Page 1

Australia’s First Mallee National Park

Friends of Wyperfeld


Dedicated to the memory of Frank Noelker, a foundation Friend of Wyperfeld, whose knowledge of the park was exceptional, and whose contribution to this book was invaluable.


WYPERFELD Australia’s First Mallee National Park

Geoff Durham

W

FRIENDS

Friends of Wyperfeld National Park Inc.


Published 2001 by Friends of Wyperfeld National Park Inc. (A0028998F) c/- 10 Elizabeth St Elsternwick Victoria 3185 Sponsored by the Victorian National Parks Association Inc. National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry Durham, Geoff, 1931– Wyperfeld : Australia’s first mallee national park Bibliography Includes index ISBN 0 646 40101 7 1. National parks and reserves - Victoria. 2. Wyperfeld National Park (Vic.). I. Title 333.78099459 © Friends of Wyperfeld National Park Inc. This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the publisher. The author and publisher have endeavoured to ensure the information in this book is correct as at March 2001, but they accept no responsibility for any inconvenience, loss or injury related to its use. Editing, illustration, typesetting, image scanning and digital preparation by Leon Costermans Printed by JPR Printworks, Notting Hill, Victoria Cover photos Front: Kangaroos at sunset (Bob Semmens) Back: Mt Mattingley at sunrise (David Neilson)


Foreword Wyperfeld was Victoria’s first Mallee national park, and also the first such park in Australia. At the time of the initial reservation in 1909 it was relatively remote and rarely visited. As explained in this book, the advocates for the national park showed great foresight and persuasive powers to have the area set aside, at a time when most people would have considered it to be useless scrub. Compared with other national parks which had been established up to that time, such as Wilsons Promontory, Mount Buffalo and Ferntree Gully, it lacked the popular scenic or recreational values which characterised most of Australia’s early national parks. But it did have, and still has, outstanding diversity of flora and fauna, which was the principal reason for its reservation. After almost four decades of visiting Wyperfeld National Park, including many working visits for extended periods, I find that I am still fascinated by the intimate relationships between fauna, flora and the environment which are a feature of that land. And there is always something new — changes in rainfall and temperature from one year to the next bring significant changes in the flora and fauna. This book examines and explains many of the remarkable relationships occurring in nature within the park, and there are many more for observant visitors to discover for themselves. The author, Geoff Durham, has also gone to great lengths to document as accurately as possible the human history of the area which, in its own way, is just as interesting as the natural history. Unfortunately, not a lot is known of the original inhabitants, the Aboriginal people, but we must admire their ability to live with and from this sometimes harsh land for thousands of years, leaving so little impact on it. Wyperfeld is no longer remote, with bitumen roads all the way from Melbourne and Adelaide to the park’s main camp ground. Nor is it all pristine; weeds and feral animals provide a constant challenge to the park’s integrity. But if you make the effort to walk away from the popular areas, along some of the walks mentioned in this book, you will find places of great natural beauty and solitude where you have the opportunity to refresh the spirit and be at one with nature. When you go to Wyperfeld, make sure that you allow yourself time to take in the subtle beauty of this land, its nature and its history. The Friends of Wyperfeld National Park are to be congratulated on publishing this book. It brings together a huge amount of information and is an excellent guide to Wyperfeld — a magnificent national park. DON S AUNDERS Director of National Parks 1979–1994 V


Acknowledgments This book has evolved within the Friends group over 25 years. Many Friends have contributed, in particular Jane Calder, Margaret Conochie (dec.), Elizabeth Doery, Judy Douglas, Geoff Edwards, Eileen McKee, Bob Reid, James Ross, Don Saunders, Tom Wallace, and especially Ian Maroske (dec.) and Frank Noelker (dec.). Friends and supporters financed the book through donations and fundraising. The Victorian National Parks Association has supported the project. Generous scientific input came from Joe Benshemesh, Leon Bren, Malcolm Calder, David Cheal, Leon Costermans, Fabian Douglas, Ian Endersby, Beth Gott, Tony Lee, Lindy Lumsden, Tom May, Peter Menkhorst, Terry O’Brien, Peter Robertson, Don Saunders, Neville Walsh and Alan Yen. In relation to the historical aspects we are indebted particularly to Terri Allen, and to Marion Button, Daniel Catrice, Barry Clugston, John Deckert, Ron Falla, Reg Johnson, John Kelley, John Landy, Bill Middleton, Susan, Brian and Sylvia O’Sullivan, Des Quinn, Phil Taylor and Doris Torpey. Many local residents responded generously to requests for information. Encouragement and assistance has come from past and present rangers and officers of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Parks Victoria, including Gary Anderson, Chris Ashe, Gary Backhouse, Paul Fitzsimons, Dale Fuller, Doug Hooley, Damian Kerr, Peter Kershaw, Andrew Marshall, David Martin, Greg Mattingley, John Miller, Peter Muller, Rod Newnham, David Newton, Peter Phelan, Peter Sandell and Priscilla Stevens-Guiney. We also thank Michael Fendley, John Grainger, John Langford, Mick Lumb, Sara Maroske, Rory O’Brien, Ian Ross, Deirdre Slattery, and Barbara Vaughan. For photographs and other illustrations we are indebted to Australian Centre for Remote Sensing, The University of Melbourne Baillieu Library, Department of Natural Resources and Environment (Historic Places Section), Museum Victoria, La Trobe Library, Parliament of Victoria Library, Birds Australia, Bird Observers’ Club of Australia, South Gippsland Shire Historical Society, David Ashton, Jenny Barnett, Andrew Bennett, Leon Costermans, Mike Coupar, Clive Crouch, Fabian Douglas, Con Duyvestyn, Barbara Maroske, David Martin, Gabby Martin, Ian McCann, John Miller, Euan Moore, Peter Muller, David Neilson, Susan O’Sullivan, Dawn Petschel, Bob Reid, Peter Robertson, Len Robinson, Peter Sandell, Don Saunders, Bob Semmens, Charles Silveira and Alan Yen. Elizabeth Morrison prepared the index. Leon Costermans provided much encouragement and expertise in the final stages of production: he edited the text, drew the maps, digitally set up the book, and saw it through to publication. VI


Contents Introduction .......................................................................................................................................................... 1 Map of the park and adjacent reserves ........................................................................................ 4–5 0!24/.%4(%34/29/&790%2&%,$ 1 The Land ........................................................................................................................................................ 6 2 A Rich Human History .................................................................................................................... 12 3 A Perfect Paradise Becomes a National Park ................................................................... 23 4 Seasons and Cycles of Life ............................................................................................................. 40 5 Fire .................................................................................................................................................................. 52 6 ‘This Wondrous Diversity’ ............................................................................................................ 56 0!2447/0!2+0%230%#4)6%3 7 Around Wonga Hut – the South ............................................................................................... 71 8 The Flood Plain ..................................................................................................................................... 79 9 Pine Plains – the Northern End ................................................................................................ 91 10 Eastern Interface ................................................................................................................................... 99 11 Western Wilderness ......................................................................................................................... 106 0!244(2%%%80,/2).'4(%0!2+ 12 General Visitor Information ..................................................................................................... 113 13 South Wyperfeld – Wonga Camp Ground ..................................................................... 119 14 North Wyperfeld (Pine Plains) – Casuarina Camp Ground ............................ 131 15 West Wyperfeld – the Murrayville Track ......................................................................... 137 !00%.$)8%3 1 Mallee Runs in 1865 ........................................................................................................................ 147 2 The Growth of Wyperfeld National Park ........................................................................ 148 3 Wyperfeld Committees ................................................................................................................. 149 4 National Parks and Other Protected Areas .................................................................... 150 5 Wyperfeld Vascular Plant List .................................................................................................. 151 6 Dominant and Significant Trees and Shrubs ................................................................ 160 7 Wyperfeld Vegetation Types and Classes ......................................................................... 166 8 Wyperfeld Amphibian and Reptile List ............................................................................ 167 9 Wyperfeld Bird List .......................................................................................................................... 169 10 Wyperfeld Mammal List .............................................................................................................. 175 11 Place Names .......................................................................................................................................... 176 Bibliography .................................................................................................................................................... 190 Index ..................................................................................................................................................................... 194


About this electronic version … To many Australians, ‘the bush’—natural Australia, its landforms, its flora and fauna—is a defining attribute of their Australian identity. Among the country’s extraordinary diversity, there are special places to which they relate. One such place is Wyperfeld National Park in the Victorian Mallee, with its rich natural and human history and what has been described as subtle beauty. When the Wimmera River flooded in 1976 to fill lakes in the park that had been dry for years, many people who visited to observe this rare event became captivated by the attractions of the park and a volunteer support group, the Friends of Wyperfeld, was formed. In 2001, on its 25th anniversary, the group published ‘Wyperfeld – Australia’s First Mallee National Park’. A comprehensive guide, the book contains much information not otherwise readily available. Rather than re-print, the book is now presented electronically on the internet by arrangement with the Victorian National Parks Association. The reproduction is unaltered and complete, except for the index and Part Three: Exploring the Park, which has been omitted because of outdated visitor information. For the latest such information, readers are referred to the Parks Victoria website parkweb.vic.gov.au and to Parks Victoria Information Centre, phone 13 1963. Although we have made this electronic version of the book available free of charge, donations to either the Friends of Wyperfeld or the Victorian National Parks Association would be greatly appreciated.


INTRODUCTION

T

HIS BOOK TELLS THE STORY

of Wyperfeld National Park. It is an invitation, an introduction and a practical guide with background information to enhance every visit, and it will serve as a lasting memento. Wyperfeld is a park of contrasts — searing summer days and cold winter nights; meandering ribbons of massive gnarled trees and vast areas of low shrubs; brilliant plumage of parrots and the subtle camouflage of the tireless malleefowl; the timelessness of mallee scrub and the dynamics of a flood plain. It is also a park of many facets and layers, a place of endless wonderment. Each part of the park has a special character. Every visit is a new experience. The place is never the same — not only will you find changes during the course of a year, but return visits at the same time in different years can also bring surprises. One year there will be many kangaroos, the next year there will be few. One year there will be a profusion of native wildflowers or grasses, the next year they will be gone. A species may flower and then not return for many years. Once in your lifetime, if you are lucky, there will be lakes brimming with fresh water. It is the combination of eternity and change that is the fascination of Wyperfeld. Always there is space, peace, pure air, dramatic sunsets and brilliant night skies. Always there are the black box flats, sombre yet subtle, the mallee trees growing in sand, the cypress-pine sentinels, the spiked rings of porcupine-grass, and in the west, the vast expanse of seemingly featureless dunes. But within all this there is change, sometimes as dramatic as fire or, more rarely nowadays, flood. Imperceptible though it may be, the trees, porcupine-grass and dune scrub are moving through their life cycles. Within, above and below the vegetation there is a dynamic world of action and interaction, of dependency and of change, to be discovered, absorbed, appreciated and enjoyed by those who take the time to observe. The park is in the southern Mallee region of Victoria, Australia, about 450 km north-west of Melbourne. The name itself is one of the mysteries of Wyperfeld. It is taken from the parish in which the original section of the park is situated and there are various theories as to its origin. It may be derived either from the old German name, Wyper, a tributary of the Rhine river, and feld, field, or from the Welsh, wye, water. You might hear the name pronounced with any combination of wiper, wipper, field and feld, but the accepted version is wiper feld. With an area of 357,017 ha, Wyperfeld is the third largest of Victoria’s thirtysix national parks. Only the Alpine National Park and Murray-Sunset National Park are bigger. Wyperfeld is in the Big Desert, part of the Victorian bioregion 


s)NTRODUCTION

known as the Lowan Mallee. Other Victorian conservation reserves in the Big Desert are the Big Desert Wilderness Park, Lake Albacutya Regional Park and the Birdcage, Paradise, Wathe, Bronzewing and Red Bluff Flora and Fauna Reserves. Together with adjoining conservation parks in South Australia, they reserve over 800,000 ha for preservation of Big Desert mallee country. The word ‘mallee’, of Aboriginal derivation, is used in several ways. It describes those species of eucalypt with several stems arising from an underground lignotuber or ‘mallee root’. It is a name given to vegetation communities dominated by mallee species — ‘mallee scrub’ and ‘mallee country’. It is also used to describe a geographical region in north-west Victoria approximating to the area originally covered by mallee scrub — ‘the Mallee’. In spite of some extremes, Wyperfeld’s climate is predominantly mild. In winter, nights are cold and frosts are common, but often the days are warm with bright sunshine. Summer can have days of very high temperature. Rainfall is variable with a yearly average of only about 350 mm, and rainy days average in number only about half those of Melbourne. Spring wildflower displays are often spectacular but are as variable as the unreliable rainfall. In this book, Wyperfeld’s many facets are considered within three main parts, each with a special overall focus. Part One: The Story of Wyperfeld (chapters 1–6) deals with the natural and human histories of the park and their interrelationships. Part Two: Park Perspectives (chapters 7–11) looks more closely at four distinctive sectors of the park: the flood plain of the Wimmera River, including the most visited area at Wonga camp ground in the south; the aptly named Pine Plains in the north — Victoria’s ‘outback Australia’; the eastern section, a remnant of typical mallee country which has been called the home of the Malleefowl; and the remote western section of expansive dunes with heathlands and low scrub — a wilderness misnamed a ‘desert’. Part Three: Exploring the Park (chapters 12–15) provides the kind of detailed information which will be of value to the visitor in practical ways — information about accessing the park, camping, accommodation within driving distance, advice on preparation for exploring the park, and particulars of the many driving and walking opportunities. Numerous appendixes provide a considerable amount of supporting and supplementary detail relevant to all three parts. The park is of exceptional interest to naturalists, particularly birdwatchers. Arthur Mattingley, an ornithologist who played a leading role in bringing about the reservation of Wyperfeld, described it as a ‘paradise for nature lovers’. It is also a place of tranquillity and inspiration for everyone.


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Chapter

1

THE LAND

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ATIONAL PARKS

are often associated with scenic grandeur — inspiring mountain ranges, colourful gorges, breathtaking landscapes or magnificent seascapes. Wyperfeld is not like this. Its attractions are different and subtle. The written word and pictorial representations are no substitute for time spent in the park. Only by being there can its distinctive character be appreciated. That appreciation is greatly enhanced by an understanding of its past — the origins of the terrain, the survival of the first human inhabitants for thousands of years, colonial exploration and attempts at pastoral and agricultural occupation, and finally, the vision and dedicated efforts of those who recognised the potential value of the area as a national park. Parts One and Two of this book have a recurring theme — that of adaptation and relationships. They explore the ways in which the flora and fauna, and two cultures of human beings, have interacted, and how they have coped with the predominant physical elements of this particular environment — the sands and soils, the climatic extremes, the floods, frosts and fires. We begin with the land and its evolution long before any human occupation. But to understand the land surface of Wyperfeld itself, it is first necessary to consider geological events and processes across the Mallee region and far beyond the borders of the park (refer to the map on page 8). The regional context The general flatness of the land north of Victoria’s Central Highlands and the Grampians is the result of extensive deposition of sediments transported in relatively recent (Quaternary) geological times by either floodwater or wind. The water-borne (alluvial) sediments, such as those around Shepparton, are the more widespread, but in the Mallee of north-west Victoria, most of the deposits are of wind-blown (aeolian) origin. Deposits with distinguishing characteristics are named after localities where




0ART/NE4HE3TORYOF7YPERFELDs

they are readily identified. The wind-blown sediments of the Mallee fall broadly into two main groups: a series of sediments referred to by geologists as the Woorinen Formation, and the Lowan Sands. Woorinen-type deposits are mainly reddish-brown clay sands with a limy component (calcium carbonate). These sediments have been modified over many years to give soil types with chemical nutrients and a structure suitable for agriculture in a relatively flat and stable landform. By contrast, the Lowan Sands, pale yellowish-brown in colour, consist mainly of quartz grains, and occur in obvious dune landforms. Because of the limited chemical make-up of these sands, they do not produce stable, fertile soils. Under appropriate conditions, Lowan Sand dunes will stabilise by formation of a surface crust and with the growth of plants adapted to the harsh conditions. The Lowan Sands occur in Victoria as three ‘tongues’ projecting eastward from South Australia and directed away from a region where the western ends tend to merge. The northern tongue forms the southern part of what is known as the Sunset Country, the large central tongue is known as the Big Desert, and the southern tongue is termed the Little Desert. These so-called ‘deserts’ are not true deserts, as they have abundant and variable vegetation which is well adapted to the low and erratic rainfall. They were called ‘deserts’ because to European settlers, the loose low-nutrient Lowan Sands appeared to have no agricultural value. ‘The desert’ is still a local term used to refer to the extensive area west of Wyperfeld’s Outlet Creek flood plain. Isolated outcrops of a material different in composition from the Woorinen and Lowan sediments and soils give a hint of what lies beneath these sands. Between the surface deposits of recent times, and the deep basement rocks formed hundreds of millions of years ago, are various sediments, hundreds of metres thick, deposited in a geological structure called the Murray Basin. Some sixty million years ago, changes in the earth’s crust caused a subsidence over a large area resulting in incursion of the sea from the south. A vast area of present-day Victoria and South Australia was flooded, with the northern extreme of the sea reaching far into New South Wales. A variety of sedimentary Dunes of pale infertile Parilla ridge outcrop Lowan Sands with mallee e.g. Milmed Rock

7

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Layers of Tertiary sediments (between 55 million and 2 million years old), with Parilla Sands at the top

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Simplified west-east cross-section of the mallee showing the sedimentary formations of three distinct periods. Wyperfeld’s character has been determined mainly by the relatively recent veneer of sands.

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he satellite photo below (taken about 1986) aphically ws w geology has largely determined the region’s  

 and pattern of settlement. he dark area indicates the extent of mallee scrub on the infertile Loan   he fan-like scars with dates reveal  bushfire   , including the fires’ starting points and the marked variation wind direction. he three ‘lake’ areas are, from south to north, Lake Hindmarsh, Lake   a, and irrengren Plain, linked  the course of Outlet Creek. he   south  yville  k is visible on the left of the photo. he farming blocks (originally mainly for heat) on the more fertile  soils decrease in density toards the north, wing decrease in producti



Lowan Sands

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#HAPTER4HE,ANDs

Rudds Rocks (near Nine Mile Square Track) are a projection of the underlying Parilla sandstone through the more recent surface sand deposits. Photo: Bob Semmens

deposits resulted from the presence and action of the sea water. Layers including sand, silt, clay and gravel built up on the basement rock, together with the formation of extensive limestone deposits, a subsurface component of the area. As the sea finally retreated about two million years ago, it left long ridges of sand about fifty metres high running in a generally NNW-SSE direction. This particular deposit, of Pliocene age, is termed Parilla Sand (Parilla is a locality in South Australia) and it contains as minor constituents the useful minerals zircon, ilmenite and rutile which have gained the attention of mining companies. The remaining Parilla Sand ridges are now largely covered by the wind-blown sands. The Lowan Sands were possibly formed by erosion of the underlying Parilla deposit. Within Wyperfeld, the most prominent outcrops of Parilla Sands are seen as sandstone exposed at Milmed Rock and Rudds Rocks. The underlying limestone deposits are rich in fossils and also hold within their structure large volumes of water. Groundwater has accumulated in the Murray Basin as a result of rainwater seeping down through the porous sediments and from sea water trapped in them as they formed. Sources of groundwater within Wyperfeld are generally unsuitable for domestic use due to salinity, and range from unsuitable to useful for livestock. Another material found both at the surface and in subsurface deposits is the mineral gypsum. It is precipitated with the evaporation Crystals of gypsum (8–16 cm long). of rising groundwater containing dissolved Photo: Leon Costermans


s0ART/NE4HE3TORYOF7YPERFELD

mineral salts. Gypsum (calcium sulphate) is deposited both in a crystalline form and in a white non-crystalline earthy form locally called ‘copi’ which Aboriginals used to prepare the white plaster used to daub the face and body for ceremonial activities. Large deposits of gypsum adjacent to the park are mined for use as a clay modifier for agricultural purposes. Pure forms of gypsum are used in the manufacture of plaster board. The Parilla ridges have had an influence on the direction of the present and former surface streams. The ancestral Outlet Creek was probably one such stream, although its present sinuous course between Lake Albacutya and Wirrengren Plain is mainly the consequence of more recent dune movements. Within the park Wyperfeld National Park covers a large area in the eastern part of the Big Desert. Within the park, the most distinctive major feature is the Outlet Creek flood plain, which extends from the southern boundary (near Lake Albacutya) north to Wirrengren Plain. To its east are dunes carrying typical mallee vegetation; to its west is a vast area of dunes with ‘desert’ heath-mallee. The dunes are all composed of Lowan Sand, but their patterns and orientation vary from predominantly east-west and fairly regularly spaced, to somewhat jumbled and generally higher (reaching a general elevation of about 100 m above sea-level). The highest point in the park is 134 m, being the top of a dune about two kilometres east of the Milmed Track; the lowest point, at 32 m above sea-level, is in the north of the park on the bed of Wirrengren Plain. An excellent system of tracks enables investigation of the varied and interesting features of the terrain. Several other land features also contribute to Wyperfeld’s character: Lakes. Along Outlet Creek, these have resulted from past blockage of the creek by sand drifts. The lake beds, now dry, have soil of heavy grey clay, overlain by a layer of reasonably fertile grey sand supporting grasses and small herbs. Claypans. These are broad shallow depressions with a clay base that tend to hold water after rain. The Devil’s Pools (on the track to Lake Brambruk – see page 128) are a good example. A claypan on the flood plain near Lake Brambruk. The trees are River Red-gum. Photo: Leon Costermans


#HAPTER4HE,ANDs

Crab-holes. Naturally-formed circular depressions a few metres in diameter occur occasionally in low-lying areas associated with subsurface water. They appear to act as drainage sumps and may contain water (but not crabs) for extended periods. Round Swamp (on Milmed Rock Track) has crab-holes. Evaporites. Where surface water containing dissolved natural chemical substances dries out in shallow lakes, the evaporation leaves salt (sodium chloride), gypsum or copi. Rubble Lake and Copi Lake are examples. Copi Rises. These are dunes composed of layers of copi and sandy material and perhaps limestone. The Eastern Lookout Nature Drive runs partly along a copi rise. Lunettes. When westerly winds blew sand and clay pellets from an alternating wet and dry lake-bed, a crescent-shaped dune, known as a lunette, commonly formed on the eastern border of the lake. Lunettes are associated with numerous present or past lakes in northwest Victoria; Wyperfeld examples occur at Wirrengren Plain and Lake Brimin. Swales. This term refers to the relatively flat areas between dunes, usually with increased clay content. Wherever vegetation cover is lacking, there is the potential for severe wind erosion. In many places the surface has a crust formed by lichen and mosses and by raindrop impact, giving considerable protection against erosion and water run-off. After fire, this baked crust, coupled with the burnt stalks of vegetation, is usually sufficient to protect the now-exposed surface from wind erosion, provided it is not broken by trampling. The significance of the crust can be observed at the Wonga camp ground. The dune behind the camping area was fenced off years ago when it was bare moving sand. Within the fence there are areas with this crust of lichen and mosses; on the ‘people’ side of the fence there is loose sand with introduced Capeweed and Barley-grass in season. The processes of change have not stopped — they continue to alter the landforms. Some changes occur slowly over long periods and are not noticeable, while others will be seen by an observant park visitor between visits. Who knows how Wyperfeld will appear in 100 or 200 years? What will be the effect of climate change? Landform and substrate, soil, climate, hydrology, fire, the superbly adapted flora and fauna, and human occupation are all intimately connected, and this relationship is readily observable in Wyperfeld. More detail on the geology,   land systems, soil and water    is  en in the 9LWVYt on the Mallee Study (YLH issued  the Land Conserv

 Council, une 1974, and the 9LWVYt on the Mallee (Yea 9L]PL^, ember !"#


CHAPTER

2

A RICH HUMAN HISTORY

E

XACTLY WHEN THE AREA

now known as Wyperfeld National Park was discovered by humans is lost in the sands of time. The earliest written reference to the indigenous people, the Wotjobaluk, is by the first white squatter, James Maxwell Clow (pronounced as in no) who brought sheep to Pine Plains in 1848: Some of the Lake Hindmarsh Tribe having been taken to assist in driving the stock thither, and in finding water for us on the journey, it obtained for us a friendly reception from the aborigines of this isolated tract. For months afterwards it existed, until the overseer, one night about eleven o’clock, fired at what he supposed to be a wild dog rushing the sheep in the yard, but which unfortunately turned out to be a blackfellow. The aim was fatal, the ball of the pistol going through his head. This tract of country was frequented by both the Murray and Wimmera River blacks. The Murray is distant 60 miles.

