Brigalow Belt

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Description

The Brigalow Belt bioregion is a large and complex area covering 36,400,000 ha (19% occurs in the Burdekin Dry Tropics region). It encompasses much of the 500-750mm per annum rainfall country from the Qld/NSW border to Townsville. The bioregion is characterised by the leguminous tree Acacia harpophylla (Brigalow) which forms forest and woodland on clay soils.

The Brigalow Belt bioregion has become a major agricultural and pastoral area. Coal mining is a significant industry in the Bowen Basin in the north of the bioregion and cypress pine and native hardwoods are harvested from sandstone landscapes in the south of the bioregion.

Important regional centres including Goondiwindi, Dalby, Roma, Biloela, Emerald, Rockhampton, Ayr and Townsville are located within this bioregion.

Biodiversity

The inland plains of the Brigalow belt originally supported vast vegetation communities dominated by Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla). On the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range there are large tracts of eucalypt woodlands and the bioregion is also a stronghold for large numbers of endemic invertebrates.

This bioregion includes populations of the endangered Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby and the only remaining wild population of the endangered Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat, now limited to around 110 individuals. The area contains important habitat for rare and threatened species including the Bulloak, the Jewel Butterfly, Brigalow Scaly-foot, Glossy Black-Cockatoo, Greater Long-eared Bat, Large Pied Bat, Eastern Long-eared Bat and the threatened community of semi-evergreen vine thickets. The bioregion provides important habitat for star finches and golden tailed geckos.

Threats

Broad-scale clearing for agriculture and unsustainable grazing is fragmenting the original vegetation particularly on lowland areas, encouraging weed invasion and putting at risk woodland and grassland birds and the natural water cycle. Inappropriate fire regimes and predation by feral animals, in particular pigs, cats and foxes, pose additional threats to local biodiversity.

Reference

  • The Conservation Status of Queensland's Bioregional Ecosystems, Sattler, P. & Williams, R. 1999

Bioregions occurring in the Burdekin Dry Tropics region © NQ Dry Tropics
A section of the Brigalow Belt bioregion occurs in the Burdekin Dry Tropics region

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