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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.

Last updated: 06/04/2006

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