox Wildlife Consulting (1991). Dryandra State Forest - A Comparison of the Vertebrate Fauna of Selected Mallet Plantations and Natural Vegetation Communities. Internal Report of Department of Conservation and Land Management , Perth.

Serventy V. (1970). Dryandra, The Story of an Australian Forest. Reed Publishers, Sydney.

Sutton A., Mitchell D., Fiend T., Gorton S. and Hilder D. (1994). Dryandra Woodland Draft Management Plan Produced by the Department of Conservation and Land Management for the Lands and Forest Commission, Perth Western Australia.

Report Produced  Wed Jul 23 20:37:51 2014