The Northern and Yorke region extends for 38,500 square kilometres. It is a varied and productive portion of South Australia and includes 1,300km of coastline and adjacent marine areas.
The region encompasses the Yorke Peninsula, significant areas of Spencer Gulf and Gulf St Vincent, the southern Flinders Ranges, parts of the Rangelands, the Mid North, the northern Mount Lofty Ranges, the Barossa and northern Adelaide Plains.
The region supports a population of approximately 150,000 people who reside in agricultural, coastal and urban communities. It welcomes a large number of visitors each year to destinations that include Dhilba Guuranda-Innes National Park, the Barossa Valley, the Clare Valley and the Southern Flinders Ranges.
The region includes traditional Aboriginal lands of the Narungga, Nukunu, Ngadjuri, Kaurna and Peramangk people.
The major urban centres are Port Pirie, Gawler, Nuriootpa, Clare, Burra, Peterborough, Kadina, Moonta and Wallaroo.
Natural resources underpin a range of industries. Approximately 80% of the region is under agricultural cropping and grazing production contributing a quarter of South Australia's agricultural earnings. The region embraces the major Barossa Valley and Clare Valley wine growing regions, and supports significant mining and mineral processing activities, fishing, aquaculture, forestry, horticulture and tourism.
Northern and Yorke and its marine waters are home to:
- 1,299 native species of vascular terrestrial plants
- 33 native species of terrestrial mammals
- 304 recorded native bird species
- 91 native reptile species
- 9 frog species.
The major threats to natural resources in the region are:
- habitat fragmentation
- environmental weeds
- incompatible stock grazing and access
- feral animals
- over-abundance of problem native animals
- inappropriate fire regimes
- soil acidification
- inappropriate off road vehicle use
- excessive water extraction and storage
- coastal development
- overfishing by both commercial and recreational fishers
- nutrient pollution of marine environments
- introduced marine pests
- disturbance and destruction of intertidal reefs.
Managing landscapes in the region
Many individuals and organisations share an interest in ecologically sustainable management of the region's landscapes, including:
- primary producers
- resident communities
- volunteer groups
- seasonal tourist communities and commercial operators
- Northern and Yorke Landscape Board
- state and federal government agencies.
Managing our landscapes is about working together to ensure that the needs of the community, industries and the environment are balanced in a way that is sustainable.
With this balance in mind, the vision for region's landscapes is that they are 'a healthy, living landscape meeting the social, environmental, economic and cultural needs of the community, and ensuring the rights and wellbeing of future generations'.