Rosella Creek

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Vegetation

Riparian Habitat

iTRARC analysis of Riparian Habitat indicates that this subcatchment has undergone a large decline in condition over the last 30 years. In the 1970s the catchment was in relatively good (B) condition, but by 2004 had dropped to very poor (D) condition. This drop in condition was primarily due to extensive clearing of the floodplain, including floodplain forests. The field survey results for this catchment also indicate very poor riparian zone conditions. However additional sites would be required to provide a better overview of on-ground conditions.

iTRARC Scores

Catchment Class 2 D
Maximum iTRARC Score 18 (A)
1970s Score 10 (B)
2004 Score 0 (D)
Reduction in Ecosystem Services Large
Increase in Potential for Erosion Large
Reasons for Change in Score
  • Increased number and % of gaps in the headwater streams and on the main channel
  • Extensive floodplain clearing including forest
  • Increased bare soil on the floodplain
  • Increased number of low cover hill slopes adjacent to the stream network

TRARC (field survey) scores

Survey SiteScoreRegenerationWeeds
Rosella Ck48.2 (D)1 (C)4 spp: 30% cover (D)
Average 48.2 (D)

Reference:Assessing the condition of Riparian Vegetation in the Burdekin catchment

Wetlands

This sub-division is poorly known ecologically. The creeks are generally dry with limited habitat availability, though some waterholes are present. Condition is not well known but is thought to be typical of sub-divisions in this area that are dominated by cattle grazing.

Reference: Assessing the condition of Wetlands in the Burdekin catchment

For more information see Rosella Creek wetland condition summary

Water

SedNet Modelling of Water Quality

Model results for the Rosella Creek subcatchment are summarized as follows:

  • Subcatchment modelled area: 1,459 sq. km.
  • Source contributions: Hillslope = 74%; Gully = 15%; Streambank = 10%
  • Area of subcatchment with <50% ground cover: 530sq. km or 36% of subcatchment
  • Hillslope sediment supply: 457 kg/ha/yr
  • Total suspended sediment (flow weighted) supply: 87 kt/yr
  • Total suspended sediment supply (flow weighted; normalized to area): 617 kg/ha/yr
  • Total suspended sediment end-of-subcatchment (flow weighted) yield: 76 kt/yr
  • Event Mean Concentration (EMC - flow weighted): 797 mg/L
  • Mean Annual Flow: 95,337 ML

Reference: Improved SedNet Modelling of Grazing Land in the Burdekin Catchment

Hillslope erosion is identified as the major source of sediment and particulate nutrients affecting water quality within the Rosella Creek subcatchment (74%), while gully erosion is predicted to make a substantial contribution also (15%). It is estimated that approximately 36% of the subcatchment has poor ground cover (<50%). Total suspended sediment loss from all sources is predicted to be moderate (617 kg/ha/yr). The event mean concentration of suspended sediment is predicted to be moderately high (797 mg/L).

Water Quality Monitoring

There are no water quality monitoring data available for this catchment.

Relevant information of Water Quality Monitoring in the Bowen Broken Bogie River Basin:

Environmental Uses and Values

Aquatic Ecosystems

A very small area within the Rosella Creek subcatchment, corresponding to the Black Jack Mountain Nature Refuge located near the centre of the subcatchment adjacent to the west bank of Kangaroo Creek, has been identified as containing High Ecological Value (HEV) waters by the BWQIP ecological values technical panel. The streams the area are ephemeral and, while the area does not appear to contain any permanent water bodies, it does contain significant remnant habitat. The aquatic ecosystem values of other parts of the subcatchment are considered to be Slightly to Moderately Disturbed (SMD) as a consequence of the surrounding land use for cattle grazing.

Blackjack Mountain Nature Refuge (199.8ha) is the first nature refuge negotiated with Queensland’s largest leaseholder, Stanbroke Pastoral Company. This nature refuge supports a population of the vulnerable plant species Croton magneticus. Blackjack is also habitat for the vulnerable squatter pigeon and is a potential habitat for the rare black-chinned honeyeater and the legless lizard.

Stock Watering

Water supply for production of healthy livestock.

Industrial Use

Mining in the Rosella Creek subcatchment.

Cultural and Spiritual

Custodial use of water resources by Wirri traditional owners.

References:

Landuse

Principle land uses within the Rosella Creek subcatchment as a proportion of total area:

  • Grazing: 77.8%
  • Conservation & minimal use: 19.6%
  • Mining: 2.5%
  • Water: Limited water activity use identified.
  • Urban & semi urban: Limited urban & semi urban water activity use identified.

