Esperance mallee

Esperance mallee is an ecoregion on the south coast of Western Australia, a coastal strip where the predominant vegetation consists of short eucalyptus trees and shrubs. [2][3][4]

Esperance mallee
MAL Mallee 1 Clyde Hill NR III-2011.jpg
Sand mallee (Eucalyptus eremophila) at Clyde Hill Nature Reserve, Western Australia
Ecoregion AA1202.svg
location map showing the Esperance mallee ecoregion
Ecology
RealmAustralasian
BiomeMediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub
BordersCoolgardie woodlands, Southwest Australia savanna and Southwest Australia woodlands
Geography
Area102,261 km2 (39,483 sq mi)
CountryAustralia
StatesWestern Australia
Conservation
Conservation statusCritical/endangered
Protected21,103 km² (21%)[1]

Location and descriptionEdit

A part of the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome, Esperance mallee is an aggregation of the Esperance Plains and Mallee Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) regions.[5]

 
Salmon gum (Eucalyptus salmonophloia) woodland along the Coolgardie-Esperance highway in Salmon Gums, Western Australia.
 
The IBRA regions, with the Esperance Plains in red
 
The IBRA regions, with Mallee in red

FloraEdit

Mallee is a generic term used to describe a number of eucalyptus trees that have an underground bulb called a lignotuber from which new buds can sprout following a forest fire. Mallee trees and accompanying shrubs are thus adapted to the poor soils, lack of rainfall, and regular fires, something common for the dry coast.

FaunaEdit

Wildlife of the coast includes the highly venomous common death adder. Mammals include tiny honey possums (which feed on nectar of the kangaroo paw flowers) and the endangered western quoll. Birds include the endangered western whipbird, western ground parrots, red-winged fairywren, Australian white ibis, and the rare southwestern Cape Barren goose on the coast.

Threats and preservationEdit

Much of the area is used as agricultural land and habitats are threatened by clearance. This is leading to fragmentation, over-irrigation, and wildlife becoming vulnerable to introduced species such as foxes.

 
The Esperance mallee ecoregion, with agricultural areas in yellow, and native vegetation in green. The IBRA boundaries are shown in red. Towns, road, and railways are also shown.

Protected areasEdit

A 2017 assessment found that 21,103 km², or 21%, of the ecoregion is in protected areas.[6] Protected areas include Cape Arid National Park, Fitzgerald River National Park, Frank Hann National Park, and Nuytsland Nature Reserve.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Eric Dinerstein, David Olson, et al. (2017). An Ecoregion-Based Approach to Protecting Half the Terrestrial Realm, BioScience, Volume 67, Issue 6, June 2017, Pages 534–545; Supplemental material 2 table S1b. [1]
  2. ^ "Map of Ecoregions 2017". Resolve. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Esperance mallee". Digital Observatory for Protected Areas. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Esperance mallee". The Encyclopedia of Earth. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  5. ^ "Esperance mallee". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.
  6. ^ Eric Dinerstein, David Olson, et al. (2017). An Ecoregion-Based Approach to Protecting Half the Terrestrial Realm, BioScience, Volume 67, Issue 6, June 2017, Pages 534–545; Supplemental material 2 table S1b. [2]
  • World Wildlife Fund, ed. (2001). "Esperance mallee". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile. National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 8 March 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2007.

Further readingEdit

  • Thackway, R and I D Cresswell (1995) An interim biogeographic regionalisation for Australia : a framework for setting priorities in the National Reserves System Cooperative Program Version 4.0 Canberra : Australian Nature Conservation Agency, Reserve Systems Unit, 1995. ISBN 0-642-21371-2

Coordinates: 33°20′S 121°10′E / 33.333°S 121.167°E / -33.333; 121.167