Upper Belyando River subcatchment draft HEV waters
The Upper Belyando River subcatchment straddles 3 bioregions, the Desert Uplands, The Brigalow Belt North and the Brigalow Belt South. It has a very low proportion of its area within National Park and other protected estate. Much of the catchment is used for grazing cattle, with large areas suffering from low ground cover and erosion as a result of grazing pressure.
The Upper Belyando River contains some large, persistent waterholes. The condition of these waterholes is poorly known but most are likely to have suffered some level of water quality impacts. However, despite some water quality impacts, these water holes represent important aquatic habitat and drought refuge for fish, crustaceans and other aquatic biota.
One area in the Upper Belyando River subcatchment was assessed by the WQIP ecological values technical panel to be “effectively unmodified” (ANZECC 2000) and has been identified as containing High Ecological Value (HEV) waters. This area covers the Narrien Range, within the Narrien Range National Park, in the south-east of the subcatchment.
The Narrien Range National Park, declared in 1998, protects an area of the Narrien Range, a quartz sandstone massif, which divides the Mistake and Upper Belyando subcatchments. The highest peak is Camp Oven Mountain (759m). A spring has been recorded on EPA’s database at the head of Cattle Creek flowing from the northern section of this range. This spring lies outside the national park boundary but it is likely that similar springs exist within national park. This is supported by the name of one creek being Spring Creek. No information is available about the water quality condition but the area is largely inaccessible and appears to be in a natural state. Springs in this area would provide a very important source of water in an otherwise dry landscape. Fensham (1995) reported that the Narrien Range contained the most inland dry rainforest patch in this region. A record of the Northern Quoll, being observed in these ranges also exists from 1998. The Narrien National Park also contains stands of the endangered Eucalyptus cambageana woodland (RE 11.4.8).
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