The Wotjobaluk In what numbers over time and place the Wotjobaluk lived in what is now Wyperfeld is largely speculation. The movement of the Lowan Sands since around 18,000 years before the present (BP) may have obliterated evidence of occupation before then. Archaeological evidence indicates occupation of the Murray flood plain and the northern Mallee during wet conditions 12,000 to 7,000 years BP, but surprisingly, not of Wyperfeld. Archaeologist Dr Anne Ross has suggested that Wyperfeld may have been settled only about 4,000 years ago as population pressure in south-western Victoria produced migration to the north. Whatever the detail, it is clear that the Wyperfeld area was occupied for thousands of years before the arrival of Clow. Local historian Terri Allen gives this account: The local Aboriginal nation, the Wotjobaluk, used the Wimmera system as a highway and trade route to Wirrengren Plain, the meeting place and 


#HAPTER!2ICH(UMAN(ISTORYs

corroboree ground where Murray River and Wimmera blacks met. In the better seasons when water was present, and in the winter periods after rainfall, no doubt the Outlet Creek area was an important hunting ground for the Wotjobaluk. Birds and animals would have been plentiful and plants such as nardoo would have been readily accessible. Trees which have shield and canoe scars bear testimony to Aboriginal presence, as do rock fragments from Aboriginal factories and grindstones left among the sandhills.

Dr Ross believes there is no evidence for supposing Pine Plains (Wirrengren Plain) was Black Box scar tree along the Photo: Geoff Durham Black Flat Track. a major tribal meeting point. There is plenty of evidence of Wotjobaluk presence in Wyperfeld with many scar trees and recordings of middens, artefacts and burials around the lakes and soaks and on dunes. Archaeologists have located sites at Black Flat, Lake Brambruk, Wonga Lake, Lake Agnes and at each of the soaks to the west of Pine Plains. The largest known site is at Wirrengren Plain with stone implements originating from the Grampians and the southern coast. Archaeologist Aldo Massola, in an article in the Victorian Naturalist (Vol. 86, March 1969), comments that ‘emus have the nasty habit of swallowing stones, especially the highly coloured or black ones, to help their digestion. No doubt, over the last century, they have robbed the campsites of hundreds of beautiful specimens!’ He also mentions that larger implements would have been removed by stockmen and others, and amateur collectors are known to have taken axeheads, grindstones and other implements. It is now against the law to disturb or remove relics. In recent times, moving sand has covered sites, but it also uncovers sites. In 1995 the park rangers came across a well-crafted stone hand mortar and pestle freshly exposed in a dune at Pine Plains. These implements were probably used to grind seeds, and also the spore capsules of Nardoo (Marsilea spp.), a fern with clover-like leaves which can be found Aboriginal pestle and mortar from Pine growing in water in claypans, as at the Devil’s Plains. Many artefacts have been found Pools on the Lake Brambruk walking track. Photo: Leon Costermans over the years.


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The Wotjobaluk were not dependent on water from lakes. Allen writes: As they meandered through the Mallee away from the creeks and lakes, the Wotjobaluk obtained water from other sources. They carried it in kangaroo or possum skin bags or emu eggshells, licked dew in the early mornings, chewed wild currant leaves to prevent thirst, drank egg yolks or lapped from claypans. Leaves tied to a spear acted as a sponge, and this or a reed was used to get moisture from hollow oaks, crabholes or soaks. Hakea or mallee gum roots, chopped into foot lengths and allowed to drain into a bark dish, provided good clear water.

The skins of the Common Brushtail Possum, hunted in the large trees of the flood plain, were painstakingly made into cloaks for protection against the cold. Times of plenty The Wotjobaluk ate a wide variety of food. Clow had occupied ‘Ballarook’ west of Lake Hindmarsh in 1847, and wrote: The aborigines in this tract of country subsist chiefly on a variety of roots which are very abundant, opossums, small kangaroos (called cumma) which frequent the edge of the mallee scrub, an occasional emu, the fruit or flower of the stunted honey-suckle (very prevalent in the desert), and manna in the autumn. When the hot weather prevails, birds are easily caught …

The ‘stunted honey-suckle’ is Desert Banksia (Banksia ornata) which produces abundant nectar. William Lockhart Morton, reporting on a scientific expedition in 1861, wrote: ‘From the flowers of this shrubby tree the blacks are in the habit of making a sweet drink, of which they are very fond’. ‘Manna’ is probably lerp. Allen says that lerp, ‘the white cottony sweet-tasting shells of Psylla insects on the mallee gums, … was highly prized and eagerly sought by the tribes’. Edward M. Curr, in his book Recollections of Squatting in Victoria, notes that parts of the Mallee were fired each year to produce new shoots on which lerp would appear, and large amounts were collected and stored. The extent to which fire was deliberately used in the mallee to promote or attract food is

Lerp on the leaves of Yellow Mallee, a food for Aboriginals. Photo: Bob Reid


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not known. Various reptiles shelter in porcupine-grass and setting fire to a clump would be easy and rewarding. In the Argus of 17 October 1931, R.H. Croll, a naturalist and bushwalker, wrote that on a recent excursion to Wyperfeld, ‘… a fired tussock [of porcupine-grass] brought out moths in great numbers, beetles of many kinds, a metropolis of spiders, an amazingly dignified centipede, and two peculiar snakes, both of which were returned to the flames and were consumed’. He also reported seeing ‘a great pile of shells of fresh-water mussel, marking a feastingplace of the blacks …’, and ‘a few other signs of Aboriginal occupation…, includ- The red succulent fruit of Sweet Quandong ing a skeleton exposed by wind on a sand was not only favoured by Aboriginals, but popular with settlers. Photo: Leon Costermans drift’. It would be incorrect to think the Wotjobaluk depended on meat. Dr Beth Gott has identified 137 plants from north-western Victoria used for food, medicine, clothing and artefact manufacture. These people ate various roots, bulbs, leaves, seeds and fruits such as those of Inland Pigface (Carpobrotus modestus), Sweet Quandong (Santalum acuminatum), Ballart (Exocarpos spp.), Muntries (Kunzea pomifera), and Oondoroo or Kangaroo Apple (Solanum simile). Eggs of the emu were available in May, and malleefowl mounds provided a ready supply from September to December. For people with knowledge acquired over thousands of years there was water and a variety of good food in what the white man called a desert, and when the lakes held water there were times of plenty. Disruption The lifestyle of the Wotjobaluk changed dramatically and quickly on Clow’s arrival with his shepherds and sheep. Quite apart from the devastation caused by introduced disease, which probably preceded Clow and against which the Wotjobaluk had no immunity, there was the impact of the stock on plants and precious water supplies, and the impact of pioneering people with a different culture — people who took possession. Settlers like Clow used the Wotjobaluk to find water, and as guides and shepherds. There are reports of families living at stations, and of others continuing to live in the bush.


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There are also reports of ‘punitive expeditions’. Allen writes: Many settlers were heedless of the plight of the Aborigines, exterminating them like wild animals while proclaiming that ‘the only good aborigines are dead ones’. Some were of the opinion that ‘it is the design of Providence that the inferior races should pass away before the superior races … Since we have occupied the country, the aborigines must cease to occupy it’.

In 1859, the Moravians, a protestant denomination based in Germany, established the Ebenezer Mission on the Wimmera River at Antwerp about 100 km to the south of Wyperfeld. It was government policy to congregate all Aboriginals in such missions. Legislation in 1893 led to the exclusion from the mission of children deemed to be ‘half-castes’ even though this meant separation from their families. Numbers continued to fall and in 1904 those few remaining were forcibly removed to Lake Tyers and the mission was closed. The Moravian Board requested that the government make a permanent reservation of the burial ground at Ebenezer, arguing ‘the plot contains hallowed interests for us, as five of our missionaries are buried there among some 150 of the blacks, to whose temporal and spiritual welfare they have ministered’. A visit to the ruins of the mission, signposted on the Dimboola–Rainbow road, is a poignant experience. A few managed to avoid the 1904 round-up and remained in the area, but an ancient and complex society with a deep spirituality related to the land was shattered, and all it took was fifty years from that early fatal shot fired by Clow’s overseer. In 1995 descendants of the Wotjobaluk lodged a Native Title claim over Wyperfeld and other Wimmera/Mallee public land which, as at March 2001, is the subject of mediation with the Victorian Government. Exploration and exploitation Alfred S. Kenyon, an engineer who played a leading role in the opening up of the Mallee to white settlement, wrote in his detailed historical account The Story of

The kitchen and school at the Ebenezer Mission site at Antwerp, photographed in 1998. Photo: Bob Reid


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the Mallee that from a European viewpoint, the Victorian Mallee ‘has experienced three distinct periods. The first is that of discovery and exploration; the second of pastoral occupation, divisible into cattle and sheep, and finally rabbits; and the third or present time, the golden era of wheat’. Kenyon was writing in 1912. Since then two further distinct periods can be recognised. Kenyon’s ‘golden era of wheat’ was followed by a period of red dust and disillusionment up to the Second World War, and since then a time of consolidation of holdings and sustainable agriculture as farmers came to terms with the environment. The first white explorer to see the Mallee was Charles Sturt who referred to ‘a barren and sandy interior’ when reporting on his expedition down the Murray in 1830. Major Thomas Mitchell, in his 1836 expedition, passed to the south of the Big Desert and named the Wimmera River. The first white person to penetrate the Big Desert, English immigrant Edward John Eyre, later became one of Australia’s notable explorers. In 1838, 22 year-old Eyre attempted to follow the course of the Wimmera River north when undertaking the first overlanding of stock to Adelaide. He named Lake Hindmarsh and reported: From Lake Hindmarsh I could discover water in no direction, either to the northward or westward, during a search of upwards of three weeks, and in one attempt to reach the Murray on horse back, through a country very thickly covered with scrub, I lost six valuable horses from want of food and water, and myself and two men who were with me narrowly escaped with our lives, being compelled to return on foot.

In 1858, surveyor A.J. Skene reported: ‘… this district presents a scrubby, sandy waste, almost entirely destitute of fresh water and grass, and therefore unavailable to human industry’. Pastoral occupation Kenyon’s period of pastoral occupation of what is now Wyperfeld National Park commenced with James Maxwell Clow in 1848. It was Clow’s overseer, Jenkins, who fatally shot an Aboriginal, claiming he mistook him for a dingo. Clow was the son of a Presbyterian Minister. He was born in Bombay in 1820 and arrived in Melbourne on Christmas Day 1837. He occupied ‘Ballarook’ west of Lake Hindmarsh in the first land rush to the Mallee in 1847, and explored the area to the north. He selected Pine Plains Station which included the later Wonga Lake Station. He stocked it from May to November 1848, but when his run-seeking friend J.W. Beilby reached it in October 1849 it was ‘a deserted station … abandoned for want of fresh surface water’. Clow had sold out to Andrew Russell, but in 1854 Russell also was forced out, ironically, as Kenyon reports, ‘owing to the almost complete submergence of the whole of the useful lands’ with water twelve feet deep in Wirrengren Plain.


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James Maxwell Clow — explorer and selector ames Maxwell Clow as born in Bombay in 1820 and arried in Melbourne on Christmas Day 1837. His father, $ erend ames % conducted the first & yterian service in Melbourne. In 1847 James Maxwell Clow occupied ‘Ballarook’ (or ‘Balerook’) west of Lake Hindmarsh and explored the area to the north, taking up the first run in the Big Desert w h he named ‘Pine Plain’. Copies of his sketc maps,  h were used to locate the run for the purposes of his application, are reproduced belo %w became Assistant Commissioner for Crown Lands in 1851 and then a %''   , and was    ate at Steiglitz (near Geelong) from 1856 to 1871. He died in 1894 and is buried in the Chur of England section of the St Kilda cemetery 141

142

Murr ay

River

Mt Dispersion Pine Plain

35

White Lake

Source: La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria

NE

Steiglitz

PL AI

Lake Hindmarsh

Mt Jenkins

PI

36

N

Coppeck

Ba

Above: Sketch location of ‘Pine Plain’ in relation to the Murray River, the 142° meridian, and Outlet Creek. Right: Clow’s sketch of his run. ‘White Lake’ is now Black Flat. Source: Pastoral Run Papers, DNRE

H il ls B ar re n Sa nd

Swamp Scrubby Forest Country (unavailable)

rr

en

Sa

nd

Hi

lls White Lake


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By 1865 the Duffy Land Act of 1862 had led to what Kenyon calls ‘the zenith of pastoral occupation’ of the Mallee (see appendix 1). All of what is now Wyperfeld National Park was included in nearly a dozen runs under nine-year leases, some of which were never occupied and all of which failed. The newcomers came with sheep, cattle, horses and optimism, but this dry, wild and remote area was not like Major Mitchell’s ‘Australia Felix’. This was a country of sand and uncertain rainfall, and more stories of pioneering heartbreak have come out of the Mallee than from any other part of Victoria. The reasons for the failures were probably several: the general water shortage; remoteness; successive poor years including the droughts of 1877 to 1882 and mid-1890s to 1903; dingoes and wild dogs which were a serious threat to sheep; rabbits which arrived in the 1860s and which in the 1870s reached plague proportions (see page 38); and the decline in native pasture plants. In some places the failed leases were replaced by annual grazing licences. The Mallee Pastoral Leases Act of 1883 gave selectors long term leases. Pine Plains and Wonga Lake stations had a succession of owners, and stock levels fluctuated wildly. The Cameron brothers had Pine Plains for several years from 1861. They took over the Wonga Lake run and later added the adjoining Nypo run. In 1877 they were grazing 20,000 sheep but by 1880 the lakes were dry, there were no sheep, and the Camerons forfeited the runs. They were the last owners of Wonga Lake Station. Their simple homestead, believed to be where the Wonga camp ground water catchment is now located, was removed to Hopetoun about 1902. The lonely grave on the dune near Flagstaff Hill bearing the simple inscription ‘In Memory of Baby Cameron’ reminds us of the hardship they endured. In this isolated place on 1 June 1874, Jane, wife of Martin Cameron, gave birth to twins, a girl and a boy. The register of Births, Deaths and Marriages names the mother as the nurse who certified the birth, and states that the second-born, Donald, was ‘delicate from birth’ and lived only seven days. Mother and daughter survived. In the Wyperfeld Collection at the La Trobe Library is a letter to Arthur Mattingley from Michael Kelley who says George Everard told him he was present at Wonga Lake Station at the time, Cameron’s grave prior to the 1946 fire. and that Donald was delivered by his father Baby The present picket fence was erected in by caesarian operation. Source: Historic Places, DNRE 1993.


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Settlement The period of settlement commenced with the Land Act of 1869 which aimed at replacing the large pastoral areas with 320-acre cultivation blocks. These could be converted to freehold after three years (extended to six years in 1878) if certain conditions were fulfilled. The 320-acre limit was seldom adhered to in the Mallee, and was avoided by having family members claim adjoining blocks. In 1896 the Mallee Lands Act increased the maximum area to 640 acres. The siliceous Lowan Sands are generally lacking calcium carbonate and clay which makes them very different from the Woorinen soil for the purposes of agriculture. The Lowan Sands were mostly left with their natural vegetation for grazing wherever water and feed were available. The moves to ‘unlock the land’, the introduction of the stump-jump plough and the stripper, superphosphate and William Farrer’s improved breeds of wheat around the turn of the century, all led to clearing of the Woorinen land for cultivation and Kenyon’s ‘golden era of wheat’. In 1885 the first of the Mallee allotments was subdivided for selection and the second land rush was on. In 1893 the Government resumed the pastoral leases north of the 36th parallel (which runs across Lake Hindmarsh) for closer settlement. As Kenyon records, it was recognised that railways and water supply must go hand in hand with subdivision. Survey, subdivision, water channels and railways moved north. One rail line came to Hopetoun in 1894 and another to Rainbow in 1899. The 0INE0LAINS Patchewollock 1925–1986 Nypo area immediately south of WyperBIG DESERT feld was surveyed in 1907. The railway Yaapeet was extended north from Rainbow Hopetoun 1914 1894 to Yaapeet in 1914. Allotments in the Wyperfeld Parish that became available Rainbow Beulah 1899 1893 in 1915 and 1927 were at the interface between the Woorinen soil and Lowan Jeparit 1894 Warracknabeal Sands. 1886 Pressure for a railway extension from Yaapeet to Pine Plains resulted in a report Dimboola Murtoa from the Parliamentary Committee on 1882 1878 Railways in 1921 which concluded: Looking at the railway map only, an impression is quickly formed that the right route for the railway to serve Pine Plains and Patche [Patchewollock] is the extension northward of the Yaapeet railway,

Horsham 1879

Stawell 1876 Ararat

The railway system was extended as settlement advanced towards the Big Desert.


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keeping on the east side of Outlet Creek. But the inspection of that country, the evidence, and the reports of the surveyors of the Lands Department and engineers of the Railways Department, who spent several days in that area, showed that the bulk of the land on the east and west sides of Outlet Creek is too sandy and inferior to be selected and cultivated while other Crown Lands of better quality are available for occupation. Consequently, an extension from Yaapeet, passing through nearly sixteen miles of country, which is likely to remain unproductive for many years, would be a non-paying railway for a long time.

The proposal was abandoned, and the railway was extended from Hopetoun to Patchewollock in 1925. This line closed in 1986 and part of the rail reserve is now in the eastern section of the park. The red Woorinen soils of the Mallee, including the Ouyen–Underbool– Murrayville area between the Big Desert and the Sunset Country, were virtually all cleared for growing wheat. The figures tell the story. Between 1908 and 1911 there were 17,500 applications for 1000 allotments. After the First World War of 1914–18 hundreds of returned servicemen were settled in the Mallee, many on marginal land. In 1923 there were 380 applicants for 21 blocks in the Patchewollock district (see the satellite photo on page 8). Red dust and disillusionment The land had to be cleared by rolling and burning the mallee scrub, but the roots of the mallee trees remained and resprouted unless grubbed out by hand. Allotments were too small, and the erratic rain led to crop failures. There were mouse and locust plagues, and droughts, particularly in the years 1925–29. Attempts were made to alleviate distress by various assistance schemes, including food vouchers. Families survived on boiled wheat, rabbits and meagre water supplies carted long distances. In 1929 the Argus reported: Even to remain in the desolation of the Mallee in spite of its remoteness, blinding dust-storms, and summer heat, requires courage and great determination … The dwellings — huts of bark, hessian, or iron — were intended originally to serve only as temporary shelters until the profits from the first crop had made it possible to build suitable homes. As there have been no crops, the temporary shelters have become permanent homes. It is not uncommon to find families of 8, 10 or 12 persons living in hessian humpies of two or three rooms.

The methods used for cereal cropping such as bare fallowing were more appropriate to the higher rainfall areas of the Wimmera. In the Mallee, wind erosion developed on a vast scale, causing the notorious red dust storms. Mallee dust can still be seen embedded in the ice of New Zealand glaciers.


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In the drought of the second half of the 1920s and the depression of the 1930s when wheat prices fell, desperate farmers sold mallee roots for firewood. For many the end came when the channel water supply was cut off because of unpaid water rates or because it became impossible to keep the channels clear of sand drift. Settlers had to walk off their land. They were paid off by the Government and the land either reallocated to neighbours or resumed, as happened with some blocks incorporated in the south and east of what is now Wyperfeld National Park. Consolidation and sustainability Following the end of the Second World War in 1945, tractors came into general use and replaced the horse as the power source on farms. With the consolidation of blocks, ever larger and more sophisticated machinery, and improved farming methods, there has been steady progress towards sustainable farming. The risks have been spread by the rotation of different crops — cereals (wheat, barley and rye), various legumes and oil crops (notably canola) — combined with judicious stocking of sheep. Survival will depend on good seasons enabling farmers to make adequate provision for rainy days that ruin crops just before harvest and for those inevitable years when crops fail because the rains fail. The struggling communities of the 1920s and 1930s on the fringe of the Big Desert have disappeared. The Wyperfeld school (1927–37), just south of the park, has gone, leaving the base of the fireplace and the ubiquitous peppercorn tree, and all that remains of the Nypo school (1910–53) on the road into Wyperfeld is the brick fireplace and chimney. The abandoned substantial limestone West Hopetoun school (1898–1947) and West Hopetoun Baptist church, only a few kilometres from the park boundary, are decaying reminders of defeated pioneers. Nypo school remnant. Photo: David Martin

Abandoned West Hopetoun Baptist church. Photo: G. Durham


Chapter

3

A PERFECT PARADISE BECOMES A NATIONAL PARK

O

N AN ORNITHOLOGICAL EXPEDITION

in October 1898 to what is now Wyperfeld National Park, naturalist Archie Campbell spent a night at Pine Plains Station. Writing of the visit in the Victorian Naturalist, he said ‘for dinner we had scrambled Mallee Hen eggs; and they proved first-class diet’. As well as being an ornithologist, Campbell was an oologist (a collector of birds’ eggs), the two being almost synonymous in those days. He noted that there was water in Lakes Brambruk and Wonga, but Black Flat ‘was thickly clothed in waving green grass’. He was impressed by the extraordinary number and variety of birds and reported that ‘the ornithological result of the whole trip was 42 bird skins, besides 75 eggs’, but that unfortunately ‘a nice lot’ of ten ‘parrakeet’ fledglings taken from their nests died on the return journey to Melbourne. Such accounts cause modern ornithologists to shudder! Campbell had as his guide Charles McLennan, later appointed the first ranger at Wilsons Promontory National Park but at that time employed by the Poultons who ran both Cambacanya (at Hopetoun West) and Pine Plains Stations. As a dingo trapper, McLennan claimed to have destroyed close on three thousand dingoes, and he often found malleefowl caught in his traps. Under the pseudonym ‘Mallee-Bird’, McLennan wrote a ‘Nature Notes’ column for the Argus. The frequent descriptions by ‘Mallee-Bird’ of bird life in the Mallee ‘whetted the ornithological appetites’ of a leading ornithologist, Charles McLennan – dingo trapper, naturalist and local guide. Arthur Mattingley, and his friends Jack Ross Source: South Gippsland Shire Historical Society 


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Arthur Mattingley’s 1907 Expedition When 

 , Ross and Howe visited Pine Plains in 1907, their guide as Charles McLennan who produced this sketch map (the original is held in the Mattingley collection in the La robe *  ,   + he trio tr elled  ain to Hopetoun on 13 September. he /

morning, Mr S. Poulton, the owner of Pine Plains Station, collected them with a buggy and pair of horses, and they tr elled to the ‘home’ station, % '  a, here they changed horses and continued through to Pine Plains,  ving late that night. hey  ed,   hing, at Pine Plains until 22 September, then returned to Melbourne b the same route. 0onga’ is the old onga Station site at Lake Brimin. ‘Cherrywhip’  Lake erriwirrup. he 0attle’ at ‘Brambrook’ (Lake Brambruk) is probably   ed attle 2(cacia [YPUL\YH), no longer present. he 03 4   & akeet’ is the Regent Parrot. 05allam Station’ was near the present 5  

Source: La Trobe Australian Manuscript Collection, State Library of Victoria


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and Frank Howe, and they visited the area for the first time in September 1907 with McLennan as their guide. They travelled by jinker west from Cambacanya to Outlet Creek and then north to Bracky Well and Pine Plains. In an article in the Melbourne Argus of 31 August 1908, Mattingley said of the area: Nature wild and primæval reigned supreme … The whole place is a paradise for nature-lovers and those fond of sightseeing, being easy to get through and replete with animal life. In view of the early opening up of this area for settlement, this tract of country should be reserved … Were this done, the finest national park, and one already made to order, and containing a unique flora and fauna, would be reserved for the present generation, as well as for posterity.

