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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Barkindji Biosphere Reserve is situated in south-eastern Australia, in the State of New South Wales, along the Murray River. It lies 550 km north-west of Melbourne and 400 km north-east of Adelaide. The Barkindji are the indigenous Aboriginal people from the north of the Murray River and permission has been sought to use the name.

The Murray Darling catchment region in which the Biosphere Reserve is located lies within the Murray-Darling Basin and is shaped like a shallow bowl. The bedrock of the basin is over 350 million years old. Water has carved creeks and river channels through the mountains and plains of this dry continent. These seasonal water movements, swinging from flood to drought, cause unique plants and animals to evolve that depend on these patterns to breed, survive and grow, such as Murray cod (Maccullochella peelii peelii) and river red gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis). The major topographic features of the area are the Murray River, floodplain and wetlands, sandplains, dunes and open plains. The area has a semi-arid climate with highly variable rainfall. There is enormous conservation value in the area both in terms of flora and fauna of riverine and semi-arid areas and from a geological, archaeological and cultural heritage perspective. More than 200 rare and endangered species of plants and animals are found within the area.

The nearest towns are Mildura and Wentworth. The surrounding population includes Aboriginal people and people of a wide variety of European origin who are largely involved in agriculture, horticulture, viticulture and supporting industries. It is planned that the Biosphere Reserve projects will provide employment and training opportunities for local Aboriginal people. There are many sites of Aboriginal cultural heritage in the area and the Barkindji and Respected Elders will continue to be involved in the development of the Biosphere Reserve.

A guide to management has been developed, which sets out the objectives and evaluation criteria for projects within the area. In addition, Trust for Nature, as the lead conservation partner for the core area, has developed a management strategy following a landscape scale conservation planning process facilitated by the US Nature Conservancy.
  Major ecosystem type   Riverine and semi-arid areas
  Major habitats & land cover types   River; Wetlands and floodplains characterized by river red gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), black box (E.largiflorens), lignum, and goosefoot flora dependant on floodwater for survival; Chenopod shrublands with salt bush, blue bush (Maireana pyramidata), many dryland species; highly variable flora; Sandplains and dunes characterized by mallee (Eucalyptus sp.), belah (Casuarina pauper) and other flora adapted to sandy soils.
  Location   3410'S; 14210'E (Central point)
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   191,823
  Core area(s)   41,521
  Buffer zone(s)   14,302
  Transition area(s) when given   136,000
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +23 to +50
  Year designated   2005
  Administrative authorities   Barkindji Biosphere Reserve Ltd.
  Brief description   The core area includes three former agricultural properties. These areas all have major flora and fauna conservation value and include sites of indigenous and paleontological significance. In addition, a nature reserve has been included in the core area. The buffer zone includes the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens, Mildura Wastewater Lagoon and as well as two agricultural properties, the owners of which have indicated a desire to transfer the land to the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens or Barkindji Biosphere Ltd in the foreseeable future for conservation, research and education purposes. The industries, which operate within the transition area, have demonstrated a willingness to work towards the relevant environment standards. These businesses include salt mining, tourism, sand mining, wineries, citrus growing and grazing properties.

Monitoring of climate, hydrology and geomorphology; preparation of maps. Landscape scale community based conservation planning process; Inventorying of floral and faunal species; Monitoring of birds, bats and native animals within the area. Monitoring of economic data related to tourism; Monitoring of data provided by different government agencies for planning service delivery and development.The research and monitoring functions are based on a partnership approach with Trust for Nature taking a lead in the monitoring and La Trobe University taking the lead in the research program. La Trobe University has prepared an overview of the proposed research program, which focuses on habitat protection and sustainable land use.
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Abiotic factors, climate, drought, erosion, geology, geomorphology, groundwater, habitat, hydrology, monitoring/methodologies, siltation/sedimentation, soil, topography.
  Biodiversity   Afforestation/Reforestation, alien/invasive/exotic/introduced species, amphibians, arid/semi-arid, biodiversity, biogeography, biology, birds, conservation, degraded areas, desertification, dune systems, ecology, ecosystem assessment, ecosystem functioning/ecosystem structure, endemic species, evolutionary studies/palaeoecology/evolution, fauna, fires/fire ecology, fishes, flora, forest systems, freshwater/inland water, invertebrates/insects/spiders, mammals, monitoring/methodologies, natural medicinal products, pests/diseases, plants, rare/endangered/threatened species, reptiles, species inventorying/inventory.
  Socio-economic   Monitoring methodologies, tourism.
  Integrated monitoring   Landscape inventorying/monitoring, management issues, mapping, monitoring/methodologies, planning and zoning measures/zonation, sustainable development/sustainable use.
  Contact address   John Irwin
Barkindji Biosphere Reserve Ltd.
150 Pine Avenue, Mildura 3500
3052 Mildura, Victoria
  Telephone   (61.3) 5018 9318
  Fax   (61.3) 5023 7560
  Web site

Last updated: 06/04/2006

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