Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray-Kulkyne

©Wikimedia Commons/ Cogs
Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray-Kulkyne Biosphere Reserve, Australia

The Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray-Kulkyne Biosphere Reserve is located in Southeast Australia. It comprises three main habitats: riveraise woodlands, savanna woodlands and saline shrublands. The Murray River flows through the reserve and is connected to several wetlands. However, due to the semi-arid climate it only fills intermittently with water. The main land formations are saline flats that contain shallow soils overlying gypsum, dune fields that contain relics of Pleistocence sand ridges, and floodplains that are formed of a quarterly alluvium.

Designation Date: 1981
Administrative Authorities: Parks Victoria.
Surface area (terrestrial): 51,500 ha
Core area(s): 5,680 ha
Buffer area(s): 45,820 ha

Location
Latitude: 34°20'S – 34°50'S
Longitude: 142°20'E – 142°45'E
Centre point: 34°21'5.2"S - 142°19'48"E

Ecological Characteristics

©Wikimedia Commons/ Greg Miles
Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray-Kulkyne Biosphere reserve, Australia

Even though the reserve experiences soil salinity problems, caused by the damming of the Murray River, the diversity of flora and fauna is quite rich.
Southern sclerophyll and grassland savannas characterize the biogeographical region, while dune fields located next to floodplains intermingle with buloke
and pine resulting in a highly unique and rare environment. Among the biodiversity found in Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray-Kulkyne are Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Callitris gracilis and Acacia stenophylla. A number of threatened species also struggle for survival within the reserve, including approximately 32 examples of flora, such as Abutilon otocarpum (desert lantern). Endangered fauna include species of birds, such as Chlamydera maculate (spotted bowerbird), reptiles such as Vermicella annulata (bandy-bandy), mammals such as Cercartetus concinnus (western pygmy possum) and Tandanus tandanus (freshwater catfish). 

 

Socio-Economic Characteristics

© Miguel Aguilar Barrera

©Wikimedia Commons/ Glen Fergus
Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray-Kulkyne Biosphere Reserve, Australia

Some 252 people reside permanently in the Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray-Kulkyne Biosphere Reserve, with 2,500 people living there a seasonal basis. Local communities within the reserve are either staff members or residents of the Hattah township. The nearest major towns are Mildura and Ouyen. Various cultural sites that were once home to the Latje-Latje Aboriginal tribe are now subject to native title claims. To this tribe, red gum species are important for fire-marking and pine and buloke species traditionally serve as strong and essential timber resources for the construction of huts and fences. The main economic income in Hattah-Kulkyne and Murray-Kulkyne derives from tourism with around 90,000 national and 9,000 foreign tourists visiting the reserve annually. Major activities in the reserve include fishing, camping, hiking and nature research.

 


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