In the October 1909 issue of the Victorian Naturalist, Mattingley gives a full description of the 1907 visit, referring to the area as ‘a perfect paradise for nature lovers’. Later, in a letter to the Rainbow Argus of 22 December 1922, he said: As I had traversed the different types of Mallee country in several States this area appealed to me as the most beautiful place I had ever seen, and its natural beauty impressed itself so much on me, and its other physical and zoological advantages were so evident as a unique sight [sic] for a Park for national purposes that I decided to get it reserved.

Mattingley and A.J. Campbell (father of Archie Campbell) represented the Ornithologists Union on the committee of the National Parks Association (see page 26) which held a public meeting in the Melbourne Town Hall on 2 December 1908, convened by the Lord Mayor and attended by the Governor. A motion was passed congratulating the Government on ‘the enlightened policy adopted in making good the reservation of Wilson’s Promontory, and of placing it under the control of a committee of management’; then another: ‘That the Government be asked to reserve certain parts of the State (of land or water or both, such as Mallacoota, which are of little economic value), as plant and animal sanctuaries’.

Mattingley (l), Howe (c) and Ross (r). The climbing gear and bush indicate that this photograph was not taken on the 1907 trip. Source: La Trobe Australian Manuscript Collection, State Library of Victoria


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TWO NATIONAL PARKS ASSOCIATIONS he first record of the original National Parks Association is in relation to the public meeting at the Melbourne wn Hall on 2 December 1908.  association as made up of delegates of various societies. Its driving 7 as ames Barrett who at various times was President, Honorary    and oint : ary   . he 1908 meeting appointed a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;V    Committeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to safeguard the few existing National Parks. In 1914, the National &arks Association as absorbed into the wn Planning and National &arks Association  h lapsed during the First orld ar 2!;< 18)  as   ed as the wn Planning Association in 1918. his   tion became inacti during the Second orld ar (1939â&#x20AC;&#x201C;45) and in 1945 reformed as the wn and Country Planning 

  A new and unconnected organisation, he =ictorian National P 4 Association 2=&A), as formed in 1952, and has grown to become the major independent community body in =ictoria concerned with the protection, management and use of national parks and other conservation   It emerged out of a representati committee known as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The %'  Societies Standing Committeeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; formed primarily on the initiati of the >ield  alists Club of =ictoria. he =&?s first president was & % Morrison,  wned alist and broadcaster, and during its first twentyone ears the Honorary Secretary was J. Ros. Garnet, a member of the yperfeld National Park Committee of Management.

Mr G.M. Prendergast MLA, who subsequently became the first Labor Premier of Victoria, said: Not only is it essential to have this area [Wilsons Promontory] protected from the vandal with a gun but it would be necessary now, in the infancy of our history, to reserve areas of suitable territory in other parts of the State, so as to provide for the flora and fauna of that particular part. The Grampians were a magnificent sanctuary, and should be reserved for the purposes which the Society had in view, and another reserve should be made in the Mallee for the purposes of preserving some of the unique specimens of bird life now in existence in that section of the State. It was now easy to reserve suitable areas, but if time were allowed to elapse, the task would be difficult, because of the increase of settlement.

On 5 May 1909, a delegation presented the resolutions of the public meeting to the Premier, John Murray. Mattingley urged reservation of the Wonga basin. He said it would form one of the lungs of the city and would make a splendid


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sanatorium. Dr James Barrett (see page 30), the joint secretary with Professor Baldwin Spencer of the National Parks Association, urged â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;increased reservations in the interest of the tourist movementâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. The Premier is reported as saying â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;there was reason for preserving the unique animal life of the mallee, and there was one thing in their favour â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the land was not of much valueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Proclamation Mattingley gives this account of the first proclamation of Wyperfeld parkland: â&#x20AC;Ś in view of its probable early opening for a settlement, Wonga Basin, along with Brambrook and the adjoining Jerriwerrup (locally called Cherry Whip) should certainly be reserved. â&#x20AC;Ś I waited upon Mr J.M. Read, Surveyor General and head of the Lands Department, and impressed him with the desirability of having the area reserved for a park on account of its unique characteristics, its flora and fauna, and its beauty. Mr Read was sympathetic and after consultation with his officers, in my presence marked the official map for temporary reservation. The area, 9,600 acres, so marked was temporarily reserved on October 12, 1909, as a National Park (Government Gazette, October 20, 1909).

The reservation extended 3 miles to the east of the 142nd Meridian taking in Black Flat and Wonga Lake (see maps on pages 34 and 148). Arthur Herbert Evelyn Mattingley CMZS â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a ]PZPVUHYy LU[O\ZPHZ[ Arthur Herbert Evelyn Mattingley was  at North Melbourne in 1870. He was  cated at Scotch College, Melbourne, and became an officer of the Customs Department. A dedicated ornithologist, he w 

ed in establishing the Roal    Ornithological Union (now Birds    + in 1905 and also the Bird Observers % and the Gould League of Bird Loers. :   aphs of the cruelties inflicted on egrets became a powerful tool in the campaign to end the plume tr   Source: Historic Places, DNRE Mattingley as a foundation member of the Committee of Management of ilsons Promontory National Park. : campaigned for the creation of yperfeld National Park and was a member of its Committee of Management from 1938 until his death in 1950. Mt Mattingley (on  7 ?s @ very alk) is named in his honour


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Chairmen of Wyperfeld Committee of Management 1922–1975

Sir James Barrett (1922–1941)

Sir Julius Bruche (1945–1947)

Source: ‘University of Melbourne Medical School Jubilee 1914’ University of Melbourne Library

Source: La Trobe Australian Manuscripts Collection, State Library of Victoria

Ian McLaren MLA (1947–1957)

Harold Tarr (1957–1975)

Source: Parliament of Victoria Library

Source: Nunawading Gazette


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At the time, Victoria had only three national parks: Tower Hill (597 ha) reserved as a national park by a special Act of Parliament in 1892, Wilsons Promontory (36,842 ha) reserved in July 1898, and Mt Buffalo (1,166 ha) reserved in November 1898. There were also reserves at Fern Tree Gully, the Werribee Gorge and Buchan Caves. Mattingley’s account ignores the role of others involved in the National Parks Association and particularly that of James Barrett. Wyperfeld, Mallacoota and Wingan Inlet National Parks were all gazetted on 20 October 1909, following the delegation to the Premier. Mattingley became the president of the National Parks Association in 1912 and claimed to have ‘placed on the agenda the need of having this park made a permanent reservation’. The 1914–18 Great War intervened. After the war, the Association, now a committee of the Victorian Town Planning Association with Sir James Barrett as chairman, was instrumental in obtaining permanent reservation of 16,000 acres in 1921 as ‘Wyperfeld National Park’. The temporary reservation of 1909 was for a National Park in the parishes of Ginap and Wyperfeld, but the park was unnamed. On permanent reservation it was called ‘Wyperfeld’ after the parish. If the name is of German derivation it may be related to the influx from South Australia of settlers of German origin. A further 7,680 acres was permanently reserved in February 1922 following the report of the Parliamentary Committee on Railways. There was strong local opposition with deputations to Minister Oman and a petition signed by 220 local farmers and others requesting abolition of the park. The petitioners said ‘the park should be open for settlement and the shores of the several lakes would provide excellent shooting grounds’. A local politician was reported as saying ‘A few cranks want it reserved’. Management by committee A Committee of Management was appointed in 1922. Sir James Barrett chaired this committee also, holding the position until 1941 when the committee went into recess because of the Second World War. A high-profile public figure with influential connections, Sir James was largely responsible for additions to the park in 1930 (6,400 acres), 1938 (56,780 acres), and 1941 (51,840 acres). The committee was revived in 1945 with 72 year-old Sir Julius Bruche as chairman. Sir Julius had a distinguished military record, retiring as Chief of the General Staff in 1935. He resigned as chairman in 1947 and was replaced by Ian McLaren MLA who retained the position until 1957 when succeeded by a member of the committee, ornithologist Harold Tarr. Mattingley joined the committee in 1938, became treasurer, and remained a member until his death in 1950.


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James William Barrett KBE, CB, CMG, MD, MS, FRCS Eng. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an outstanding advocate ames illiam Barrett was born in South Melbourne in 1862. He w  educated at Melbourne Grammar hool and the Uniersity of Melbourne here he became successively a lecturer, %  , =ice Chancellor and %  . An ophthalmologist, he was ed in an extraordinary   of professional and public affairs. he  alian Dictionary of Biogr   ys that, although sometimes ridiculed, he was â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a practical visionaryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a pioneer in all things that one could only think of b  h the human ace might be bettered and improedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. At the age of 75 he was 

 on 28 committees including the yperfeld and Mallacoota National Park %' mittees of Management. Among his many interests were music, public health, wn planning and national parks. He wrote sev al books and ' y letters to the press. He kept wallabies and koalas in the garden of his home in Lansell Road, ak. In the assessment of Dr Sandra 3   (1974, pp. 457â&#x20AC;&#x201C;60), James Barrett was the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;â&#x20AC;Ś most outstanding campaigner and made b far the greatest single contribution to the [national park] 'ement up to [his death in] 1945 â&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. he alist Charles Barrett, a member of the yperfeld committee, was not a relation.

Prior to the creation of the National Parks Authority in 1957, the committee received no financial allocation from the Government. To raise funds to manage the park, it resorted to selling wood, granting cattle agistment to Hugh Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Sullivan of Pine Plains Station, and granting a bee-keeping lease to Ernest Ey of Hopetoun West. Feral bees are probably at least partly a legacy from Ey. The Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Sullivan family leased Wyperfeld National Park for grazing from 1924 until 1948. Owen Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Sullivan (always known as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Hughâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201D; see page 94) acted as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;caretakerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and was a member of the Committee of Management from its inception in 1922 until his death in 1929. In 1934 the Committee appointed Hughâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s son, Owen Lewis (known as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Jackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;), as unpaid curator. He had been appointed a Owen Lewis (â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Jackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;) Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Sullivan (1909â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1995) Bailiff of Crown Lands in 1931. Source: Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Sullivan family


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Cattle were legally grazed in parts of the park until 1979. This photograph shows cattle at Wonga well, Lake Brimin where grazing ceased in 1960.

Source: Historic Places, DNRE

In 1948, wood-selling and bee-keeping ceased, the O’Sullivans did not renew their lease and the Campbell brothers were granted grazing rights. One of the brothers, A.E.G. ‘Rudd’ Campbell, acted as unpaid curator and guide (see page 32). The Campbell brothers were not related to Archie Campbell. A leading advocate for national parks, Philip Crosbie Morrison, in a submission to a 1950–51 State Development Committee enquiry, stressed the dangers inherent in the existing arrangements for parks: There is no statutory provision for the finance of the Victorian National Parks. … where the reservation is primarily for wild life protection the system is disastrous, as is the case of the great Wyperfeld National Park, in the Wimmera-Mallee region.

National Parks Authority Philip Crosbie Morrison was the foundation president of the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) formed in 1952 (see page 26). In 1957 the National Parks Act established the National Parks Authority and Crosbie Morrison was appointed its first director. The first Annual Report of the Authority stated that Wyperfeld National Park ‘does not attract visitors and there are no amenities for such as may desire to visit it’. In 1958 Rudd Campbell was employed by the Authority as a part-time ranger.


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Rudd Campbell â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Wyperfeldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first ranger Alex. Aard George (â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Ruddâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;) Campbell w  the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Caretakerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; at yperfeld from July !;" and the only ranger from 1958 until his death from a heart attack in 1970. He was born at $ w in 1913 and adopted the name â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Ruddâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; from a Chinese boxer, Rudd K  He had an intimate knowledge of the park  h he enjoed sharing with visitors, and he had a flair for establishing good public relations. In a tribute after his death, Ian Maroske recounted the story of a panic-stricken  

Source: Historic Places, DNRE ho had ill-advisedly lit a camp fire inside a large red-gum stump on a hot day: his explanation to Rudd that he thought it as a fireplace receied the laconic but mildly reproachful  , 0 tried ooden fireplaces years ago but they werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a successâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. he proceeds of a memorial appeal went toards the cost of building the Information Centre.

In the history of the park, 1960 is an important year. The road to the entrance was improved, and an â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;entrance featureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; erected. The Campbells ceased grazing, and Rudd carried out various works. Prompted by the huge Big Desert fire that burnt through most of the west of the park in 1959, a rough and narrow â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Nine Mile Squareâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; track was put through to the western boundary and along it. The National Parks Authority and the Committee of Management turned their attention to providing for visitors. Committee member, Ian Maroske, with Rudd Campbell and others, explored and mapped the park, naming many of its features, and a brochure and map were produced. In subsequent years, Harold Tarr produced a bird list, and in 1965 the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria published The Vegetation of Wyperfeld National Park by J. Ros. Garnet, an active committee member. Erecting the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;entrance featureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in 1960. L. Degenhardt (l), Rudd Campbell (c) and B. Loughnan (r). The completed entrance is shown on page 3. Photo: Ian Maroske


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Members of the Committee of Management at their last meeting on 21 November 1975 at the office of the National Parks Service, 240 Victoria Parade, Melbourne. From Left: O. Thomas, W. Middleton, H. Tarr, J. Ros. Garnet, R. Falla, J. Landy and I. Maroske. Photo: Ian Maroske

National Parks Service In 1971 the National Parks Authority was abolished and in 1975 the National Parks Service took over direct management of national parks. Committees of Management became Advisory Committees (appendix 3 lists all members of these two committees for Wyperfeld). The Wyperfeld Committee of Management had carried out an extraordinarily difficult task, acting in an honorary capacity with responsibility for a remote area without any allocation of funds until the creation of the National Parks Authority. In its fifty years it met on 140 occasions, including 59 times in Melbourne. There were internal tensions, but its active members were sustained by their enthusiasm as naturalists and their belief in the significance of the park. The size of the park had remained at 139,757 acres (56,558 ha) since 1948. This was to change following the establishment of the Land Conservation Council in 1970. The Land Conservation Council In the late 1960s the Government proposed opening up for selection the Little Desert, about 80 km to the south of the Big Desert. Local naturalists, the Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) and other groups campaigned against the scheme. The Age took up the story, the Minister for Lands, Sir William McDonald, was not re-elected, and the proposal was abandoned. The response by Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s longest serving Premier, Sir Henry Bolte, included the establishment in 1970 of the Land Conservation Council (LCC) with the statutory duty to study public land and make recommendations to the


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Government on ‘the balanced use of land in Victoria’. This was done through a public process of report, submissions, proposed recommendations, further submissions and final recommendations. The outcome for the Little Desert was significant expansion of the existing Little Desert National Park following implementation of the 1986 LCC Wimmera Area Final Recommendations. The Mallee area was subject to the LCC process on two occasions. Final Recommendations in 1977 led to the addition to Wyperfeld of 43,500 ha in 1979, and Final Recommendations in 1989 more than tripled the size of the park with a massive 223,700 ha addition in 1991. The LCC conducted two further special studies of relevance: a Rivers and Streams study with Final Recommendations in June 1991, and a Wilderness study with Final Recommendations in November 1991. As a result of the Rivers and Streams study, the Wimmera River from Polkemmet (south of Dimboola) to Wirrengren Plain (in north Wyperfeld) was designated a ‘Heritage River’. The Wilderness study led to the creation within Wyperfeld of three trackless ‘Wilderness Areas’ totalling 186,097 ha, and the 33,637 ha Hopping Mouse Hill ‘Remote and Natural Area’. It also led to the expansion to 142,300 ha of the Big Desert Wilderness Park, west of the Murrayville Track (see map on page 4).



THE GROWTH OF WYPERFELD NATIONAL PARK 1909–1992



For details see appendix 2 (page 148)

Present Nine Mile Square Track

 1960 Nine Mile Square Track





 



 

 





VILLE RRAY MU

Hopetoun

K TR AC









kilometres

Rainbow




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To the east of the Murrayville Track, large sections of the Big Desert to the north and south of Wyperfeld have the curious designation of State Forest. Although these areas are of no value for timber, the LCC did not recommend that they be part of Wyperfeld National Park because the northern area ‘has the potential to provide recreational vehicle access’ and the smaller southern area is ‘potentially prospective for mineral sands, base metals, and fossil fuels’. Mining cannot occur in Wyperfeld because of its national park status. The LCC was replaced by an Environment Conservation Council in 1997. Reserved and preserved In Australia, national parks are public land reserved under State legislation (see appendix 4 for categories and definitions). In the words of the Victorian National Parks Act, Wyperfeld National Park, characterised by its predominantly unspoiled landscape, and its flora, fauna and other features — Mattingley’s ‘perfect paradise’ — is ‘reserved and preserved and protected permanently for the benefit of the public’ with the primary purpose of nature conservation, but subject to the overriding power of parliament to revoke reservation. The title ‘National Parks’ is used because the parks are of national and international significance. In its 1987 Study Report, the LCC said: The big areas of public land in the Big Desert and the Sunset Country support a number of species not found elsewhere in the State and, because of widespread clearing of mallee vegetation in this and other States, these remaining large tracts of mallee are of national importance.

Wyperfeld is listed in Category 2 (National Parks) of the IUCN United Nations list of National Parks and Protected Areas, and in the Australian Heritage Commission Register of the National Estate. Between 1970 and 1997 the creation and extension of Victorian parks resulted from the studies of the LCC, public participation and organised campaigns, leading to legislative action. Before then, they were established as a result of the vision, persuasion, persistence and political influence of nature lovers like Arthur Mattingley and Sir James Barrett. Their continued preservation depends on community support and vigilance. Present park management In Victoria, the present manager of parks is the State Government statutory authority, Parks Victoria, under delegation from the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE). Wyperfeld is in the Parks Victoria Western Region with the responsible Regional Manager and a Chief Ranger located in Mildura. The park has a Ranger-in-Charge with a small team of Rangers and


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Park Assistants. A local resident, David Martin, has worked continuously in the park since 1982, first as a member of the works crew, and since 1987, as a ranger. At the present time, there is an honorary Mallee Parks Advisory Committee set up to advise Parks Victoria in relation to all the Mallee parks. This committee replaced the Wyperfeld National Park Advisory Committee which was established under the National Parks Act and which met from 1975 until 1996. Convenors of the Wyperfeld committee were successively ornithologist Harold Tarr, Horsham High School principal Ian Maroske, and Rainbow bank manager Frank Noelker. When the park was first established in 1909 there was no management. Subsequently there were caretakers before there were National Park rangers. The names of these people should be recorded. The unpaid Hugh and Jack O’Sullivan grazed the park, as did the Campbell brothers for a time. Rudd Campbell was the first and a very popular ranger (1958–70). Subsequent rangers-in-charge were Gary Anderson (1970–76), John Miller (1976–80), Peter Muller (1981–86), Rod Newnham (1987–91), and currently Damian Kerr (1992– ). The rangers have never had enough resources to deal adequately with everything, and whilst now being generally well supported from above and by interested locals, in the past they have sometimes had to contend with both the bureaucracy from afar and hostility from nearby. In recent times the ‘Good Neighbour’ program is establishing a good relationship between the park and its neighbours with better mutual understanding. Cooperative programs are undertaken aimed at control of pest animals and plants. Ranger responsibilities are enormous. As well as looking after Wyperfeld, the park staff are responsible for the adjacent Big Desert Wilderness Park, Albacutya Regional Park, the Wathe, Paradise, Birdcage and Red Bluff Flora and Fauna Reserves, and many other conservation reserves in the southern Mallee. There is a general Mallee Parks Management Plan which includes Wyperfeld, but unfortunately there is no plan specifically for this park. The aim is to protect the park and ensure that all visitors have an enjoyable time. The safety of visitors and the provision of visitor services are prime concerns. Information about the park and its features is provided in the form of Park Notes, or simply and most effectively by talking to visitors. Park interpretation programs and education group activities are conducted. Apart from people, the main matters requiring attention are general maintenance, fire protection, feral animals and weeds (see page 86). The most difficult management issues at Wyperfeld have been rabbits, invasion by alien plants, tree decline and fire. Botanist Dr David Cheal has conducted extensive research in the park. He has


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pointed out that ‘changes in the fire regime are amongst the most pervasive and critical effects of reserve declaration and management …’. The National Parks Act requires protection of the park from ‘injury by fire’ and it is policy to extinguish all fires as soon as possible and to prevent fires from burning onto farmland. The ‘Management Vehicles Only’ tracks were put in primarily for this purpose. Maintaining tracks and fire-breaks is a major task. Lightning-caused fires are a frequent occurrence, and as the vegetation has evolved with fire, some communities and species are fire dependent. Deliberate burning for ecological management is a difficult issue. What is the natural fire regime? Is it possible to replicate this regime without endangering adjoining properties? Should we attempt to manipulate the fire regime to advantage a particular species or community? What is desirable and feasible? Research is being undertaken to establish the requirements of different communities. Kangaroo management is an important responsibility. The interface with farmland suits kangaroos as they have cover in the park, and food and water over the boundary. Not all the park is fenced, and not all the fences are good enough to keep kangaroos in and stock out. Kangaroo populations on the flood plain build up in good times. In the inevitable droughts, when they are desperate for food and moisture, they have an adverse impact on native vegetation. The past history of grazing by stock, kangaroos and rabbits has severely affected the floristics of the flood plain. A restoration program involves the control of rabbits and controlled shooting of kangaroos in accordance with the advice of a scientific advisory committee. Monitoring of rabbit and kangaroo numbers is carried out by regular counts along transects indicated by marker posts. At the time of writing, rabbits are well controlled. Foxes and cats are a threat to native fauna. In the early days there were many dingoes, but now there are only a few wild dogs which are seldom seen. Nonnative birds such as the starling are disruptive in natural systems as they compete for food and nesting hollows in trees. Feral European bees also take over hollows, harvest vast amounts of nectar and pollen, and may adversely affect pollination of native species. In hot periods they pollute water supplies and are a danger to people visiting and working in the park. Efforts are made to control them in the most frequented areas. Partly as a result of the long history of grazing, there is erosion Weeds are a major problem for the park management. Parks Victoria staff member Rod McLean spraying Patersons Curse. Photo: Leon Costermans


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RABBITS â&#x20AC;&#x201D; unwelcome invaders o settlers, Mills and Mogg, brought four pairs of the European Rabbit 26Y`ctolagus J\UPJ\S\Z) to their property north of Donald in 1866 (Rolls 1969). B on reports that in 1880 the then Minister for Lands,    Madden, said of the Mallee â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;... I never   and could not ha   ed greater picture of desolation ...  went oer miles of the country without seeing a solitary sheep or sign of life, except thousands of rabbits, and so thoroughly had these devastated the district that there was not a blade of ass to be seen, and the trees were stripped of their bark as high as the abbits could reac? he abbit has had a huge impact on the vegetation of the Outlet Creek flood plain, Pine Plains and the fringe areas of  7  >emales produce a litter of four to eight young h month when 7  green feed is aailable. &opulations fluctuate depending on the season. Major predators are the fox, cat, edge-tailed Eagle, Whistling Eagle and the Sand Goanna. Der the years, abbits   been controlled b ripping of w   fumigation of burrows, shooting, and 1080 poisoning programs. he  

disease 'yxomatosis had an initial impact but the animals dev  

''

. he Rabbit Calicivirus Disease (RCD) has been spectacularly successful in the Mallee and rabbit numbers are greatly reduced.  

extent immunity will develop remains to be seen.

in some places, and numerous alien grasses and weeds have become established. There are programs for the control of Patersonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Curse (Echium plantagineum). It is clear that biological control offers the only hope of controlling Horehound (Marrubium vulgare). Smilax or Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides) has entered the south end of the park and is being vigorously attacked as it is spread by many birds and constitutes a serious threat. Efforts are made to control other environmental weeds, and vigilance is required to detect and prevent the spread of species that are a potential threat.

