To Unesco home page

To sitemap

To MAB home page title2.gif (2287 bytes)
      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Bookmark Biosphere Reserve consists of a typical floodplain of an ancient river with large associated wetlands, lakes and adjoining creeks. Whilst these wetlands would have naturally been alternately flooded and dry, the lakes are now mostly filled due to increased river levels caused by the influence of the locks and weirs built in the last century to make the river navigable and to maintain water for irrigation. Bookmark boasts one of the largest remaining continuous stands of ancient mallee (multi-stemmed tree-like Eucalyptus plants that originally grew in many semi-arid parts of Australia) left in the world. Because of this, it is home to a number of rare and endangered species, some of which are no longer found anywhere else on earth. Over 275 bird species, 843 plant species and 79 reptiles and amphibians are recorded. More than 17,000 people (2003) live in the area near the Murray River which is known as the Riverland. River life was once of great significance with turtles, fish, waterfowl and mollusks providing food sources for indigenous groups. Renmark, Paringa, Berri and Barmera are towns that have joined Bookmark Biosphere Reserve. Horticulture is the backbone of the districts economy and the current boom in wine grape production has boosted income considerably. Previously significant grazing, mainly sheep, and extensive woodcutting for fuel and construction denuded areas near the floodplain.. Factors including irrigation, vegetation clearance, management of the River and land use patterns throughout the Murray Darling Basin have affected the floodplain and other low lying areas that are showing the effects of salination. The Local Action Planning Committees coordinate a number of projects in the biosphere reserve to protect remnant vegetation and establish more efficient irrigation practices. This includes fencing to keep stock out and controls on grazing pressure from introduced species. Almost 216,000 national and 4,600 tourists visit the reserve each year (2003). Ecotourism is becoming increasingly popular and show potential for future development. Commonwealth land in Bookmark Biosphere Reserve consists of Calperum and Taylorville Stations. These areas have been contracted to a private philanthropic environmental organisation, the Australian Landscape Trust (ALT). ALT matches funding made available by the Commonwealth government. The community “matches” the funding again through volunteered time and services. These resources are invested each year in activities at Calperum and Taylorville Stations and within other conservation programs in the community. In 2002 community members donated over 14,000 hours to land management, environmental and species restoration, revegetation, feral animal control, maintenance of infrastructure, research, monitoring, educational programs, biological surveys and experiments in sustainable development. Each of the former paddocks of Calperum and Taylorville are managed by community volunteers assisted by professional staff of ALT. Many of the committed volunteers formed an incorporated body, Community Land Management, Inc., through which they provide assistance to other communities in Australia that wish to contribute to stewardship for the conservation estate. Through their partnership, the Renmark Paringa District Council and ALT raised $2m to build the McCormick Centre for the Environment that opened in 2002. This is a facility that serves as a gateway to the Biosphere Reserve with laboratories, a lecture theatre and an interactive model to serve goals in public education that presents the environmental issues before all who live in the Murray Darling Basin.
  Major ecosystem type   Warm desert and semidesert
  Major habitats & land cover types   Chenopod shrubland divides the floodplain from the Mallee country that makes up the greater part of the biosphere reserve; semi-arid habitats; mallee is dominated by eucalypts trees; black oak woodlands; black box and red gum forests
  Location   33°08' to 33°30'S; 140° to 141°E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   900,000
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)  
  Year designated   1977, extension 1995
  Administrative authorities   under review
  Brief description   Wildlife Surveys
Watering Point Survey
Vertebrate Fauna Survey
Mallee Fowl Research
Ground Water Monitoring
Exclosure Monitoring
Wetland Research and Monitoring
Black Eared Miner
Colonial Bird Nesting
Nestbox Program
Photopoint / Vegetation Survey
Reny Island Stone Curlew Survey
Fish Rehabilitation
Reny Island Possum Survey
Rain Gauge Monitoring
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Climate, groundwater, monitoring/methodologies.
  Biodiversity   Amphibians, autoecology/synecology, birds, fauna, fishes, methodologies, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment, vegetation studies/plant cover, wetlands, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   Management issues.
  Contact address   Renee Fielke
Secretary (Treasurer), Riverland Biosphere Committee
PO Box 2348
5343 Berri - SA
  Telephone   (61.08) 85832153
  Fax   (61.08) 85831034
  Web site   Calperum and Taylorville Stations

Last updated: 13/03/2007

To topTo MAB home pageTo UNESCO