Grazing Land

Rosella Creek is a small subcatchment where the principle land use is grazing on natural pastures.

Land Condition

Definition of ABCD land condition framework

Results of a Rapid Land Condition Assessment (adopted from Hassett et al. 2000) are presented below. The assessment has been devised to subjectively characterise condition while traversing the BDT region by vehicle. The data are based on a total of 4666 observations across the Burdekin region between 2004 and 2007.

The data were collected to provide independent information on land condition and provide a regional perspective. Resource assessment data are most useful when interpreted with other sources of data e.g. time-series remote sensing, modelling and water quality monitoring.

The estimated condition of the Rosella Creek sub-catchment is proportioned as follows:

  • A Condition: 23%
  • B Condition: 50%
  • C Condition: 25%
  • D Condition: 2%

Data from the Rosella Creek sub-catchment is based on 40 observations.

On the basis of the rapid assessment, the Rosella Creek sub-catchment is estimated to have the largest proportion of land in fair (B) condition (50%), followed by poor (C) condition (25%) and good (A) condition land (23%). 2% of observed land was in very poor (D) condition.

Ground Cover

Ground Cover in the Rosella Creek sub-catchment is proportioned as follows:

  • ( BC) Bare Cover: 0%
  • ( LC) Low Cover: 10%
  • ( MC) Moderate Cover: 52%
  • ( HC) High Cover: 24%
  • (VHC) Very High Cover: 14%

Data from the Rosella Creek sub-catchment are based on 29 observations.

On the basis of the rapid assessment (2004-2007), the Rosella Creek sub-catchment is estimated to have the highest proportion of land within the moderate (MC) ground cover category (52%), followed by high (HC) cover (24%) and very high (VHC) cover (14%) categories. 10% of land was estimated to fall into the low cover (LC) category.

Mining

  • Newlands Coal

    Resource Condition Summary

    Rosella Creek is a small subcatchment where the principle land use is grazing on natural pastures. Approximately 20% of the land area is set aside for conservation and minimal use. The condition of riparian habitat in the subcatchment has undergone major decline over the last 30 years due to extensive clearing of the floodplain. The catchment was in fair (B) condition in the 1970s, but by 2004 its condition had declined to very poor (D). Rosella Creek is a largely sandy, dry seasonal creek system with limited habitat availability, although waterholes are present that create aquatic habitat in places. Very little is known about the ecology and condition of aquatic habitats in the subcatchment.

    Hillslope erosion is identified by models as the major source of sediment and particulate nutrients affecting water quality in the Rosella Creek subcatchment, while gully and streambank erosion are also predicted to make substantial contributions. The rate of soil erosion is predicted to be moderate and below the Basin average, while the total soil loss from the subcatchment is comparatively low compared to other basin subcatchments. Land condition is assessed as having the highest proportion in fair (B) condition, with roughly equal proportions of good (A) and poor (C) condition land. This is also reflected in the ground cover assessment (2004-07). Analysis of ground cover from satellite imagery (reference) identifies areas of chronic and vulnerable 'D' condition land in the north-east and south of the subcatchment. While the mean ground cover over the entire subcatchment declined from 92% in 1999 to 71% in 2004, it had recovered to 85% in 2006.

    Water quality in the Rosella Creek subcatchment is predicted by models to be relatively poor, with elevated concentrations of sediment at end-of-subcatchment. There are no water quality monitoring data, however, with which to compare the modelled concentrations. On the basis of the land condition and ground cover assessments, verification of modelling should be undertaken as a priority.

    Draft Environmental Values

    A very small area within the Rosella Creek subcatchment, corresponding to the Black Jack Mountain Nature Refuge located near the centre of the subcatchment adjacent to the west bank of Kangaroo Creek, has been identified as containing High Ecological Value (HEV) waters by the BWQIP ecological values technical panel. The streams the area are ephemeral and, while the area does not appear to contain any permanent water bodies, it does contain significant remnant habitat. The aquatic ecosystem values of other parts of the subcatchment are considered to be Slightly to Moderately Disturbed (SMD) as a consequence of the surrounding land use. Little is known about the human use Environmental Values of water in the subcatchment, which are thought to be limited to use for stock watering and the cultural and spiritual values of the Wirri traditional owners.

    Maps

    References

  • RosellaCreek.jpg
    Download Catchment Layer as *.kml (requires Google Earth)

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