The alien weed Horehound. Its only pollinator is the European bee. Photo: Ian McCann


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Grazing has ceased, and the only exploitative activity within Wyperfeld, apart from tourism, is limited apiculture. Illegal grazing and removal of wood have occurred in the past, and there is a long history of bird and reptile poaching. Patrolling and enforcement are essential ranger tasks. Since the creation of the National Parks Authority in 1957, many dedicated public servants in the successive agencies with an involvement in park management have supported the rangers in administration, planning and projects.

A colony of feral European bees on a Red-gum. They are common throughout the park. Photo: David Martin

Support for the park Many individuals and groups have assisted in management. One such group is the Friends of Wyperfeld who have worked in partnership with the park rangers since 1976. They meet in the park once or twice a year and always on the Queenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Birthday long weekend in June. Amongst their activities they have collected seed, planted thousands of cypress-pine seedlings, kept several areas free of horehound, assisted Dr Joe Benshemesh with his malleefowl surveys, and worked on nature trails. They are responsible for this book. If you would like to support the park through the Friends of Wyperfeld, the rangers can supply you with details of the contact person. Parks are for visitors to enjoy, and to look after. National Park status brings with it a responsibility on everyone to ensure that the park is protected.

Friends of Wyperfeld planting cypress-pines in 1985. Wire guards protect seedlings from grazing by rabbits and kangaroos. Photo: Geoff Durham


Chapter

4

SEASONS AND CYCLES OF LIFE

S

PRING, SUMMER, AUTUMN, WINTER — are

these the seasons in Wyperfeld, or are they the seasons of England’s ‘green and pleasant land’? Indigenous human communities recognise seasons appropriate to their territory. For example, in Kakadu there are six main seasons. Unfortunately, Aboriginal lore regarding Wyperfeld seasons has been lost. For Mallee farmers, the most significant climatic event of the year is ‘the break’ — the expression used when the first soaking rains come in April to June, if they come at all. This is when the farmers commence sowing, they being ever optimistic of follow-up rains. Their non-native crops are shallow rooted and require moisture through the whole of the growing period until about November. Without it they fail or are severely affected, as often happens. Periodic droughts are normal at Wyperfeld, and the indigenous plants of the various communities have evolved many means and mechanisms to survive dry periods of varying length, including droughts of up to five years. Shallow roots utilise dew and the lightest of showers, and deep roots utilise moisture from heavier falls which infiltrates the porous sandy soils. The River Red-gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and Slender Cypress-pine (Callitris gracilis) are each both shallow- and deep-rooted (see page 83). Some plants have seeds with inbuilt dormancy and only germinate after significant rain. Many small plants grow and seed quickly while moisture is available, and long-living plants have adaptations to reduce transpiration which occurs through pores called stomata, mostly on the undersurface of leaves. Eucalypt leaves hang side-on to the sun, tiny cypress-pine leaves are clasped around branchlets, casuarina leaves are reduced to minute remnants at branchlet junctions, the leaves of the Desert Banksia (Banksia ornata) have a waxy coating, and mallee wattles have abandoned leaves altogether — what appear to be leaves are flattened or even needle-like leaf-stalks called phyllodes. The leaves of Porcupine-grass (Triodia spp.), with stomata on the upper surface, curl inward to form a hollow needle.




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Temperatures can reach 40°C or more for days on end. The maximum recorded at Pine Plains is 47°C. At the other extreme, there are frequent frosts from May to September. The mean monthly maximum is about 30°C in February; the mean monthly minimum about 4°C in July. The diurnal ranges are high: thirty degrees or more on a summers day and twenty degrees or more in winter are common. These are recorded air temperatures which may be greatly exceeded by on-ground temperatures. Winds are predominantly from the northern, western and southern sectors. There can be very hot dry north winds in summer, and in winter cool northwest to south-west winds dominate. Annual rainfall of about 360 mm average in the south to about 340 mm average in the north varies significantly from year to year, with an average of about 80 days with rain each year. There is also monthly variability from year to year. Most rain is usually received in May to October and there may be heavy irregular showers in the warmer months. As well as rain from the normal weather systems, localised erratic and unreliable rain falls when humid and buoyant air rises on turbulent eddies (the thermals on which eagles soar) heated by sun-warmed sand dunes and clay pans. The sandy soil means that there is rapid infiltration of rainfall with little if any run-off. There is a high evaporation rate which exceeds 1300 mm per year, much more than the precipitation rate. These factors restrict the growing season for crops to about four months, usually May to October. Three distinct seasons of variable onset and duration have been suggested. Rod Newnham, ranger-in-charge from 1987 to 1991, has called them ‘the dry season’, ‘the cold season’ and ‘the breeding season’. ‘The dry season’ ‘The dry season’ is from about December to ‘the break’ — about May. There is very high evaporation with occasional searing north winds, and most years there is little moisture. For those not used to such conditions it is a chancy time to visit, but if you strike mild weather it can be delightful, and it is the best time to see insects and reptiles. Annual plants have seeded and died, others suspend growth. Seedlings die if conditions are particularly severe — not only seedlings of introduced plants like Horehound, but also of natives like cypress-pines and eucalypts. Many plants are fruiting, but surprisingly there are also a few in flower, such as the melaleuca Moonah (M. lanceolata) and some eucalypts, providing food for nectar-eating birds and insects. There is a proliferation of beetles (particularly Jewel beetles), Flower wasps, Robber flies, moths and native bees. European honey bees harvest both nectar and pollen, and when desperate for water to cool


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their hives they will descend on any moisture, including human sweat and tears, as will the bush flies. March to April is the time for small ‘stinging’ midges and March flies. Ants are prominent. In December 1976 ranger John Miller reported: ‘I have never seen so many ants in all my life. Ants of every shape and colour covering every available inch of ground, making life unbearable at times’. Unbearable for humans, but a food supply for others. Insect-eating birds and bats are active throughout the hot weather. Most of the area’s bird species are present. A notable absentee is the Flame Robin which migrates to cooler climes. Reptiles become active in the warm weather. They depend on external heat and avoid extremely high and low temperatures. The ponderous Stumpy-tailed Lizard or Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa) is seen during the day, and, rarely, a fastmoving Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis) which may be any colour from dark brown to straw and up to 1.5 m long. Although highly venomous, it will get out of your way if given the chance. The very large Tree Goanna or Lace Monitor (Varanus varius) inhabits mainly the wooded flood plain area. Also during the day, the small Boulenger’s Skink (Morethia boulengeri) is seen in the litter at the base of River Red-gums. The Marbled Gecko (Phyllodactylus marmoratus) may be seen on the trunks of mallee eucalypts by torchlight at night. The colourful Sand Goanna or Gould’s Monitor (Varanus gouldii) inhabits the dunes, mallee and heathlands. Around cypress-pine, the Spotted Burrowing Skink (Lerista punctatovittata) may be out and about during the day, and at night the Beaded Gecko (Diplodactylus damaeus) is active. Dragons are diurnal. The Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps), about 30 cm long, may be encountered, and also the smaller but spectacular Painted Dragon (Ctenophorus pictus). The Nobbi Dragon (Amphibolurus nobbi coggeri) is common throughMoonah (Melaleuca lanceolata) – tree, flowers and fruits

Photos: Leon Costermans






>`WLYMLSK»Z ºKYy ZLHZVU» 1 Wyperfeld sunsets can be spectacular. 2 Little Corellas catching the sun. 3 The ripening fruit (about 6 mm long) of Wheel-fruit (Gyrostemon australasicus) 4 Rainbow Bee-eaters (male on left), female (with bee) on the right. 5 A Carabid beetle (Euryscaphus obesus) 6 A Copper Stag beetle (Lamprima varians) 7 A Jewel beetle (Stigmodera sanguinosa)





Photos 1–4: Bob Semmens Photo 5: Alan Yen Photos 6, 7: Fabian Douglas
















Some YLptiles and mammals in >`WLYMLSK»s ºKY` ZLHZVU» 1 Sand Goanna (Varanus gouldii) 2 Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) 3 Southern Spiny-tailed Gecko (Diplodactylus intermedius) 4 Nobbi Dragon (Amphibolurus nobbi coggeri) 5 Burton’s Snake Lizard (Lialis burtonis) 6 Fat-tailed Dunnart (Sminthopsis crassicaudata) 7 Mitchell’s Hopping-mouse (Notomys mitchelli)





Photos 1–5: Peter Robertson: 6: Jenny Barnett; 7: Bob Semmens




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out the park, as is Norris’s Dragon (A. norrisi) in the south. They perch at the base of mallee trees and may sometimes be seen ‘waving’ to each other. Of the various reptiles in the porcupine-grass, the Mallee Dragon (Ctenophorus fordi) and the Large Striped Skink (Ctenotus robustus) are often seen during the day, the Southern Spiny-tailed Gecko (Diplodactylus intermedius) during the night, and Burton’s Snake Lizard (Lialis burtonis) may be seen basking on porcupinegrass in the morning and on warm nights, waiting for its lizard prey. The warm-blooded animals conserve moisture by restricting daytime activity. Western Grey Kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus) rest during the heat of the day in a sand scrape on the southern side of a shady tree, often a cypress-pine, adjusting position from west to east as the sun moves from east to west, creating the ‘kangaroo compass’. They cool by panting and licking their wrists and forearms where blood vessels are close to the surface. They flick sand over themselves, probably to keep flies away and help keep cool. Females may have a young in the pouch and another still suckling from outside the pouch. The Malleefowl usually stops laying in January, but in a mild season may continue until March. The smaller the animal the greater the problems of temperature control, in both hot and cold conditions. Many creatures avoid the heat by living underground and emerging only at night. This is home for soil-dwelling and burrowing animals: ants of many species; scorpions; the Mallee Mouse spider (Missulena spp.); the Wolf spiders; burrowing snakes and legless lizards; the Silky Mouse (Pseudomys apodemoides); Mitchell’s Hopping-mouse (Notomys mitchelli); and the European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Vegetation canopies can significantly modify the environment below and within the foliage, producing more uniform humidity and temperature regimes. The dense foliage of porcupine-grass forms an almost complete barrier to the sun’s heat and the wind (see page 104). The dry season is the season for fire. The heathlands are particularly susceptible. A run of favourable years will allow a build-up of fuel, as will severe frosts. Some years there are good stands of native grasses in the flood plain and especially at Pine Plains. If a dry hot season follows, a wild fire can start as early as October. The effects of fire are dis- Lightning is responsible for starting many fires in remote areas. cussed in chapter five. Photo: David Ashton


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The dry season ends with rain — ‘the break’ — any time from April to June, and sometimes not at all. Indications are when the first fungi appear, the malleefowl clean out the egg chamber in their mound, and the first rabbit kittens are seen. If the break is early there is a burst of growth before the cold — a mini growing season. ‘The cold season’ ‘The cold season’ can extend from April-May to August, but sometimes only to June or July. This is a popular time for bushwalking. Days are pleasant when there is no cloud or chilling winds, but nights are cold. Frosts are common and can be severe. June and July of 1982 had the most severe frosts ever recorded in the region. The minimum temperature was well below zero for six consecutive days, dropping to –8°C at the ranger residence, now the park office. This corresponds to an interdune swale temperature of at least –13°C. Many species were affected, particularly in the swales and on lower dune slopes. Some mallee eucalypts and River Red-gums were frozen up to a height of ten metres, causing leaves and branches to die. It was as though they had been burnt by fire, and their response was similar — they regenerated by sprouting from epicormic buds. Mallee Teatree (Leptospermum coriaceum) was severely affected, but sprouted again from rootstock as after fire. However, the frost killed Desert Banksia in some areas, and in the absence of fire, little regeneration from seedlings has occurred. The Broom Ballart (Exocarpos sparteus) was eliminated in frost-affected areas, but the Scrub Cypress-pine (Callitris verrucosa) was undamaged. Research by Dr Terry O’Brien and Dr David Cheal shows that such abnormal frosts may limit the distribution of some species over long periods of time. Some plants flower in the cold season. Red Mallee (Eucalyptus calycogona) flowers in June–October. In the heathlands, the Desert Banksia flowers in April– September and produces copious amounts of nectar. Honeyeaters, particularly the New Holland Honeyeater, are common. The Common Correa (Correa reflexa) and Flame Heath (Astroloma conostephioides) are also flowering. Surprisingly, many invertebrates are active during the cold season. They include several species of night-flying Geometrid moths that mimic dead gum leaves, sticks or tree bark during their daytime resting period. Some species of ant which are active on comparatively warm days in the cold season are also active during cool nights in the dry season. Insulated from the cold by their lerp casing, psyllid nymphs are developing on eucalypt leaves. Of the vertebrates, reptiles are generally inactive, although Boulenger’s Skink (Morethia boulengeri) and sometimes the Stumpy-tailed Lizard may be seen on warm days. Female kangaroos are likely to have a joey in the pouch, and the


Mallee frosts can be severe and damaging to the vegetation, as in mid-1982. Photo: Peter Muller

Mallee Tea-tree regenerating after its aerial parts were killed by severe frost. Photo: Leon Costermans

A winter-flowering plant, Desert Banksia (B. ornata) produces abundant nectar. Photo: Leon Costermans

The Yellow-plumed Honeyeater is one of many honeyeaters to be seen. Photo: Helen Norgard

>`WLYMLSK»Z ‘cold ZLHZVU» Boulenger’s Skink (Morethia boulengeri) may be seen on warmer days. Photo: Peter Robertson


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male emus are sitting on eggs. Mated pairs of malleefowl spend the cold season selecting and preparing a mound, slowly raking in leaf litter. The main rains are over when they cover their mounds. Emus are the first birds to hatch young, and the striped chicks are seen about halfway through July.

A clutch of emu eggs laid about May in the characteristically scanty nest. Photo: Don Saunders

‘The breeding season’ ‘The breeding season’ starts when it is warm and moist enough to sustain growth, usually some time in August depending on the conditions for that year, and it goes through until about halfway into December, depending on rain. Wildflowers are usually abundant, particularly if there has been an early break. This is the most popular time to visit the park. In some years there is prolific growth of grass, particularly native Spear-grass (Stipa spp.). The emergence of abundant long flexible flower-stems transforms the appearance of the Porcupine-grass patches (see page 104). Flowers of the flood plain include Variable Groundsel (Senecio pinnatifolius) and Austral Bugle (Ajuga australis), but unfortunately also many introduced plants including Capeweed and Paterson’s Curse (see page 86). There are several wattles — the shrubby Gold-dust Wattle (Acacia acinacea), the Grey Mulga (A. brachybotrya) and the Golden Wattle (A. pycnantha). On the dunes adjacent to the flood plain are the stunning white- to pink-flowering Fringe-myrtles (Calytrix tetragona and C. alpestris), yellow-flowering Tangled Burr-daisy (Calotis erinacea) and white-flowering Velvet Tobacco (Nicotiana velutina). On Wirrengren Plain, the ground flora includes various everlastings and daisies, Bluebells (Wahlenbergia spp.), and several species of saltbush, as well as the native and introduced grasses. Under mallee, the most prolific flower is Golden Pennants (Glischrocaryon behrii). A variety of everlastings flower at various times. Orchids are not common but may be found in protected positions. There are greenhoods, sunorchids, spider-orchids and leek-orchids. The Small Cooba (Acacia ligulata)






Some common plants MSV^ering in >`WLYMLSK»Z ºIYeeding ZLHZVU» 1 Variable Groundsel (Senecio pinnatifolius) on the flood plain under Black Box. Photo: Geoff Durham

2 Poached-eggs Daisy (Polycalymma stuartii) 3 Berrigan or Long-leaf Emu-bush (Eremophila longifolia) 4 Mallee Aotus (Aotus subspinescens) 5 Golden Pennants (Glischrocaryon behrii) 6 Austral Bugle (Ajuga australis)



7 Holly Grevillea (Grevillea ilicifolia)



Photos 2–7: Leon Costermans




















:VTe IPYds in >`WLYMLSK»Z ºIYeeding ZLHZVU» 1 2 3 4

Emu and striped young chicks 5 Malleefowl chick 6 Splendid Fairy-wren Red-capped Robin White-browed Woodswallow 7 Redthroat Female Mulga Parrot

Photos: 1 & 4: Don Saunders; 2 & 6: Bob Semmens; 3 & 5: Harold Tarr Collection; 7: Bird Observers Club of Australia




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has deep golden flowers in September, and the relatively rare Umbrella Wattle (A. oswaldii) flowers in October–November. Other colourful shrubs are Common Fringe-myrtle and the small Mallee Aotus (Aotus subspinescens) with pea-flowers which are yellow with red. The perennial climber, Small-leaved Clematis (Clematis microphylla) has white flowers followed by seeds with conspicuous silky plumes from July through to December. Unexpectedly, it is in the western dunes where there is the greatest variety and profusion of flowers, particularly in the heathland. Flowering times are variable. Conspicuous especially for their colours are the bright-golden Spiny Wattle (Acacia spinescens), the white-flowering Broom Baeckea (Babingtonia behrii), the pink-flowering Desert Baeckea (Baeckea crassifolia), the creamflowering Broombush (Melaleuca uncinata), both Mallee Tea-tree (Leptospermum coriaceum) and Heath Tea-tree (L. myrsinoides), Desert Hakea (Hakea mitchellii), and three of the grevilleas — the desert form of Lavender Grevillea (Grevillea lavandulacea), the red-flowering Holly Grevillea (G. ilicifolia) and the creamywhite Desert Grevillea (G. pterosperma). The abundant stamens terminating the branchlets of male sheoak shrubs (Allocasuarina spp.) make the plants appear rusty-red. With all these flowers comes an explosion of insect life and there is food for many nectar-feeding and insect-eating birds. The cuckoos arrive in August, and then the Rainbow Bee-eaters, Woodswallows and Rufous Songlarks. After pollination, the flowers produce seed — more high protein food for another suite of birds. There are often Cockatiels, and in some years flocks of Budgerigars and Crimson Chats arrive. Reptiles emerge and mate. It is not unusual to see the longer-tailed male Stumpy-tailed Lizard stalking the smaller-headed female. The Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) is a solitary animal and rarely seen, but in the breeding season there may be several males gathered around an oestrous female — the ‘echidna train’. Young kangaroos start leaving the pouch in late September but usually October. The kangaroos’ courtship may take place over several days, and copulation may last for over half an hour. The gestation period is thirty days. Fresh plant growth stimulates the breeding of rabbits, but the rabbit population in the area is now greatly diminished due to the Rabbit Calicivirus Disease (RCD) (see page 38). September can be a wet month. The malleefowl mounds are covered by then, and eggs are being laid. Most other birds complete their breeding cycle by the end of November before the heat and dryness set in. Each species has its own cycle, culminating in reproduction, and each of these cycles is related to Wyperfeld’s seasonal cycle, the essence of which is variability.


Chapter

5

FIRE Most of the explorers who followed Eyre after 1838 refer to the evidence of fire. Mentions were made by Beilby (1849), Everard (1870) and Le Souef (1887). William Lockhart Morton, traversing south-west of Pine Plains in 1861, wrote: We … passed over several miles of very open country that had been the scene of a bush-fire a few months before. The rough shrubs and spinifex had been totally consumed and nothing could exceed the bright green colour of the young vegetation. We noticed that wherever there had been a bush-fire, young plants of the small honeysuckle (Banksia ornata) were springing up in thousands and that all the seed-vessels of such trees were open and their seeds scattered, but where there had been no fire, all the seed-vessels, apparently for several years back, were closed. I am from these circumstances induced to think that the Banksia ornata require fire to open its seed-vessels.

