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Drooping sheoak

Drooping sheoak
Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board

Challenge

Drooping sheoak grassy woodland on calcrete (a calcium-rich sedimentary rock formation) once covered vast areas of the western Eyre Peninsula and lower Yorke Peninsula but is now among the most degraded vegetation in South Australia.

With drooping sheoak trees dominating the overstorey, a variety of shrubs (including wattles) in the midstorey and a mixture of small shrubs and grasses in the understorey, healthy sheoak grassy woodland systems can support an array of wildlife.

The decline of this valuable ecological community has been mirrored by the decline and - in some cases localised extinction - of native animals on the Eyre Peninsula such as the diamond firetail (locally declined) and glossy black-cockatoo (locally extinct).

Response

The Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board worked with others to gather scientific evidence and petition for this vegetation community to be given a new, stronger conservation status.

Success

In 2022 ‘Drooping sheoak grassy woodland on calcrete of the Eyre Yorke Block Bioregion’ was formally listed as critically endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

The new status provides increased protection for remnant areas from development and supports and expands the efforts of the many non-government organisations and individuals who have researched or looked after this vegetation community for decades and the traditional owners who have looked after it for thousands of years.

The goal now is to look after the few remaining areas that are in good health while increasing efforts to return drooping sheoak grassy woodlands to other calcrete areas on EP.

The Drooping sheoak grassy woodland on calcrete of the Eyre Yorke Block Bioregion occurs within country (the traditional lands) of the Wirangu, Nauo and Nharangga peoples.