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      Biosphere Reserve Information
     

Australia

FITZGERALD RIVER

 
       
  General Description   The Fitzgerald River National and Park Biosphere Reserve (330,000 ha) is situated between Bremer Bay and Hopetoun on the South Coast of Western Australia. It comprises upland plains, a marine plain deeply incised by several rivers creating large valleys and tablelands, and a chain of small isolated peaks running close to the coast forming the distinctive Barren Ranges. The highest peak reaches 450 metres above sea level, and rugged coastal cliffs are formed where the quartzite ranges meet the ocean. Sand dunes, inlets and rivers, swamps and lakes also occur on the gently sloping marine plain, drying up in summer. There is a rich diversity of plant species in the park and surrounding areas. This includes dry sclerophyllous woodland, coastal woodlands and heath. The reserve contains over 250 rare or geographically restricted plant and animal species, many of which are poorly known. Of the 2,000 vascular plants species native to this area, around 75% are endemic. The human impacts that occur within the reserve are mainly related to tourism and the development of visitor facilities. Some 36,000 people (2003) visit the reserve each year. It is also affected by external land use practices. The reserve is surrounded by agricultural land. Many watercourses within the reserve have their catchments within agricultural lands thus bi-products of agricultural land practices are washed downstream into the reserve. The principal goal of the reserve is the conservation of flora and fauna, particularly threatened species and the provision of appropriate visitor access and facilities. Substantial areas of the park are zoned for wilderness (~78,000 ha) and special conservation protection (~70,000 ha). Most of the mountain peaks in the wilderness zone are prohibited access to protect threatened flora and reduce the risk of dieback disease introduction and spread (Phytophthora cinnamomi). A complementary role is to conserve the biosphere reserve’s landscapes free visible of human disturbance.
  Major ecosystem type   Evergreen sclerophyllous forests, scrubs or woodlands; coastal areas
  Major habitats & land cover types   Mallee heath dominated by tallerack (Eucalyptus tetragona) and with Banksia spp.; closed eucalypt mallee communities in river valleys; woodlands of swamp yate (E. occidentalis) or paperbark (Melaleuca parviflora); coastal areas with scrub communities; woodlands of oak-leaved dryandra (Dryandra quercifolia) and bell-fruited mallee (Eucalyptus preissiana); river habitats.
  Location   33°43' to 34°24'S; 119°05' to 120°05'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   329,039
  Core area(s)   329,039 (Fitzgerald River National Park)
  Buffer zone(s)   -
  Transition area(s) when given   -
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +457
  Year designated   1978
  Administrative authorities   Managed by the Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management on behalf of the Conservation Commission of Western Australia


Last updated: 12/21/2004

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