Wherever you walk in Wyperfeld you come across fire-scarred trees, stumps and logs. ‘Dry’ lightning (lightning not followed by rain) is a frequent cause of fire. The Aboriginal inhabitants were probably responsible for fires, but European pastoralists increased their impact. Fires have also been caused by careless campers. Some of the Wyperfeld fires have originated outside the park. Very few accurate records were kept of early fires; however fire history is now captured in Landsat imagery that gives a graphic indication of the starting point, direction and spread of each fire, and the dramatic changes of direction due to wind change (see the satellite image on page 8). The area west of Outlet Creek has been burnt more often than has the area to the east. In 1946 a fire burnt out the area between Wonga Hut and Lake Brambruk, destroying fine stands of Slender Cypress-pine (Callitris gracilis) around Lake Brimin from Flagstaff Hill to Eastern Lookout, and most of the rare Threenerved Wattle (Acacia trineura) at Lake Brambruk. A thunderstorm and cool change put the fire out on Christmas Day after burning over 6,100 ha in five days. After this fire, enclosures were fenced off on the dune near the camp ground and planted with native species to prevent erosion. 


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There have been various small fires and several large fires since 1946. In November 1959 the largest single fire in Victoria since European settlement burnt 475,000 ha of the Big Desert, including 60,000 ha of the western section of Wyperfeld National Park as it then was. This fire was deliberately started by a farmer to obtain green pick for stock. It led to the creation of a system of tracks to act as firebreaks and provide access within the park. The Committee of Management had a rough, narrow track pushed through from the entrance road along Outlet Creek west for about nine miles (14.5 km) to the boundary of the park as it was at the time. Fire crossing the North-South Track, December 1982. Photo: David Martin The track then went approximately along the assumed boundary for nine miles north and nine miles east to join Meridian Track near Bracky Well. It became known as the Nine Mile Square Track. The present Nine Mile Square Track was subsequently bulldozed further to the west. It is 6 m wide to enable two vehicles to pass (see page 106). Used by management and fire vehicles, it also serves as a walking track through the ‘desert’ heathland communities and gives access to Rudds Rocks and Quail Lakes. After 1959 there were no large fires until the 1980–81 fire season when, during a prolonged period of weeks, an enormous area of 30,000 ha was burnt, extending from near Yanac in the south (where a fire started on private land) almost to Pine Plains in the north. The year 1982 was one of drought. Severe frosts killed many plants producing particularly high levels of dry fuel, and in December two fires started by lightning strikes burnt 16,000 ha of the eastern section of the park that had been unburnt for nearly seventy years. Cambacanya Clearing and Lunar Clearing were both burnt, but not Eagle Clearing. In 1984–85 two fires started by lightning burnt 14,225 ha north and north-west of Lake Brambruk. In 1995–96 fires at Pine Plains burnt 700 ha north-west of O’Sullivan Lookout and about 2000 ha of pine–buloke woodland. Surprisingly, the same area was burnt again in 1996–97.


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Effects of fire In the flood plain, fires may not be intense enough to severely damage trees, due to low ground-fuel levels. Black Box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) is protected from fire to some extent by its thick outer bark, and coppices freely after fire, but the smooth-barked River Red-gum (E. camaldulensis) is more susceptible. The mallee-type eucalypts, although mostly smooth-barked, are seldom killed by fire. They may be burnt to the ground, but, as the pioneering settlers found, the lignotuber below ground survives and sprouts. There is massive seed drop after fire, many more than the ants can harvest, and seedling regeneration can occur. Unless the following season is favourable there is high mortality of seedlings. Porcupine-grass (Triodia sp.) regenerates after fire. Buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii), Slender Cypress-pine and Scrub Cypress-pine are killed by fire and do not re-sprout. The remains of Slender Cypress-pines can be seen on bare dunes (see page 89). Scrub Cypress-pines are remarkably adapted to fire. If they ignite, they burn vigorously, but the susceptibility of individual plants varies. Seeds are released only after fire and there can be good regeneration from seedlings. Mature thickets may not burn because they suppress other small species, giving low ground fuel loads. In the heathlands, fire is essential for the retention of species diversity, as many plants require fire for regeneration. The Desert Banksia, as noted by Morton in 1861, is a good example. A number of desert species, such as the Bellfruit Tree or Native Poplar (Codonocarpus cotinifolius), will age and apparently disappear for years, but with rain after fire will regenerate from seeds. However, with too frequent fires the seed source will be lost. Broom Ballart (Exocarpos sparteus) and Oondoroo (Solanum simile) are common following fire, and some plants have been recorded only in a short interval after fire, for example, Cottony Fireweed (Senecio quadridentatus) and Wheel-fruit (Gyrostemon australasicus). Almost overnight after fire there is prolific appearance of the fruiting bodies of fungi. A phenomenon of mallee fires is the immediate appearance of Black (Forktailed) Kites sweeping through the smoke to capture insects disturbed by the flames. Creatures living underground can survive the actual fire, but the ensuing habitat change makes many species vulnerable. Food chains are disrupted, and with loss of shelter comes increased predation. Mosaic fire patterns provide refuge for animals. The Malleefowl may shelter in unburnt patches and survive by foraging in burnt areas for food such as the tubers of Twining Fringe Lily (Thysanotus patersonii), but it is unable to breed without adequate ground litter for its mound. Fires release nutrients to the soil. The first rains after fire bring the landscape to life, and a cycle of regrowth, competition and maturing starts all over again.


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During the regeneration cycle, different species attain maximum densities at different times. Fires influence the diversity and density of both plant and animal species. They are a natural and essential component of the mallee environment. Each plant species has its own means of surviving fire or other causes of severe damage (including frost). One or more of the mechanisms illustrated below will usually apply.

River Red-gum producing shoots from buds under the bark (epicormic regrowth). In such cases, the initial leaves usually show the characteristic juvenile form for the species. Photo: David Martin

In most mallee species, the main stems are killed, but new shoots arise from buds in the enlarged rootstock, called a lignotuber. These new leaves also initially have the speciesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; juvenile character. The typical multistemmed mallee form is perpetuated. Photo: Bob Reid

Some plants, such as Desert Banksia shown here, are killed by fire, and possess neither of the above survival mechanisms. However, the mature plant commonly retains seed in its fruiting bodies until a fire or some other event causes the them to release their seeds. Regeneration occurs as new plants, producing an evenaged population. Photo: Bob Reid


Chapter

6

‘THIS WONDROUS DIVERSITY’

W

YPERFELD IS A GREAT NATIONAL PARK

to be cherished. Perhaps its strongest advocate has been Sir James Barrett who wrote in 1925:

The National Park at Wyperfeld, in the Northern part of Victoria, is the only Mallee reservation in Australia, and as such is of great importance. Its vegetation, stunted and drought stricken as it is, is immensely interesting. It is the home of beautiful species of the Cockatoo and parrot family. In two days, Dr Leach identified 91 different varieties of birds. It is, however, not fenced, it is not patrolled and it contains foxes and rabbits, like all mallee country. Many more and varied reservations are required.

Wyperfeld exists as a national park because the infertile sand of the Big Desert was unsuitable for agriculture. The designation ‘Desert’ is a misnomer. It is a transitional area between the arid inland and the temperate coastal hinterland as indicated by an overlap of plant and animal species at the limit of their ranges. Wyperfeld has species from both the dry north and the wetter south as well as species found generally throughout Victoria. Far from being a barren desert, it is teeming with life. Parts of the park have been subject to massive change since the 1840s. First there was the impact of sheep, cattle and horses on the flood plain and at Pine Plains, with clearing, burning, ring-barking, grazing, soil disturbance and introduced plants. In the 1870s the rabbit became a major grazer (see page 38). Next came the changed flood regime of Outlet Creek due to damming of the tributaries of the Wimmera River. Two highly successful predators arrived — the fox and the cat. Overt human predation by poachers has almost ceased. Fires may have become more frequent following European settlement but are now suppressed. The park adjoins cleared farmland along much of its boundary. All these things have had and are having a huge impact. The flora of the flood plain and Outlet Creek has changed, weeds now being a significant component. Due to lack of flooding there has been little regeneration of River Red-gum and 


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Black Box, and they may be dying because of a rising salty watertable. The suppression of wildfire has affected the species composition of the heathland communities. The greenhouse effect is an ecological wildcard. Some species of wildlife have taken advantage of change. With shelter in the park, kangaroos and emus graze on neighbouring cleared paddocks where artificial dams provide water, galahs benefit from cereal crops, and rabbits have been a significant food source for predators. This chapter follows the tradition of discussing living things according to their major classification groups, but doing so tends to obscure complex interrelationships. Trying to understand such interactions and the dynamics of change becomes one of the great fascinations of visiting the park. Survival in order to reproduce is fundamental. There is exquisite specialisation. Every niche is filled. There is competition, but there is also dependency and a myriad of intriguing relationships and adaptations. Shelter In the comparatively harsh conditions of Wyperfeld, shelter is vital for animals. Many go underground into the sand where, at a depth of one metre, temperature is constant at about 15째C throughout the year. Some species avoid the heat of the day by emerging only at night. Ground litter, tree bark and tree hollows all provide shelter. Plants provide protection from Porcupine-grass in flower. Photo: Leon Costermans the elements and predators. Special mention must be made of the Porcupine-grass (Triodia spp.) which provides a micro-climate and habitat for an amazing suite of fauna (see page 104). Invisible life Much of life consists of invisible micro-organisms, some becoming apparent only when their presence is indicated by what is regarded as a disease. For example, it was a distressing sight in the drought during and following 1994 to see kangaroos jumping in circles, crashing into trees, and eventually dying as a result of a virus which caused blindness. This happens periodically and is possibly related to high population levels. It is thought to be a natural disease process, but as Tim Low has pointed out in Feral Future, no one knows what foreign pathogens may be attacking our native plants and animals.


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We do know that the myxoma virus was introduced in the early 1950s to control rabbits. It had an impact, particularly following the introduction of the rabbit flea in 1970 as a more effective vector than the mosquito in the dry mallee conditions, but the rabbits developed a high resistance. The Rabbit Calicivirus Disease reached Wyperfeld in 1996 and has had a dramatic impact in reducing numbers. Micro-organisms are essential for life processes in many ways. Nitrogen is necessary for making the protein of all living cells. Leguminous plants — the wattles, peas and sennas of Wyperfeld — acquire nitrogen through bacteria living within the plant. Members of the casuarina family obtain it through algae in their roots. Wyperfeld’s three species of sundew obtain it by trapping small insects in sticky hairs on their modified leaves. Plants, but not animals, have cell walls of cellulose, a stable substance which is not broken down by the usual range of digestive enzymes. Sap-suckers, such as aphids, avoid the problem of dealing with cellulose by tapping directly into the sweet, nutritious cell sap. Animals which feed on wood, grass and leaves — for example, termites, kangaroos and rabbits — are able to cope with a diet rich in cellulose because within their gut they have a range of specialised microorganisms — bacteria, fungi and microscopic single-celled animals — which do have the appropriate enzymes to break down cellulose. Algae, lichens, liverworts, mosses, fungi and ferns As J. Ros. Garnet points out in The Vegetation of Wyperfeld National Park, algae, lichens, liverworts, mosses and fungi ‘live mysterious lives which are no less intriguing than the lives of their more familiar associates’. In the sandy soils typical of Wyperfeld, almost all plants have been shown to have an intimate and indispensable association with one or more soil fungi — a mycorrhizal (fungi-root) association. The fungus in or around the roots of its associate plant enables the plant to increase its uptake of the scarce nutrients in these soils. Fungi, unlike green plants, have no chlorophyll and therefore cannot manufacture their own food using the energy of sunlight. Instead, they feed on the dead or living bodies of other organisms, generally plants. The earlier part of a typical fungal life cycle consists of microscopic threads which run throughout the soil breaking down organic material. Most of Wyperfeld’s obvious fungi are saprophytes — they live on dead and decaying material, and what we see is the ‘fruiting body’. There are fungi with mushroom-shaped fruiting bodies, but other types of fungi range from single-celled yeasts to the large bracket fungi which grow on the River Red-gums. The fruiting body of fungi takes some weird forms, such as the furry mould which grows on emu pats, and various puff-balls


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Ice-cream Fungus Photo: Leon Costermans

Nardoo (Marsilea sp.) in the Devil’s Pools.

Photo: Bob Reid

including the Ice-cream Fungus (Phellorinia herculeana) shaped like an icecream cone. The Stone-maker Fungus (Laccocephalum basilapiloides) cements grains of sand to form a hard rock, sometimes as large as a football. Its fruiting body, cone-like with pores, is usually found in burnt areas after fire but also along sandy tracks about April–May. The lichens and mosses of Wyperfeld make a major contribution to soil stability by forming a crust which holds the surface sand in place and keeps it moist for other things to grow. They can dry out completely but come back to life with moisture, and are responsible for the ground surface changing colour from grey to green immediately it rains. Because all ferns require free water to complete their life cycle, they are usually associated with moist places, and Wyperfeld is not a moist place! But it does have its ferns. Three species of Nardoo (Marsilea spp.), with their fourleaf-clover-like leaves, grow in the temporary water of clay pans. The Narrow Rock Fern (Cheilanthes sieberi) survives in sheltered positions in the few rock outcrops and between Casuarina camp ground and Bracky Well. The Austral Adder’s-tongue (Ophioglossum lusitanicum) is found in the troughs of sand dunes. The spores of all these forms of life remain viable through long periods without moisture. Seed-bearing plants There are two indigenous conifers: the tree Slender Cypress-pine (Callitris gracilis subsp. murrayensis) and the shrubby Scrub Cypress-pine (C. verrucosa). Flowering plants range in size from tiny plants like the Flannel Cudweed (Actinobole uliginosum) to the massive River Red-gums. Some small ephemerals sprout, flower, seed and die within a few weeks following rain. There are over a hundred species of daisies and everlastings.


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Flowers advertise by display and scent to attract pollinators, which may be an invertebrate, a bird, a reptile or a mammal. There is usually a benefit for the pollen-carrier, and this is food — often nectar but sometimes pollen. The flowers of Wyperfeld, particularly those of the eucalypts and the heathland plants, produce prodigious amounts of nectar and advertise in brilliant fashion. Different groups of insects tend to be attracted to flowers of particular colours. For example, bugs and some beetles are attracted to yellow, while flies are attracted to blue. The pale purple flowers of the weed Mediterranean Catchfly (Silene nocturna), which flowers at night on open dune areas, attract moths. Major pollinators in the heathlands are Jewel beetles, and also tiny native bees which now unfortunately have to compete with European bees. Fertilised flowers produce highly nutritious seeds providing food for many species of ants, the many parrots and other seed-eating birds, and mammals. Some species — including weeds such as thistles, but also natives like the cypress-pines, Variable Groundsel (Senecio pinnatifolius), Common Fringemyrtle (Calytrix tetragona) and Small-leaved Clematis (Clematis microphylla) — have seeds adapted for wind dispersal, but many depend on various animal carriers. Ants harvest and store seeds of eucalypts and Buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii), and also disperse the hard-cased wattle seeds which they take for the nutritious funicle (or aril) which formerly attached the seed to the pod. The fruits of mistletoes pass through the Mistletoebird and are deposited on a branch where they germinate. Inspection of the droppings of Stumpy-tailed Lizards and emus will frequently show many seeds. It is said that the seeds of Quandong will not germinate unless they have passed through an emu. Mammals also disperse seeds, either through the gut, as with grass seeds passing through kangaroos, or on the fur (or human clothing) as with the Tangled Burr-daisy (Calotis

Azure Daisy-bush (Olearia rudis) Photo: Bob Semmens

A Jewel beetle (Castiarina burnsi) on a eucalypt flower. Photo: Fabian Douglas

Ants taking a wattle seed. The white part is the nutritious aril. Photo: Alan Yen


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erinacea) and the introduced Horehound (Marrubium vulgare). Many factors determine the floral composition of a particular area. Soil and exposure are the most obvious, but especially important in Wyperfeld are the broader geological land-type and the pastoral, frost and fire histories. Plants, through photosynthesis, produce food on which other forms of life depend. In Wyperfeld those organisms living directly off plants are extraordinarily varied, and range in size from microbes to the largest animal, the kangaroo.

Common Fringe-myrtle (Calytrix tetragona) Photo: Leon Costermans

Invertebrates The 1987 Land Conservation Council Mallee Area Review Report says: As everywhere, invertebrates here dominate both the terrestrial and aquatic faunas, in terms of numbers of individuals, numbers of species, and biomass. They play essential roles in the structure and function of ecosystems: they are involved in feeding on plants, in nutrient recycling (decomposition), in parasitism, predation, and scavenging, and in pollination. Moreover, although occupying the lower levels of the food chain, they comprise the main food for many species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

On the ground, mites and springtails feed on lichen, bacteria and fungi, and themselves become food for other invertebrates. The dry timber and leaf litter is also a vital resource in the Wyperfeld food chain. Millions of termites are constantly devouring this cellulose-rich food. These termites in turn are food for a wide range of animals including other invertebrates, birds and echidnas. Wyperfeldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s termites, unlike their northern relatives, do not build obvious mounds. Rather they are just one part of a massive army of unseen life. The patchwork of bare ground and plants is optimal habitat for ants. In a research project, Dr Alan Andersen identified more than 150 species in one fifty metre square plot. Although living in the same area, different ant species are active at different seasons, times and temperatures, and have different food requirements. Ants eat seeds, nectar from flowers, other invertebrates, carrion, and honeydew from plant-eating bugs; in turn they themselves are food for various birds including the Malleefowl, some reptiles, and the Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), as well as other invertebrates such as spiders. The larva of one insect, the Antlion, waits hidden in the bottom of a sandy cone-


s0ART/NE4HE3TORYOF7YPERFELD

shaped pit for passing ants to slide into its jaws, often ensuring the descent with a flick of sand. The Antlion in the adult form is a winged insect in the same broad grouping as Lacewings. Ants are everywhere, and vary widely in size. The many small sandy craters with a large hole at the bottom are the entrance to colonies of small brown ants of the genus Aphaenogaster which are spasmodically active on the surface at night or in humid conditions during the day. The trails of Meat ants extend many metres from their expansive sandy communal mounds. The ant species composition of any area has been found to depend on the fire regime. Adult beetles and the larvae of beetles of many species live in and on the ground. Carabid beetles are generalist nocturnal predators, whereas the two-centimetre Piedish beetles are vegetable decomposers. Others eat dung and roots. There are many signs of beetles. The commonly-seen tubular â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;castsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; are made by Scarab beetles as they push through the sand; other beetles, like the large plant-feeding weevils, leave tracks on the dunes. Photo: Alan Yen Particularly significant are the Jewel Pie-dish beetle beetles which rely on flowers for food and have wood-boring larvae. They come in an impressive range of colours and patterns. One yellow beetle is about 6 cm long. Entomologist Fabian Douglas has identified at least six very rare species of Jewel beetles in Wyperfeld. Beetles are the preferred food of scorpions. Other effective hunters are the centipedes and spiders. There are spiders both above and below the ground surface. Huge flat Huntsman spiders shelter under bark. To catch their prey, Orb-weaving spiders construct their large and remarkably strong geometric nets between trees in the evenings. The female Mallee Mouse spider is about half the body size of a mouse and resides underground. Its hole has a trap-door, but Wolf spiders have a hole without a door which is often the refuge of geckos. On some warm humid nights, a torch held at eye level in mallee scrub will Reaching 6 cm in length, this Jewel beetle (Julodimorpha bakewellii) is one of the largest occurring in Wyperfeld. Photo: Fabian Douglas


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produce an effect like bud lighting caused by reflections from the eyes of Wolf spiders. Spiders are food for wasp larvae, birds, the Common Dunnart (Sminthopsis murina), Mallee Ningaui (Ningaui yvonneae) and the Common Scaly-foot (Pygopus lepidopodus), a legless lizard. Mallee eucalypts have a large suite of insects that are restricted to them. There are sap-sucking bugs of various sorts and sizes, many attended by ants. Psyllid nymphs produce the sugary covering known as a lerp, an important food (see page 14). The many leaf-eaters include the green five-centimetre Katydid grasshopper and the hairy larvae of The Wolf spider may be seen emerging the Steelblue Sawfly which cluster on stems from its open hole. Photo: Rodney Start during the day and disperse to feed at night — these larvae are the ‘spitfires’ which defend themselves by letting fly a pungent extract from eucalypt leaves. A surprise in such arid country is the presence of dragonflies. They breed in water in clay pans and their food is insects which they capture in flight. In humid conditions associated with a wind change, and especially at the time of ‘the break’, Ghost moths emerge from the ground leaving their orange-brown cellophane-like casings behind. The females mate and then fly low over the ground at night spreading many eggs. The larvae eat their way through tree roots and were food for Aboriginals — the renowned witchetty grub. The moths are food for possums and birds. The reproductive techniques of invertebrates are extraordinarily diverse. In the insect world, scents, called pheromones, are commonly used to attract a mate. The males of some butterflies, sawflies, hoverflies and others wait at the tops of dunes for mate-seeking females. This behaviour is known as ‘hilltopping’. The females of some insects require blood to obtain protein for eggs, hence the annoyance caused by mosquitoes, March flies and midges. All these invertebrates form essential components of food chains — nourishment for reptiles, birds and mammals. Reptiles and frogs Reptiles are not always apparent. They are in torpor in cool weather and some live underground. Generally, dragons are diurnal, geckos are nocturnal, and snakes and skinks may be either or both. The most commonly seen skink, the


s0ART/NE4HE3TORYOF7YPERFELD

The Stumpy-tailed Lizard, or Shingleback, is common on warm days. Photo: Leon Costermans

The Mallee Spadefoot Toad is one of three frog Photo: Peter Robertson species known in Wyperfeld.

large Stumpy-tailed Lizard (Tiliqua rugosa), is seen throughout the year on warm days. It is mainly herbivorous, eating a wide range of fungi, flowers, fruit and also insects. The other large skink, the Western Blue-tongued Lizard (T. occipitalis) is mainly insectivorous and is not often seen. Most of the geckos, skinks and dragons are general insectivores, but some also eat vegetable matter. Ants are a significant part of the diet of the Mallee Dragon (Ctenophorus fordi) and the Painted Dragon (C. pictus). There are some specialist feeders. The two species of small worm-lizard, the Mallee Worm-Lizard (Aprasia aurita) and the Pink-nosed Worm-Lizard (A. inaurita) eat small ants, as do the two burrowing blind snakes. The indigenous West Australian Blind Snake (Ramphotyphlops australis) actually lives in the mounds of meat ants on which it feeds, and Peters’s Blind Snake (R. bituberculatus) is also an ant-eater living underground. The spectacular but seldom seen nocturnal snake Bandy Bandy (Vermicella annulata) eats only these two blind snakes. The common Burton’s Snake Lizard (Lialis burtonis) eats only other lizards, and the Coral Snake (Simoselaps australis) eats the eggs of lizards. Goannas are general predators and also eat carrion. The Sand Goanna (Varanus gouldii) is ground dwelling, often digging out spider burrows to eat the occupants. The larger Tree Goanna (V. varius) takes many nestling birds. Its eggs are incubated over a period of twelve months within termite colonies. The Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis) has a wide range of prey — largely other reptiles including Stumpy-tailed Lizards and small goannas, but also birds, small mammals and frogs. Yes, there are three frog species known in Wyperfeld: the Southern Bullfrog (Limnodynastes dumerilii), the Mallee Spadefoot Toad (Neobatrachus pictus) and the Common Spadefoot Toad (N. sudelli), usually inactive deep underground but coming to the surface after heavy rain and spawning in temporary pools.


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Birds It was the profusion of birds which first attracted naturalists to Wyperfeld. Cockatoos, parrots and honeyeaters are particularly abundant. Nectar-eating birds include the Purple-crowned Lorikeet and at least twentyone species of honeyeater. Eaters of fruit and seeds include the specialist Mistletoebird and an array of finches, pigeons, parrots and cockatoos. Insect-eaters include the wrens, thornbills, whistlers, robins, pardalotes, cuckoos, swallows, flycatchers, Crested Bellbird, the tree-feeding tree-creepers and Varied Sittella, and the ground-feeding Masked Lapwing, Australian Magpie, Australian Raven and White-winged Chough. In September the beautiful Rainbow Bee-eaters arrive to breed in tunnels and stay until March. They are immune to wasp and bee stings. Raptors are well represented. Common species are the Wedge-tailed Eagle, Whistling Kite, Brown Falcon and Nankeen Kestrel. On hot days, Wedge-tailed Eagles soar great heights into cool air. Before the impact of the Rabbit Calicivirus Disease, rabbits provided much of their food, but they have now returned to reliance on natives like Galahs and Stumpy-tailed Lizards. Their huge unused nesting platforms of sticks are used by other raptors. Ornithologist Harold Tarr

Major Mitchellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cockatoo

Photo: Bob Semmens

The well-camouflaged Tawny Frogmouth with two young. Photo: Bob Semmens

Regent Parrots

Photo: Bob Semmens

Australian (Mallee) Ringneck Photo: David Martin


s0ART/NE4HE3TORYOF7YPERFELD

reported as many as five different hawks using one particular nest over the years. Butcherbirds and kookaburras include other birds in their diet. Among the nocturnal birds of prey, the most common are the Southern Boobook Owl, the Australian Owlet-nightjar and the Tawny Frogmouth which looks like a dead broken branch when at roost. When the lakes contain water, the influx of water birds is amazing. Among those seen in 1975–76 were massive numbers of ducks including the Blue-billed Duck, Silver Gull, the Great Egret, the White-bellied Sea-Eagle, both the Royal and Yellow-billed Spoonbill, the rare Freckled Duck and migrating waders not previously recorded. There were flocks of up to two thousand Black Swans and many Australian Pelicans. Mammals As ants and termites are such a feature of Wyperfeld it is not surprising that the Short-beaked Echidna, which is a specialist feeder on them, is widespread. Although it is not common, its scratchings are frequently seen. The mammals are mainly nocturnal, although kangaroos are active on cool days. Four mammal species are categorised as ‘near threatened’ in Victoria: the Little Pygmy-possum (Cercartetus lepidus), the Mallee Ningaui (Ningaui yvonneae), Mitchell’s Hopping Mouse (Notomys mitchelli) and the Silky Mouse (Pseudomys apodemoides). The Little Pygmy-possum, the smallest Australian possum at only eight grams in weight, is mainly insectivorous and forages in the shrub and ground layers in mallee and heathlands. It coexists with the slightly larger Western Pygmy-possum (C. concinnus). The Mallee Ningaui, a small insectivorous marsupial mouse, lives in porcupine-grass. Mitchell’s Hopping Mouse, a seed-eating native rodent, is found mainly in mallee scrub, and the Silky Mouse, predominantly a seed-eater, lives in burrows in heathland. The Common Dunnart (Sminthopsis murina) is insectivorous and the Fattailed Dunnart (S. crassicaudata) is carnivorous. Both spend their days in a nest of dry grass and leaves. The predominantly leaf-eating Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) spends the day in a tree hollow. Bats are represented by at least eight species, all insectivorous and nocturnal. They shelter and hibernate in tree hollows or under bark. Little Pygmy-possum on Mallee Tea-tree. Photo: Andrew Bennett


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The five introduced mammals are the rabbit and the feral goat (vegetarians), the house mouse, the carnivorous feral cat and the omnivorous fox. In the early pastoral days dingoes (Canis familiaris dingo) were common, but it is doubtful if any pure dingoes remain, and wild dogs have become more prevalent in recent times. Interdependence Some plants are parasitic. The ballarts and quandongs are parasitic on the roots of other plants. There are four mistletoe species and three dodder-laurel species in Wyperfeld. Fleshy Mistletoe (Amyema miraculosa subsp. boormanii), commonly on Black Box, has many other hosts including another mistletoe, Box Mistletoe (A. miquelii). Harlequin Mistletoe (Lysiana exocarpi) grows on Buloke, eucalypts and Weeping Pittosporum (Pittosporum angustifolium) and often on Umbrella Wattle (Acacia oswaldii). Buloke Mistletoe (Amyema linophylla subsp. orientale) is difficult to detect (except when flowering in summer) because it closely resembles its only host, Buloke. Buloke Mistletoe is itself host to the larvae of the Amaryllis Azure butterfly (Ogyris amaryllis meridionalis). Parasites, both external and internal, are a common and important component of the animal world. For example, the larvae of wasps are parasites of the larvae and pupae of other insects and of spiders. The Stumpy-tailed Lizard often has ticks around its ear. The kangaroo has ticks and worms. Its second and third toes of the hind feet are fused with a pronged nail used for combing fur and removing ticks. The ultimate in direct dependency is mutual dependence in symbiotic relationships. Lichen, with its fungi-algae dependency, is one example. Lichen is what David Attenborough calls â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;the most intimate relationship between plant and Box Mistletoe is parasitic particularly Photo: Ian McCann on Black Box.

Larval food for the Genoveva Azure Butterfly is provided by Box Mistletoe. Photo: Mike Coupar


s0ART/NE4HE3TORYOF7YPERFELD

fungusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. The fungi dissolve minerals in the sand; the plants, single-celled algae, utilise these minerals and produce starches and sugars which are the food of the fungi. There are fascinating obligate relationships. The Bitter-bush Blue butterfly (Theclinesthes albocincta) lays its eggs only on the Mallee Bitter-bush (Adriana tomentosa var. hookeri) where an Iridomyrmex species of ant tends the pupae and larvae, possibly protecting them from predators and parasites. In return, the ants obtain a sugary glandular secretion from the larvae. There is a similar relationship between Sugar ants belonging to the genus Camponotus and the Genoveva Azure butterfly (Ogyris genoveva) whose larval food is Box Mistletoe. In all, Wyperfeld has something like 660 known vascular plant species, over 140 of them aliens; 28 mammals; 231 birds, 5 of them aliens; 42 reptiles; 3 frogs; many thousands of invertebrates, some yet to be identified and many yet to be discovered; and certainly many mostly unknown micro-organisms that are an essential and largely unrecognised part of natural processes. Everything, including the human species, impinges directly or indirectly on every other thing in its complex web of life. The Wedge-tailed Eagle epitomises the culmination of all this interdependence. Soaring at the top of the food chain, with aberrant humans its only predator, even this monarch of the sky has parasites; its faeces fertilise the sand; and when it dies, it is recycled as nourishment. Visitors to Wyperfeld National Park can see all these things, experience all of this, and be humbled by an appreciation of the diversity and Photo: Bob Semmens complexity of life in this very special Wedge-tailed Eagle environment of which they are part. Sir James Barrett put it in words that are as apt today as when he wrote them in 1925: For our own sakes and for the good of all those who will follow, let us do our best to preserve the wondrous features of the Continent. To anyone possessed of imagination, the diversity of life and of form teaches us that we are looking at the outside of the problem, whilst the real significance is quite hidden from us. Even if, however, we cannot find the complete explanation of this wondrous diversity, we can at all events preserve these fascinating forms of life to stimulate our interests and those of generations to come.


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Wonga Hut

Photo: Leon Costermans








;he dominant trees PU >`WLYMLSK 1 River Red-gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) 2 Black Box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) 3 One of nine mallee species 4 Buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii) 5 Slender Cypress-pine (Callitris gracilis)



6 The view from Eastern Lookout in 1976. The flood plain has River Red-gum around the lakes, and dark-looking Black Box slightly higher. The sands carry a variety of mallee species. Cypress-pines (the darkest trees) covered the raised clear area before they were killed by fire. Photos: 1: Geoff Durham; 2â&#x20AC;&#x201C;6: Leon Costermans






Chapter

7

AROUND WONGA HUT — THE SOUTH

W

HUT — OF VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE, constructed of corrugated iron with a fireplace and water tanks — was built by the Committee of Management in 1934 as a ‘tourist’s shelter shed’ and water catchment. At that time it was the only visitor facility in the park. The concrete floor was added in 1938. The adjacent fireplaces are of interesting design and construction. In 1950 the then chairman of the Committee of Management, Ian McLaren MLA, wrote on the need for a fireplace: ‘Naturally, the best one would be made of stone in the form of a cross, which would give shelter from wind coming from any direction, but this would be difficult to obtain in this area’. It will be seen that stone was found; it is also worth looking for the inscription ‘AC 1959’ in the concrete on the south-east corner. The initials are those of A.E.G. ‘Rudd’ Campbell, ranger from 1958 until 1970. The constructions in the camp ground area indicate different phases of management. It wasn’t until the road to the park was upgraded in 1960 that the Committee of Management began providing additional facilities for visitors. They prepared an ambitious ‘Development Plan’ which proposed a village similar to Tidal River at Wilsons Promontory National Park including accommodation, a shop, and an ‘Official Lodge to accommodate the National Parks Authority, the Committee of Management especially on its on-site meetings, and other special guests. When not required for official purposes it could be let to the public’. Water was a priority. Four bores were put down in 1961 and the one behind the picnic shelter located good water at about twelve metres. The windmill installed to pump up this water is no longer operative. Whatever the Committee built, it built to last, in fashionable cream brick. Having obtained what was believed to be an adequate water supply, an amenities block was built in 1961 with flush toilets and both hot and cold showers. Because bees were attracted to the water in hot weather, the shallow pond near ONGA




s0ART4WO0ARK0ERSPECTIVES

SOME FEATURES AROUND WONGA CAMP GROUND

Wonga Hut, erected as a visitor facility in 1934. Note the shepherd’s hut in the background (see page 76). Source: Historic Places, DNRE

Wonga Hut is still in its original location (near the site of the Wonga Run homestead) and is open to visitors. Photo: Geoff Durham

The ‘ironclad catchment’ constructed in 1968 and extended in 1975. Rainwater runs off into a channel and is piped into two storage tanks. Photo: Leon Costermans

Replica of a dog-leg fence – a type of fence construction formerly used in this area.

The remains of the five-furrow stump-jump plough purchased by the Committee of Management in 1932.

The Information Centre overlooking Lake Brimin was opened in 1981. It is always open for browsing.

Photo: Geoff Durham

Photo: Leon Costermans

Photo: Leon Costermans


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the amenities block was constructed in 1972 to attract them away from the facilities. Problems with the water supply and with the bees, which in summer clogged the cisterns and made using the facilities a somewhat hazardous experience, caused the block to be closed, and in 1981 it was converted to the present ‘Washing Block’. An unsightly cream brick works building, built in 1964 at the entrance to the camp ground where the road to Black Flat commences, was demolished in 1995. Originally it was proposed to build a ranger’s residence next to it. The two large concrete water storage tanks in Lake Brimin were installed in 1965. The spacious brick picnic shelter, which can accommodate eighty people seated at tables in cubicles, was erected in 1966. The shelter, works building and Washing Block were cement ‘bagged’ in 1988 to make them less conspicuous. Bore water having proved unsatisfactory, it became necessary to cart in water, and the next construction was the water catchment installed in 1968 and extended in 1975 near Wonga Hut on what is believed to be the site of the Wonga Lake Run homestead. It is a copy of similar structures used in the Mallee known as ‘iron-clad catchments’ devised by engineer A.S. Kenyon. The water is piped into the concrete tanks, which also receive overflow water from the picnic shelter and water from the roof of the Information Centre. The cream-brick phase ended with the demise of the Committee of Management in 1971. The National Parks Service built a timber dry-pit toilet block to their standard design in 1972, and two more in 1976, with tanks to provide water for campers. These were replaced with solar-powered composting toilets in 1999. WONGA CAMP GROUND

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The impressive Information Centre was opened in 1981. A feature is the ceiling of cypress-pine (from New South Wales). The original gas lighting has been replaced with solar lighting. Many rewarding hours can be spent studying the exhibits and reading the reference literature. Visitors are invited to make an entry in the Visitors’ Book; the comments of international visitors are particularly interesting. On the bed of Lake Brimin near the concrete tanks is a well which dates back to 1849 when it was originally sunk by Andrew Russell, the second pastoralist to occupy the area. The well is fenced for safety. The nearby replica of an old whim at Wonga Lake was constructed in 1965 with some of the fittings from that whim. At Wonga Lake, the site of the whim can still be identified. As the yoked horse or bullock walked around in a circle, the bucket was automatically lowered into the well and raised full of water. Along the side of the road are sections of pine-log ‘dog-leg’ and ‘chock and log’ fences, replicas of types of fence used in this country. The camp ground flat was probably cleared in the pastoral days and has signs of cultivation. In 1932 the Committee of Management purchased a five-furrow stump-jump plough to grow grain to feed the birds. The remains of the old plough lie rusting to the north of the entrance road opposite the Information Centre car park. Mattingley even suggested the introduction of koalas as an added attraction for visitors. In 1962 the Committee installed the large shallow concrete drinking pond in Lake Brimin to provide drinking water for the birds and other animals. The policy now is not to make such artificial provision in a national park, and visitors are asked not to feed the animals, particularly birds and kangaroos. It is bad for them and they can become a nuisance, even a danger, as happened at Zumsteins in Grampians National Park where people were injured when attacked by kangaroos. Western Grey Kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus) are frequently seen grazing on the flat, and ‘emu parades’, when the birds strut in formation looking for food, are not unusual, particularly if only a few campers are in residence. The River Red-gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and Black Box (E. largiflorens) around the edge of the flat have propagated naturally after floods. They are slow growers, their growth rates depending on a variety of factors. Their longevity is not known but the largest Black Box may exceed 200 years and the River Redgum 400 years. Charred trunks and many of the dead trees near the Information Centre are from a fire in 1946. The dune north of the camp ground (Wonga Dune) was fenced for revegetation in 1958–59 when it was a barren sand drift, and it has been successfully planted over a number of years. In 1996 the tracks in the camp ground were rationalised and surfaced, and areas were fenced off for planting of shelter belts.


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Wonga Dune from near Wonga Hut after the 1946 fire and before any rehabilitation Source: La Trobe Australian Manuscripts Collection, State Library of Victoria plantings.

The same view in October 2000 (note the same River Red-gum on the far left). The dune has been revegetated. Photo: Leon Costermans

Most of the trees now on the flat have been planted. There are some Black Box and several plantations of Yellow Gum (E. leucoxylon), evenly spaced and in rows. Yellow Gum grows naturally elsewhere in the park in some of the swales between dunes. Between the centre toilet block and the picnic shelter are two ‘Historic Feature’ markers. The one to the north of the road is the approximate site of a very old shepherd’s hut destroyed in the 1946 bushfire. The one to the south of the road relates to the two posts which are believed to be the remains of hitching rails from the pastoral days.


s0ART4WO0ARK0ERSPECTIVES

Wonga Run shepherd’s hut before it was destroyed by fire in 1946. Isabel Gould (Gosling) left, Essie Gould (Sharpley) right. The same hut can be seen in the photo of Wonga Hut on page 72. Source: La Trobe Australian Manuscripts Collection, State Library of Victoria

At the eastern end of the camp ground on the low saddle between the revegetated dune and Flagstaff Hill is the enclosed grave of baby Cameron. There are about six unmarked graves from the Wonga Lake Run homestead in this vicinity. An alarm clock is unnecessary when camping — you will be woken by the kookaburras, followed by the dawn chorus. Birds, particularly parrots, are a feature, especially at dawn and dusk. Wheeling flocks of noisy galahs are a brilliant spectacle as they catch the setting sun. The still night air is pierced with the harsh call of the Masked Lapwing, and in the warmer weather there are the soft high-pitched sonar beeps of the White-striped Freetail Bat (Tadarida australis) as it hunts for insects. Intermittently throughout the night comes the distant mournful ‘mopoke’ call of the Southern Boobook Owl, the exhaling sound of the Tawny Frogmouth, and perhaps the soft drumming of an emu. The clear night air, open space and the absence of smog and extraneous light provide ideal conditions for star-gazing and satellite-spotting. There is no better place to watch the Southern Cross turn over. Use binoculars to view the constellations and, when turned the wrong way round, as a magnifying glass for studying the fascinating detail of flowers and insects. Detailed information for visitors intending to camp and explore in this area is given in chapter 13. The picket fence around Baby Cameron’s grave (page 19) was destroyed by fire in 1946 and was replaced with a concrete surround and headstone by Rudd Campbell and Cyril Gould. Harold Tarr (left) and Stan Gould, son of Cyril (right). Source: La Trobe Australian Manuscripts Collection, State Library of Victoria


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EMUS â&#x20AC;&#x201D; flightless speedsters Emus 2Dromaius UV]HLOVSSHUKPHL) are often seen  ading on the flat at the onga  ' ground and are common throughout the  4 he male makes deep growling   the female thudding drummings and the oung histling peeps. On a age, 7 '   are slightly larger than males. Emus can run at speeds between 50 and 60 km/h.     a distincti three-toed footprint. he female lays 7  to eleven  4 eggs in a scanty nest on the ground in Ma Emu footprint in mud with Nardoo. Photo: Bob Reid he male not only incubates the eggs for about eight weeks, scarcely eating, but then cares for the c ks until they are independent b 18 months. Predators are the fox and r   Emus eat almost anything including insects, grubs, berries, seeds, gr  and 7  Droppings are similar to a small cow pat. Examination gives an indication of the food being eaten and often reveals viable seeds.

Source: Harold Tarr collection


s0ART4WO0ARK0ERSPECTIVES

KANGAROOS â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a national emblem yperfeld is well known as a place to see estern Grey Kangaroos 2Macropus M\SPNPUVZ\Z). Good viewing areas are the dry lake beds in early morning and late afternoon. In yperfeld, the estern Grey is near the eastern edge of its r   estern Grey Kangaroos are very similar in appearance to another species, the Eastern Grey Kangaroo (4 NPNHU[L\Z), although estern E  tend to be brown in colour with a black face and paws. Eastern Greys require drinking w , but    Greys can survi on moisture from plant food.  get moisture during droughts they will ringbark trees and dig for tree roots. he 7 oured 7 is ass. Like rabbits, they eat y  pine seedlings and unguarded pine

  Unlike the Eastern Grey, the female estern Grey does not ha 'onic diapause (an embryo   ed  elopment until the pouc is free of a joey). he

y   weighs less than one gram at birth. It  es the pouch at about ten months Photo: Ian McCann but for about another eight months continues to suckle from the teat w h becomes elongated. here ' y  another oung in the pouch

hed to another teat, milk of two  77 

formulas being produced simultaneously he population fluctuates depending on conditions. As  F    is   ed to be preventing   ation of the natural egetation, management am olving controlled culling has been instituted. Seen only rarely in the park are Red Kangaroos (Macropus Y\M\Z) in the north, and Black allabies 2>allabia IPJVSVY) along Outlet Creek in the far  


Chapter

8

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W YPERFELD FLOOD PLAIN which terminates the Wimmera Riverâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Outlet Creek system is not one flat expanse. Rather it is a vast convoluted area that has been subject to inundation when floodwater followed a sinuous course northward between east-west dunes. The last great flood was in the 1850s and its effects can be observed to this day. The water of the Wimmera River flows from mountains but it never reaches the sea. Even with maximum flow after a succession of wet years it dissipates in the flood plain, many kilometres from the Murray River. Unlike most closed catchments, it is a freshwater system, and it is the largest internal drainage system in Victoria. The Grampian Ranges, 180 km to the south of Wyperfeld, are mountains in the path of weather which produces an average annual rainfall of 760 mm in that area, more than double that of Wyperfeld. The Grampians drain both to the south into the Southern Ocean, and to the north towards the Murray River. Various north-flowing streams from the Grampians combine with streams from the Mt Cole/Pyrenees ranges further to the east to become the Wimmera River which flows through Horsham and Dimboola and then north into Lake Hindmarsh. HE

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Horsham

GRAMPIAN RANGES

The Wimmera River flows from Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s western highlands northward to Lake Hindmarsh. This lakeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s outflow is Outlet Creek, but Lake Albacutya receives water only intermittently (see page 82).




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When full, Lake Hindmarsh is six metres deep and holds 431,000 megalitres, five and a half times as much as Lake Bellfield in the Grampians, and is the largest natural freshwater lake in Victoria. The river exits at the north end and takes the appropriate name of Outlet Creek. It meanders north to Lake Albacutya which is smaller than Lake Hindmarsh, but about two metres deeper, and when full (290,000 megalitres) holds over three and a half times that of Lake Bellfield. Hindmarsh is sometimes dry, Albacutya often so. Outlet Creek emerges in a clearly defined channel from the north end of Lake Albacutya and enters Wyperfeld. Only after Lake Hindmarsh and then Lake Albacutya are both full does water flow into the park. This occurs less often nowadays due to diversion and damming of water for the Wimmera-Mallee Domestic and Stock Water Supply System. The first of various artificial storages was Lake Wartook in the Grampians, completed in 1887. Prior to this, the flooding frequency was about once in twenty years; now it is about once in a hundred years. The Wimmera-Mallee Domestic and Stock Water Supply System was critical to white settlement of the Mallee and became one of the most extensive gravitational systems in the world. It covers 28,500 sq. km and supplies 20,500 farm dams and domestic water for fifty-one towns through 16,000 km of mainly earthen channels, but with enormous loss through seepage and evaporation. Only about 17% of the water released from the storages was finally available for stock and domestic use. The inefficiency of the channel system and the poor quality of water it delivered have long been matters of concern. More recently, increased salinity and dieback along the Wimmera Riverâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Outlet Creek have raised the issue of environmental flows. The outcome is the Northern Mallee Pipeline Project, a State/Federal government initiative, which in the north is progressively replacing the open channel system with better quality water pumped from the

Outlet Creek in flood at the park boundary in 1976. There has not been any flow here since. Photo: Ian Maroske


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Murray and distributed in pipes. It is hoped that piping will be extended to other parts of the system and that Wirrengren Plain water saved will become available for (1874) environmental flows into Wyperfeld. From Lake Albacutya, Outlet Creek Lake Agnes takes a tortuous path through the sand (1918) dunes with effluents and flats along the way. Underlying the Mallee is a series WYPERFELD of NNW–SSE low ridges which probaWonga Lake Lake bly mark old coastlines of the Murray Jerriwirrup Basin. The general northerly course of NATIONAL PARK Lake Black Flat Outlet Creek is largely determined by Brambruk Little Black Flat (1976) these ridges, although dunes have inLake Brimin truded across them, causing diversions. House Lake From the outlet of Lake Albacutya to the entrance at Wirrengren Plain it is The Kidneys thirty kilometres in a straight line, but Lake the actual course of the creek is more Werrebean Leg of Mutton Lake than eighty kilometres. When Outlet Creek flows, it fills suc%XTENTOF FLOODING cessively seventeen lakes, including Leg of Mutton Lake (not in the park), Lake Lake Albacutya Werrebean, The Kidneys, Black Flat, (1995) Lake Brambruk, Lake Brimin and Wonga Lake (both effluents), Lake Agnes, and Outlet Creek and Wyperfeld’s lakes between Lake finally, Wirrengren Plain, a huge dry Albacutya and Wirrengren Plain. The dates are lake bed which has not had water since when the lakes last held water. Lake Brambruk’s flooding in 1976 was its first since 1918. 1874. It is believed to have flooded in 1830–34. There are reports of a massive flood in 1853 when water in Wirrengren Plain was over 11 kilometres long, 5 kilometres wide and 3.6 metres deep. Kenyon says that there were flows in Outlet Creek out of Albacutya in 1830– 34, 1851–54, 1870–74 and 1890–93. There was always water at Lake Brimin — if not on the surface, from a well. Since 1900, flows have been much reduced and Albacutya has overflowed on only four occasions: 1910–15, 1917–18, 1956 and 1975–76. Water filled Black Flat in 1911, 1917, 1957 and 1976, Lake Brambruk in 1911, 1918 and 1976, Lake Brimin and Lake Agnes in 1911 and 1918, and Wirrengren Plain, not at all, although water just reached there in 1911 and was close to doing so in 1918. After the 1976 flooding the water in Black Flat and Lake Brambruk dried out in November 1977.


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WATER INTO WYPERFELD he flood waters of the  '' a $ er  h yperfeld only after Lake   a  7ws into Outlet Creek. he recorded flood history is summarised  w; see also the map on page 81. "GI<G; "J<J; "#I<#; "#! "!I<!G "!! !I

Lake   a  7wed and water  hed irrengren &  Lake   a  7wed and water  hed irrengren &  Lake   a  7wed and water  hed irrengren &  Lake   a  7wed and water  hed onga * 4  Lake   a  7  Lake   a  Lake   a full with occasional o 7ws into Outlet Creek without  hing 3 k >  !# Lake   a  7  !" All  enteen lakes of the Outlet Creek System full, except for irrengren &  !KK Lake   a 7 !K! Lake   a dried up. !JM Lake   a full and o 7wed to Black >  !J" Lake   a  !M; Lake   a 7 !M# Lake   a  !#J Lake   a full, o 7wed D  . ater at Leg of Mutton. !#M ater  hed Lake Brambruk (January) and flowed into East 3ambruk 2>  + !## 3 k Flat and Lake Brambruk dry (No ' + !" Small 7w into Lake     !"G Small 7w into Lake   a. Lake   a dried out. !!K<!G >w into Lake     !!; Lake   a dried out !!J<!M >w into Lake     !!M Lake   a dried out.

Information taken from â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Flood History for the Lower  '' a $ er %  mentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in 9P]er 9ed Gum Dieback in the LVwer Wimmera 9P]er *H[JOTLU[  C. outers, Department of Conservation and Natural $ ces 2!!G+ with additional information from yperfeld   , &eter Phelan, and Dr Leon 3 


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Vegetation The dry creek bed and lakes are fringed by the smooth-barked River Red-gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis), while the dominant tree on the flats is the roughbarked Black Box (E. largiflorens). Both require inundation to germinate, the Black Box surviving on higher ground less frequently flooded. One of the fascinations of the flood plain is to try to estimate the heights and dates of the periodic floods from the contour lines and ages of these two tree species. Regeneration from the 1957 and 1976 floods is apparent at Black Flat and in some places along Outlet Creek. The regeneration of River Red-gum after the 1976 flood is particularly obvious at Lake Brambruk. At Lake Werrebean there is spectacular regeneration of River Red-gums from both floods. Limited regeneration due to lack of floods has serious implications for many fauna species. The River Red-gums have shallow surface roots and also very deep roots which tap the water table. The Black Box is shallow rooted with very fine roots just beneath the surface to utilise ephemeral showers and water from mist and dew which is caught on the leaves and drips to the ground.

River Red-gums have root systems which enable them to obtain water from near the surface as well as the deep water-table.

Diagram: Peter Sandell


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Lake Brambruk in flood, 1976. Note the leaning River Red-gum in the three photos. Photo: Leon Costermans

Regeneration of River Red-gum seedlings in 1977 form a band at previous high-water levels. Photo: Con Duyvestyn

The same location in 2000. The trees are about 10 metres tall. Photo: Leon Costermans


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There is extensive dieback of the River Red-gums, and investigations suggest this is due not only to the absence of flooding but also to a rising water table which is related to the clearing of the catchment. About eighty-six per cent of the Wimmera River catchment has been cleared of deep-rooted plants and replaced with pasture and crops. This has also caused a marked change in the run-off characteristics. J.B. Prendergast of the Institute for Irrigation and Salinity Research has pointed out that the delicate balance of the largely invisible groundwater component of the hydrography is reacting. The absence of flooding also means reduced recharge of aquifers, causing an increase in their salinity. Dieback is particularly severe at Lake Brimin on the flat south of the Wonga camp ground, and at Lake Agnes. At Wirrengren Plain there are scattered areas of dieback, but also some small areas of magnificent old trees in good condition. Why this is so is one of the intriguing mysteries of Wyperfeld. The depositing of silt by floods has resulted in heavy soils on the lake beds and grey clay loam on the flats. These soil characteristics, together with the introduction of non-indigenous plants in flood waters and the various plantsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; responses to flooding, fire, frost and grazing, all contribute to the present flora of the flood plain. Plant succession on the lake beds is intriguing. The Three-nerved Wattle (Acacia trineura), a rare plant restricted in Victoria to this area, was once plentiful at Lake Brambruk. It has gone from that location, perhaps never to return unless there is another flood. J. Ros. Garnet records that in the spring of 1963 Black Flat was covered with a dense two-metre-high growth of the Australian Hollyhock (Malva australiana) and it was abundant there again in 1995. After the 1975â&#x20AC;&#x201C;76 flood, Black Flat had an outbreak of the indigenous Oondoroo (Solanum simile) and the weed Stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens). In some years it has profuse growth of introduced clover. Grazing by stock, rabbits and kangaroos has altered the floristics of the flood plain. It is likely that species have been grazed and trampled out, and both the density and age-range of trees have been reduced by destruction of seedlings. The shrub layer is much reduced. The ground flora includes many alien species and it is probable that most of these were introduced by stock. Australian Hollyhock (Malva australiana) Photo: Leon Costermans Horehound (Marrubium vulgare), which


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WEEDS IN WYPERFELD A definition of a weed is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;a plant out of placeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. In a national park, any 

that is not indigenous is in this sense a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;weedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. In yperfeld there are about 140 recorded alien plants. Some struggle to survi , but others thri  out-compete

 species. A few of the more obvious weeds are: *HWL^eed 2Arctotheca JHSLUK\SH+ A  flat, annual weed from South Africa bearing bright y w 0 ? 7wers with a black centre in Septemberâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;No ' . >ound mostly on the flood plain in disturbed areas, it is a faourite food of Stumpy-tailed * F  /VYehound 2Marrubium ]\SNHYL+ he flood plain and many dunes at yperfeld are heavily infested with this perennial weed introduced to =ictoria from Europe in the mid-1800s as a dune stabiliser and medicinal plant. he hite 7wers are pollinated only  the European honey bee. Seeding is prolificâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;60,000 seeds ha  counted in one square metre of soil. Burrs ha hooked spines w  readily

h to wool. Seeds were spread b sheep and in w , the plant being common along Mallee water hannels. Control is b ysical   'al of plants, fire and herbicide spr ying. Biological control is being attempted with the release of the Horehound Plume moth (>OLLSLYPH ZWPSVKHJ[`S\Z) in 1994 and the Horehound Clearwing 'oth 2*OHTHLZWOLJPH T`YZPUPMVYTPZ) in 1997. 7H[LYZVUÂťs Curse 2Echium WSHU[HNPUL\T+ Originating in Europe, P  ?s Curse is regarded as an agricultural   in =ictoria. In South  alia it is known as Salvation ane. Ewing  y areas, it is an annual, commencing with a large flat rosette and becoming a bright green shrub with stems of purple flowers in Septemberâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;  ' . It can be confused with the nati  al Bugle ((Q\Na H\Z[YHSPZ+  h does not grow in dense patches and tends to ha paler foliage and 7wers. Control is b herbicide spr ying, but six insects ha been introduced in  alia in an attempt at biological control. 4LSVUZ Melons are seen along roadsides and in disturbed areas. P y   2Cucumis T`YPVJHYW\Z+ has small gooseberry-like fruit w h are initially green with pale y w stripes, ripening to y  Its seeds are faoured  Red-rumped &arrots. Camel Melon (Citrullus SHUH[\Z+ has larger mottledgreen fruit similar to small watermelons. hey are not palatable to humans, but the seeds are devoured  Major Mitc ?s %4 


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The 1975–76 flood with water 3 metres deep in Black Flat. Source: Historic Places, DNRE

Black Flat in June 2000. Without floods, the River Red-gums will eventually die and there will be no regeneration. Photo: Geoff Durham

now infests the lake beds, flats and dunes, has seeds carried in burrs with a particular affinity with wool. Barley Grass (Critesion sp.) is a nuisance at the Wonga camp ground, Capeweed (Arctotheca calendula) and Stinkwort grow in disturbed areas, and Paterson’s Curse (Echium plantagineum) is widespread. Most years about September, the indigenous yellow-flowering Variable Groundsel (Senecio pinnatifolius) is spectacular on the Black Box flats (see photo page 49). In some years, native Spear-grass (Stipa spp.) is prolific. The seeds have a spiral tail which ‘screws’ the seed head into the ground. In the summer after a good season for grass, the flood plain is particularly vulnerable to fire. An outstanding feature of Wyperfeld is the Slender Cypress-pine (Callitris gracilis subsp. murrayensis). These trees are not found on the flood plain because


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they can not tolerate saturated soil, but occur mostly on dunes within several kilometres of the plain, and as scattered occurrences elsewhere in the park. They regenerate readily from seed, but unless they have protection as is provided when growing in porcupine-grass, the seedlings are eaten by rabbits, kangaroos and, in the past, by stock. They are extremely susceptible to fire. Before the 1946 fire there were fine stands on the dunes towards Black Flat and near Eastern Lookout. The Friends of Wyperfeld and other volunteers have made extensive plantings, protecting the seedlings with wire netting guards until they are well established. The hedge appearance of guarded trees is due to browsing by kangaroos. The wood of cypress-pine is resistant to termites and is easy to work, and in the pastoral days many trees were cut down for buildings, yards and fences. This occurred over many years at Pine Plains where there has also been loss by fire. The 400 ha Lake Jerriwirrup Reference Area encompasses flat flood plain with red-gum and black box woodland, and dunes with Slender Cypress-pine. Wildlife Birds, particularly parrots, are a feature. Common bird species are the Galah, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, the Mallee Ringneck and Red-rumped Parrots, Brown Treecreeper, Willie Wagtail, Chestnut-rumped Thornbill, Australian Magpie (Black-backed, White-backed and intermediates), and the Magpie-lark and White-winged Chough, both of which have mud nests in River Red-gums. Some species depend on both the flood plain and the surrounding mallee. For example, the endangered Regent Parrot nests in hollows deep in River Redgums and feeds in the mallee; feral bees are depriving it of nesting hollows. Wyperfeld is one of its two main breeding grounds. Sulphur-crested Cockatoos Photo: Bob Semmens

Yellow-billed Spoonbills, photographed during the 1976 flood. Photo: John Miller


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The Friends of Wyperfeld planting Slender Cypresspines on the Eastern Lookout dune in 1984. This area was covered with pines before the 1946 fire. Photo: Geoff Durham

The same area in 2000. Wire guards around the bases of the trees were only recently removed. Photo: Leon Costermans

When the lakes flood, the explosion of aquatic life supports a suite of water birds not present at other times. Native fish and pelicans were a feature of the 1956 flood, but yabbies and pestilent carp featured in 1976. As the lakes dry out over several years there is a concentration of food for the birds. Terri Allen records that in 1927, as Lake Albacutya dried, the stench of decaying fish could be smelt two miles away. The flood plain is where kangaroos and emus congregate, and Common Brushtail Possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) live in the larger trees. Heritage Signs of Aboriginal occupation remain in the flood plain. There are scar trees, both River Red-gum and Black Box, and there are middens near the lakes.


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There are also many signs of the pastoral era: stumps, ringbarked trees and coppiced Black Box; rusting iron, as at Frews Plain and Shepherd’s Pines Clearing; the site of the old whim at Wonga Lake; many old wells and other relics at Pine Plains; old fence lines; and the remains of O’Sullivan’s stockyards at Bullock Head and the Campbells’ stockyards at Lignum Flat. Large scars on Black Box may be where bark was taken for early huts rather than for Aboriginal use. The significance of the Outlet Creek in Wyperfeld has been recognised by the designation of the Wimmera River–Outlet Creek from Polkemmet to Wirrengren Plain as one of Victoria’s eighteen Heritage Rivers. This designation covers the River Redgum–Black Box areas within Wyperfeld totalling 25,490 ha. The Murray Mallee parks of Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales are on the National Estate Register of the Australian Heritage Commission. The Heritage Statement of Significance says of the Outlet Creek system and the lakes of Wyperfeld: This terminal lake system has outstanding ecological and geomorphological significance, and is also a strong cultural and social focus. The river system itself and the sediments around the lake margins and surrounding dunes provide an important record of climatic changes in the region over the last ten million years. These sediments indicate that the inland sea retreated more than four million years ago and that lake levels were much higher some 32,000 to 50,000 and 7,000 to 13,000 years ago when the climate became more moist.

Rudd Campbell’s nephew, Bill Fuller, at Campbells’ stockyards. Photo: Geoff Durham

Wonga well and pump at Lake Brimin, taken in 1965. Source: Harold Tarr collection


Chapter

9

PINE PLAINS — THE NORTHERN END

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WYPERFELD takes the name ‘Pine Plains’ from the run James Maxwell Clow took up in 1847 (see page 18). In 1977 the Land Conservation Council reported that ‘Pine Plains contains outstanding recreation, scenic, and nature conservation values, and … ultimately the whole area should be added to Wyperfeld Park’. The station then consisted of approximately 320 acres (approximately 130 ha) of freehold in one block plus four small freehold outliers and 31,000 ha of public land subject to grazing licences associated with the freehold. The name ‘Pine Plains’ is used in two ways: for the freehold land, and for that area covered by both the freehold land and the formerly grazed Crown land which is now part of the park. This north end is different. Rainfall, on average about 340 mm per year, is less and even more erratic than in the south. But there are soaks, a string of them away to the west of Pine Plains Station, extending beyond the boundary of the park, and all with evidence of Aboriginal occupation. Wirrengren Plain is where the people from the south are believed to have met and traded with those from the Murray. There are many scar trees along Outlet Creek and near the lakes. Wirrengren Plain is the outstanding feature because it is itself so featureless — a flat, almost treeless expanse about 12 km by 6 km, similar in area and shape to Lake Albacutya. When Clow’s friend J.W. Beilby visited Pine Plains in 1849 while searching for a run, he gave this description of Wirrengren Plain: HE NORTH END OF

A level plain about seven miles long, fringed with lofty pines and small grassy ridges, interspersed with narrow belts of mallay [mallee], stretched across our course to the E, distant about three and a half miles. We lost no time in reaching it; found the plain to be thinly grassed with abundance of herbs, chiefly salt bush, everlasting flower and bachelors buttons … We were now in country abounding with a variety of birds.

The plain itself is much the same today but the vegetation species mix has altered as a result of more than 150 years of grazing by stock. 


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Wirrengren Plain is a great place to see emus. Dieback in River Red-gum is evident. Photo: Euan Moore

Wirrengren Plain was last flooded by Outlet Creek in 1874. Nearby Lake Agnes has not flooded since 1918. In the absence of floods there has been no regeneration of River Red-gum or Black Box. As the trees disappear from old age and dieback, hollows essential to the birds will be lost. Even if regeneration occurs in the future, it would then be many years before the new trees are old enough to develop hollows and fill the void. It is a similar situation with the Slender Cypress-pine and Buloke. The combined effect of grazing by stock and rabbits is undoubtedly an important factor, but Buloke in particular may require a rare combination of seasons if seedlings are to survive in such a harsh environment. Both Slender Cypress-pine and Buloke succumb to fire. About 2000 ha of prime cypress-pine woodland was destroyed by successive fires in 1995–96 and 1996–97. There are large treeless areas near the lake beds. It is hard to say whether this is natural. In past years there was some clearing, as well as much ringbarking and deliberate burning.

One of Arthur Mattingley’s photographs of Slender Cypresspines at Pine Plains. Source: La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria


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Mt Jenkins, a bare sand dune. Photo: Ian Maroske

In this open country the high points of dunes are prominent features. O’Sullivan Lookout, Kelley Lookout, Mt Jenkins (which Brian O’Sullivan calls ‘the lowest mountain in the southern hemisphere’) and Mount Observatory (111 metres a.s.l., and almost on the park boundary) are landmarks. Snowdrift, a large mobile dune gradually enveloping vegetation at its base, has long been a popular picnic spot. The 1900 ha O’Sullivans Lookout Reference Area north-west of O’Sullivan Lookout has high irregular dunes with intervening sand plains supporting heath, mallee heath, and scrub mallee communities. Pine Plains Station James Maxwell Clow’s application for the Pine Plains Run was accepted and registered in 1847. Because of the scarcity of water, he stocked it only from May until November 1848. He put in a 20 foot deep well, but in April 1849 he sold the station to Andrew Russell for £15. Lack of water was Clow’s problem — a surfeit of water was Russell’s. He was flooded out in the massive flood of 1853 and in 1855 sold to H.C. Ellerman for £1500. Ellerman divided the run into Pine Plains and Wonga Lake stations. Subsequent owners of Pine Plains were: Paul and Ewan Cameron; Power & Davenport; Power, Rutherford & Co; Reed & Anderson; and in 1868, Henry ‘Money’ Miller. It was Miller who in 1875 alienated the freehold areas (which still exist as enclaves in the park) pursuant to the Land Act of 1869 for one pound per acre. They comprised a 320-acre freehold block adjacent to Lake Agnes and small freehold outliers at four watering points: Millers Tank on the western edge of Wirrengren Plain, Conga Wonga just south of Pine Plains Road about 2 km west of the park entrance, Carters Tank east of Lake Agnes, and Bracky Well to the south on the old bullock trail (see map on page 132). The Age said of Miller: ‘Mr Henry Miller is King of Victoria and not a


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merchant or journalist dares squeak without his permission’. He had extensive land interests, including Kulkyne Station. Kenyon says that in Miller’s time Pine Plains Station became famous for horses bred there, being ‘synonymous for hardiness, endurance, and plenty of temper’. In 1887 Miller sold to W.C. Carter who, Kenyon says, sank a well on Wirrengren Plain. Pine Plains was taken over by the National Bank and auctioned in 1901 but apparently did not sell. Pine Plains was abandoned from 1903 until 1905 when the Poultons of Cambacanya took it on, together with grazing rights over the Wonga Lake run. The Poultons owned Pine Plains until 1917. They connected Cambacanya and Pine Plains with a single-strand telephone line of fencing wire running past Lake Brambruk. The telephone line was relocated along the old bullock track between Rainbow and Pine Plains about 1915. In 1934 it was removed when Pine Plains was connected to the Baring exchange near Patchewollock. Owen (‘Hugh’) O’Sullivan and Michael Francis Kelley were registered as owners of the freehold property in 1917 although they had probably taken possession earlier, possibly in 1915. With the freehold went grazing licences over 1052 sq. miles of Crown land, including Wirrengren Plain. Michael Kelley moved his family into the old homestead in 1919 and they lived there until 1922. Kelley became so concerned about bird poaching that he had himself appointed as a Wildlife Warden. Hugh O’Sullivan lived in Rainbow where he opened a butchers shop. Hugh O’Sullivan knew the area well. He was living with his parents at Albacutya Station when, in 1883 and aged only 14 years, he commenced a mail route from Dimboola, the then railhead, to Cow (or Kow) Plains Station, now Cowangie, on the Mallee Highway between Underbool and Murrayville, and rode it twice weekly along the old bullock track. He spent Saturday and Sunday nights at home, rode to Pine Plains along Outlet Creek via Bullock’s Head, Maiden Swamp, Black Flat, Wonga Lake and Bracky Well on Monday, to Kow Plains on Tuesday, back to Pine Plains on Wednesday, to Albacutya on Thursday, to Dimboola on Friday, and returning Owen (‘Hugh’) O’Sullivan (1869–1929). home on Saturday. He did this every Source: O’Sullivan family


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The Kelley family in 1920 outside the original Pine Plains homestead which was built in 1847. Agnes and Michael with children Molly and Phonse. An older son, Tony, was at boarding school. The homestead was dismantled by Tim O’Sullivan in 1970 and removed to the Swan Hill Pioneer Settlement. Source: Kelley family

week, with only one exception, for about eight years. Little wonder that he had a reputation as a good tracker, on one occasion tracking some lost police and blacktrackers. Hugh O’Sullivan became sole owner of Pine Plains in 1924, and the property has remained in the family. His son, Owen Lewis (‘Jack’) married in 1939 and lived on the property for six years. Jack and another son, Francis, were registered as owners in 1949, and Jack became sole owner in 1964. In 1983 the property passed to Jack’s sons Brian and Tim, who both lived there. Tim O’Sullivan, who introduced camels to Pine Plains, died in 1995. He built O’Sullivan’s Pine Plains Lodge which offers group accommodation on Pine Plains Station (see page 133). Although abandoned on occasions, Pine Plains was the only run in the Big Desert to survive as a station property because of its extensive lake beds and grasslands with better soils and comparatively reliable water. In 1981–82 the

Charles McLennan called this area of Pine Plains the ‘Dingo Recreation Reserve’. Photo by Arthur Mattingley. Source: La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria


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station was connected by pipe to the Wimmera and Mallee system through Baring, and troughs replaced many old wells and dams throughout the grazed area. There are many signs of the pastoral days, including the remains of an old wooden bridge across Outlet Creek probably built in 1918–19 in anticipation of a flood. There is a timbered well 10 metres deep on the northern edge of Wirrengren Plain, and various old collapsed wells scattered throughout the area. The dingoes of the Big Desert, which are a distinctive black colour, were a huge problem up until the 1920s; this led to cattle rather than sheep being run. Dingoes were frequently seen for about five years after the 1982 drought. Pine Plains has been called ‘Victoria’s outback Australia’ by Brian O’Sullivan, and life was tough. There have been various deaths — two graves are known on the property. Two people are said to have perished from thirst and a man was found dead with a hand caught in the jaws of a dingo trap. There have been several suicides, including that of George Everard’s brother who hanged himself in a well. In the early days the station depended on bullock wagons for supplies, and to carry wool initially to Portland, then, after the coming of the railways, to Stawell (1876), Horsham (1879), Dimboola (1882), Hopetoun (1894), Rainbow (1899) and Yaapeet (1914). When the railway reached Patchewollock from Hopetoun in 1925, this became the railhead (see map on page 20). Today, there is public access to this north end of the park by two-wheel drive vehicle from the east via Patchewollock, and by four-wheel drive from Underbool in the north and from Wonga camp ground in the south. Transition to parkland The Land Conservation Council, in the Final Recommendations of its first Mallee Study (1977), stated: The Council believes that the current pattern of agricultural use on Pine Plains is likely to gradually reduce the nature conservation values of the area, in particular the wildlife habitats on the grassy plains and pine ridges. Jim Frew’s bullock team. The team was rested at Frew’s Plain.

Source: Dawn Petschel


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In accordance with its recommendations, 2,750 ha of Pine Plains was added to the park and grazing ceased on this land in 1979. This resulted in pine regeneration, some of which has been lost in fires. In its 1989 Final Recommendations, the LCC reported (page 56): The recent flora and fauna surveys and grazing-exclosure plots indicate that grazing pressure (the total influence of domestic and feral stock, rabbits, and, in places, native herbivores) is having a dramatic and detrimental effect on the quality and quantity of native vegetation, and hence faunal habitat, and is reducing the public land’s potential for a number of future uses, especially those involving nature conservation and recreation.

In accordance with these recommendations, park extensions in 1991 incorporated the remaining licensed areas totalling 28,860 ha, with grazing to be phased out by July 1996, leaving the 320-acre Pine Plains Station and its four outliers as freehold enclaves within the park. The very factors that led to the survival of Pine Plains Station made it a particularly important area for native wildlife. Victoria’s most significant and extensive pine–buloke woodlands are essential habitat for two endangered species, the Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo and the rare White-browed Treecreeper. The cockatoos eat the seeds and breed in the hollows of the pines. Many of the remaining trees pre-date pastoral settlement and are nearing the end of life, and when they are gone this beautiful bird will be in a precarious situation. Wyperfeld is its main breeding place. The dominant plants in open areas are often Spear-grass species (Stipa spp.), particularly after fire. The grasslands are the feeding grounds for many parrot species (notably the Blue Bonnet), and for the common Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus) and, rarely, for a Red Kangaroo (M. rufus). There are large migratory flocks of both Whitebrowed and Masked Woodswallows. Other common birds are Treecreepers and Varied Sittellas, Butcherbirds, and Red-capped Robins. It is a great place to see emus. The open country also suits birds of prey, and soaring Wedge-tailed Eagles are a common sight. In 1907 a White-browed Treecreeper, a rare species. Photo: Charles Silveira


s0ART4WO0ARK0ERSPECTIVES

station hand at Pine Plains boasted to Arthur Mattingley that he had poisoned more than two hundred in one year. The transition from a grazing property to a national park posed various management challenges. There was a plethora of tracks to be rationalised to protect park values and to provide for varying recreational and management use. Away from the watering points, the native grassland of Wirrengren Plain is in reasonable condition. In 1994, exclusion plots were put in to help determine what would happen following the cessation of grazing by stock. Management of fire is necessary to protect the remaining cypress-pine and the freehold property. There is erosion in places and areas of bare sand; the lookouts are very fragile. Rabbits and weeds must be controlled. Casuarina camp Casuarina camp ground, in ageing pineâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;buloke woodland, has a wonderfully remote, open feel, yet it provides some shade. It is an excellent base for walks into remarkably varied surrounding country â&#x20AC;&#x201D; within walking distance are Outlet Creek, Bracky Well, Lost Lake, Dingo Swamp, Callitris Plain, good heathland for wildflowers, old mallee with malleefowl, woodlands of Black Box, Buloke and Cypress-pine, a dune with Drooping Sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillata) and groves of regenerating Slender Cypress-pines. Cattle Bush (Alectryon oleifolius subsp. canescens) and Sugarwood (Myoporum platycarpum) extend from the north to here, and a rare and distinctive plant in the vicinity is Bell-fruit Tree (Codonocarpus cotinifolius). The dune west of the camp is a wonderful walk with fantastic vistas; it is a great place to view the sunset. Chapter 14 gives detailed information for visitors planning to spend time exploring this northern part of Wyperfeld. Bell-fruit Tree (Codonocarpus cotinifolius) and fruit, rare in northern Wyperfeld.

Photos: Leon Costermans


Chapter

10

EASTERN INTERFACE

W

NATIONAL PARK east of Outlet Creek is an interface in several senses. There is an interface with the flood plain. There is also an interface with the Woorinen soils, as this is where the Big Desert Lowan Sands peter out, and the result of this is an interface with farmland. A botanical survey by Beauglehole and Finck in 1968 reported: YPERFELD

The aftermath is mainly the invasion by the nearly endless list of introduced plants, some of them noxious weeds, growing up to 2 and 3 miles within the Park boundaries adjacent to these farmlands.

At its very eastern extremity the park abuts the Hopetounâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Patchewollock road for a few kilometres, but otherwise this eastern section is mostly bordered by cleared private land. One of the larger adjoining properties is Cambacanya, the station from which Arthur Mattingley set out on his first visit. Generous neighbours have donated valuable uncleared areas for addition to the park. In the north-east, a wildlife corridor leads to the Wathe Flora and Fauna Reserve, and a similar corridor in the south leads to the Paradise Flora and Fauna Reserve. These reserves have significant populations of Malleefowl and are particularly valuable as fire refuge areas. Kangaroos and emus are a problem for farmers. They shelter in the park, damage fences, utilise farm dams and graze on crops and pasture, and they are no longer subject to predation by dingoes and hunting by Aboriginal people. Permits to shoot specified numbers are readily available to farmers. Ranger Gary Anderson at the boundary fence, about 1973. Photo: Ian Maroske




s0ART4WO0ARK0ERSPECTIVES To Pine Plains

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‘Cambacanya’

Mallee typical of the flatter areas of east Wyperfeld where malleefowl mounds are found. Flowering small plants produce brilliant splashes of yellow. Photo: Leon Costermans


#HAPTER%ASTERN)NTERFACEs

The irregular boundary is the result of the resumption and addition to the park of abandoned farm blocks. Signs of attempts at settlement remain with some cleared areas, a few wells and dams, and the remains of a long-abandoned eucalyptus oil distillery. Near the park boundary there are the remains of a hut associated with Cambacanya that was almost certainly used by dingo-trapper Charles McLennan. The eastern extremity of the park is traversed by the dismantled Hopetoun– Patchewollock railway, and between this and the Hopetoun–Patchewollock road, by the main north-south Mildura transmission line. These intrusions, and a few kilometres of the Baring channel crossing the north-east corner, cause significant weed infestation. Within the park along much of the length of the fenceline is a 20-metre cleared fire break. The landscape is mostly east-west dunes with frequent flats of reddish loams and occasional limestone nodules. The sandy dunes often have a dense shrubby covering of tea-tree, heath myrtles and other drought-resisting shrubs. In less exposed slopes there is Grey Mallee (Eucalyptus socialis) and Porcupine-grass (Triodia sp.). Most of it is open mallee with small openings of heathland and thickets of Scrub Cypress-pine (Callitris verrucosa). Some swales support Bull Mallee (E. behriana) and sometimes Yellow Gum (E. leucoxylon subsp. stephaniae). There are scattered patches of old ‘big’ mallee on the dune flanks — Dumosa Mallee (E. dumosa), Slender-leaf Mallee (E. leptophylla) and Grey Mallee (E. socialis), often in that order up the slope. Designated as the Dattuck Reference Area is 1500 ha of dense, low, irregular dunes carrying mallee, hummock-grass mallee and scrub mallee. This is a stronghold of the Malleefowl, also known as the Lowan. This eastern side was included in the original park to protect malleefowl habitat and it was suggested that the park be called ‘The Lowan National Park’. Rudd Campbell described this part of the park as ‘the home of the Mallee hen’. Scrub Cypress-pine (Callitris verrucosa) Photo: Leon Costermans

Mallee Tea-tree (Leptospermum coriaceum) Photo: Leon Costermans


s0ART4WO0ARK0ERSPECTIVES

MALLEEFOWL â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the incubator bird he   7wl 23eipoa VJLSSH[H) vided a prime reason for the early park   ations. hey once had a wide range in New South ales,    alia, =ictoria and estern  alia, but much of their habitat has been     hey seldom fly but per in a tree at night. hey  very well camouflaged  although about the size of a small turkey are seldom seen except hen orking on a 

 mound  h   do for about ten months of the   he mounds of sand are Photo: Clive Crouch up to fi metres in diameter and one metre high. he eggs are not hatched in the normal w y but are buried in the mound w h acts as an incubator. he male constantly tends the mound to ensure the correct temperature  h is at first provided  heat from decaying egetable matter w h the birds incorporate into the mound, and later b the sun. Dr oe Benshemesh has been studying the birds since 1984. His resear has wn that in yperfeld the female in an a age ear  ys 19 eggs (about twice her own weight) from about September to J  , of w  16 or 17 hatch after 56 days. he  ks dig their w y to the surface and are immediately independent. he eggs and young are frequently taken b foxes. Infant mortality is high. he birds are opportunistic eaters and usually mate for life. 

Dr Joe Benshemesh at a malleefowl mound. The Mallee Walk off the Eastern Lookout Nature Drive leads to a bird hide overlooking such a mound (see page 128). Photo: Geoff Durham

(248)


#HAPTER%ASTERN)NTERFACEs

Dr Joe Benshemesh has conducted extensive research into the Malleefowl in this area and estimates a population of about two hundred breeding pairs. He has developed a technique for locating active mounds from the air using infra-red heat detection. However, the best way of monitoring Malleefowl numbers is to visit mound sites on foot. Every year in late spring, volunteers check several hundred mound sites in the park and provide this important information for park managers and researchers. Other birds living here are typical New Holland Honeyeater Photo: Clive Crouch of mallee eucalypt country. Common species are the Chestnut Quail-thrush, Crested Bellbird, Yellow-plumed and New Holland Honeyeaters, Splendid Fairy-wren and Shy Heathwren. The Western Pygmy-possum (Cercartetus concinnus) lives here in shrubs, but it is nocturnal and seldom seen. Also unseen is the underground Mallee Worm-Lizard (Aprasia aurita) which has not been found west of Outlet Creek. During the day in the warmer months reptiles which may be encountered include the speedy Mallee Dragon (Ctenophorus fordi) and Nobbi Dragon (Amphibolurus nobbi coggeri), the slow-moving Stumpy-tailed Lizard (Tiliqua rugosa), and the often colourful Sand Goanna (Varanus gouldii). In the summer of 1982–83 a patchy fire burnt much of the park around and to the east of the North-South Track, and in 1984–85 a similar fire burnt much of the area between Lake Brambruk and the park’s northern boundary. Unburnt Scrub Cypress-pine gave protection to small ‘islands’ of mature mallee. Malleefowl which could find shelter in unburnt areas survived reasonably well by foraging in the burnt areas. Scattered Slender Cypress-pines were destroyed, but the mallee eucalypts and other species have recovered or regenerated. Nobbi Dragon (Amphibolurus nobbi coggeri) Photo: Bob Semmens


s0ART4WO0ARK0ERSPECTIVES

PORCUPINE-GRASS â&#x20AC;&#x201C; spiked haven Sometimes incorrectly called â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Spinifexâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, this is a shrub-like perennial gr  with  es like the spines of a porcupine. Major Mitchell reported in 1836: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;... there were tufts of a prickly bush, w h tortured the horses and tore to ags the menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clothes about their anklesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. Its appearance is transformed spring as many long flexible stems bearing minute flowers rise abo  dense and rigid mass of lea  o ery similar species are now recognised for yperfeld: ;YPVKPH ZJHYPVZH and ; I\UPJVSH. ;YPVKPH means â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;three-toothâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, a reference to the  ance of a part of the flower (lemma). Beilby  es the    name as â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Ballarookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and Neumaer (1862) gies 0  ? his is a particularly important plant. he otjobaluk / acted a gum used as a fixatie. he ass protects emerging plants, particularly c  pine, from grazing  abbits and kangaroos. Its seeds are food for a v   of birds and in the pastoral  ys   7 oured  horses. Its dense clumps act as a wind break, catching   sand and preventing    ithin is a micro-climate of ev

' ature and humidity w h   bours   ates, reptiles, birds Porcupine-grass provides shelter for a range and small mammals protected from of animals, including the Striated Grasswren. predators h as hawks, wls  Photo: Harold Tarr collection foxes. Animals dependent on ;YPVKPH include the Land Snail (Sinumelon MVKPUHSL+, 3  ?s Legless Lizard (+LSTH I\[SLYP), the Mallee Dragon 2Ctenophorus MVYKP), the Striated Gr  2(T`tornis Z[YPH[\Z) and the Mallee Ningaui (5PUNaui `]VUULHL). N  

 with a tor on a warm night will reveal some of the inhabitants, and  ylight  eals an intriguing variety of tr ks in the surrounding sand. & ass   die from the centre, forming rings that may be of great age. Kangaroos rest within the rings to shelter from cold winter winds. The ring shape of very old Porcupine-grass. Photo: Euan Moore


#HAPTER%ASTERN)NTERFACEs

The Eastern Lookout Nature Drive From the Wonga camp ground, the 15 km Eastern Lookout Nature Drive, constructed in 1972 with the name ‘The Ring Road’, gives two-wheel drive vehicle access into this country. Off this road, the ten-minute walk to the Eastern Lookout tower is well worth the effort for an overview of the park (see page 70). There is a grand vista of mallee-covered dunes of various configurations. You can pick out the Black Box along Outlet creek, and Slender Cypress-pine on some dunes. From here, the park boundary is about 14 km due north, 70 km due west, 2 km due south and 16 km due east. Further along the Ring Road the short Malleefowl Walk will take you to a malleefowl mound. You can also walk into this mallee environment along the Dattuck, Lowan and Freeway Tracks. The Dattuck Track leads to a fine stand of Yellow Gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon subsp. stephaniae) near the eastern boundary of the park close to Dattuck. The Lowan Track crosses to the southern boundary. The inappropriately-named Freeway Track runs north off the Ring Road past Flagstaff Hill to join the Meridian Track. The aptly-named North-South Track and Eagle Track connect with the Ginap Track which crosses from the Freeway Track to the eastern boundary near Yarto. These tracks were put in for fire protection purposes, and vehicle use is restricted to management vehicles, except for the public four-wheel drive north-south access between Casuarina camp ground and Pine Plains in the north and Wonga camp ground in the south. There is no public vehicle access through the park from the east, but there is foot access from the Hopetoun–Patchewollock road, from Dattuck and Yarto via the old railway reserve, and from the ‘Road to Nowhere’ north of the Paradise Flora and Fauna Reserve onto the Lowan Track. Yellow Mallee (E. incrassata) is common on deeper sands.

Tall mallee occurs on flatter areas along the Dattuck Track. Photos: Leon Costermans


Chapter

11

WESTERN WILDERNESS

T

HE SECTION OF THE PARK west of Outlet Creek offers a wilderness experience

in the Big Desert. This is the country ‘very thickly covered in scrub’ that defeated Edward John Eyre in 1838 when he endeavoured to find his way from Lake Hindmarsh to the Murray River. It remains in the same natural state — a remote, spacious, harsh and timeless land. Once it is penetrated, the view from any rise and in every direction extends to a far-distant, flat horizon with nothing but a sea of seemingly featureless low scrub. However, as you pass through, there is surprising variation. This western section provides opportunities for four-wheel driving and an exceptional challenge for experienced overnight bushwalkers. The armed forces used it for occasional survival-type training until the early 1990s. For the casual visitor, walking away from tracks should be undertaken only with great caution as it is easy to become ‘bushed’, and there is no water. Visitors to the Wonga Hut area can experience the ‘desert’ by driving off the Entrance Road along the Nine Mile Square Track 1.3 km to a car park and doing the excellent 7 km Desert Walk (see page 130). There is also foot access from Pine Plains. The ‘Murrayville Track’ gives seasonal two-wheel drive access along the park’s western boundary.

The southern end of the Nine Mile Square Track with the start of the Desert Walk in the left foreground. Photo: Geoff Durham




#HAPTER7ESTERN7ILDERNESSs

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The ‘Desert’ To the west of the Murrayville Track, extending to the South Australia border, is the 142,300 ha Big Desert Wilderness Park with no vehicle access. Beyond the border the ‘desert’ extends into several South Australian conservation parks: Scorpion Springs, Ngarkat, Mt Shaugh and Mt Rescue. East of the Murrayville Track are Wyperfeld’s three Wilderness Zones: North, South, and Chinaman Flat. Further to the east, between the Nine Mile Square Track and Outlet Creek, is the 29,800 ha Hopping Mouse Hill ‘Remote and Natural Area’. It is about 60 km from the Murrayville Track to Outlet Creek. Also east of Murrayville Track, but not in the park, are two areas of the Big Desert reserved as State Forest where harvesting of Broombush (Melaleuca uncinata) for brush fencing was formerly carried on. Mineral exploration, mining, grazing, hunting, military manoeuvres and utilisation for honey, gravel sand and other ‘forest produce’ may occur under permit. One large area north of Wyperfeld on both sides of the Murrayville Track is called the Big Desert State Forest, and the other is a smaller area south of Wyperfeld. The Big Desert State Forest has a network of four-wheel drive tracks leading to the Twelve Mile Patch Track which passes through the north-west corner of Wyperfeld.


s0ART4WO0ARK0ERSPECTIVES

Reporting on his scientific expedition of 1861, William Lockhart Morton wrote of the Big Desert: ‘… a more worthless sandy-desert country, in its natural state, cannot be imagined. There is plenty of vegetation, but it is useless’. Such were the perceptions of the time. In fact, the vegetation is species rich, and a botanical survey of the park as it was in 1968 by Beauglehole and Finck reported ‘the almost total absence of introduced plants …’. The whole of this western area was at one time subject to pastoral leases. Sheep were grazed over winter months where there were freshwater soaks or springs providing water, but dingoes were a problem. Areas were burnt to provide fresh growth. There are two major landforms running in approximate east-west bands across this western section: relatively high irregular sand dunes interspersed with sand plains, and closely spaced east-west dunes with broad swales of less permeable sands. The irregular dunes and large, broad plains have a heathland community of wide species diversity with profuse wildflowers in spring. In the swales of the east-west dunefields are heavier soils supporting larger vegetation, such as that around Milmed Swamp, Arnold Springs and Chinaman Flat. Near the north-west corner of the park is the largest area of Scrub Cypresspine (Callitris verrucosa) woodland in the Mallee, and north-west of O’Sullivan Lookout is the 1,900 ha O’Sullivans Lookout Reference Area. In the North Wyperfeld Wilderness Zone south-west of Wirrengren Plain is the largest undisturbed example of broombush mallee community in the State, some of which is included in the Broombush Reference Area of 1,600 ha. Also in this zone and west of Rudds Rocks off the Nine Mile Square Track is the 3,750 ha Rudds Rocks Reference Area which incorporates sandstone-rise broombush. In the Chinaman Flat Wilderness Zone is an extensive stand of red-swale mallee which has a number of significant and notable reptiles including the burrowing Pink-nosed Worm-Lizard (Aprasia inaurita) and the beautiful, nocturnal Coral Snake (Simoselaps australis). The birdlife is notable for the number and remarkable diversity of honeyeaters, particularly in spring. Nectar provides their carbohydrate requirements, but they also need protein, and they get this from the prolific insect population associated with the flowers. Some other birds are the vulnerable Red-lored Whistler, the Mallee Emu-wren and the Striated Grasswren in porcupine-grass, Slender-billed Thornbill, Mulga Parrot, Southern Scrub-robin in broombush communities, Chestnut Quail-thrush in heathland, and some malleefowl and emu. Mammals of the area include bats, and six other small species — the Little Pygmy-possum (Cercartetus lepidus), Western Pygmy-possum (C. concinnus), Silky Mouse (Pseudomys apodemoides), Mallee Ningaui (Ningaui yvonneae),


#HAPTER7ESTERN7ILDERNESSs

Common Dunnart (Sminthopsis murina) and Mitchell’s Hoppingmouse (Notomys mitchelli) — but these are seldom seen. What you do see are many tracks in the sand, particularly from insects, reptiles, cats and canines — both foxes and wild dogs. Short crescent-shaped burrows are made by scorpions or the Painted Dragon (Ctenophorus pictus). Most of this western section was burnt in the 1959 Big Desert fire The Common Dunnart (Sminthopsis murina). Photo: Clive Crouch which revitalised the heathlands. J. Ros. Garnet wrote that ‘plants hitherto regarded as rare are now to be seen in plenty’. Various parts were burnt again by subsequent fires, particularly in 1978–79, 1979–80, 1980–81 and February 1999. Sudden changes in vegetation indicate fire boundaries. Research by botanist Dr David Cheal is showing the significance of fire and frost in determining variations in the vegetation of the heathland communities. Some species resprout after fire, but others regenerate only from seed. The survival of these species, and the subsequent species mix, depends largely on rainfall and temperature in the season immediately after the fire. In the absence of fire for 25–35 years or more, some species will disappear as they age and die, leading to dominance by Mallee Tea-tree (Leptospermum coriaceum) or by the long-living Scrub Cypress-pine (Callitris verrucosa). Species can also be lost if fires and severe frosts occur too frequently, as with Desert Banksia (Banksia ornata) which does not resprout and requires about 5–7 years growth to set significant amounts of seed. The Murrayville Track The Wergaia Aboriginal people had a north-south trade route through the Big Desert. In the pastoral days this became part of the stock route from Portland to Kow Plains, now Cowangie, on the Mallee Highway, and was known as Kow Track. Camps at stock watering points were about 10 miles (approximately 16 km), or one day’s travel, apart. Earthen ponds, called tanks in the Mallee, were dug in the ground in low areas to hold water. Wells and bores were also put down to tap artesian water with hand pumps or windmills to pump it to the surface. Corrugated iron and concrete tanks were later used as well as the earthen ‘tanks’.


s0ART4WO0ARK0ERSPECTIVES

Kow Track is now the Murrayville Track, the road between Nhill in the south and Murrayville 145 km to the north. It has very little traffic for most of the year even though it is the only north-south route through the Big Desert. To be stranded here would not be a good experience. Anyone contemplating this adventure should make local enquiries before setting out, and be well prepared. No petrol or other supplies are available between Nhill and Murrayville. About 25 km of the track marks the western boundary of Wyperfeld National Park. The track is unsealed for 83 km and can be impassable for two-wheel drive vehicles due to deep sand patches and slippery or boggy conditions on clay sections after rain. When it is too wet for two-wheel drive vehicles, it is desirable that four-wheel drive vehicles also keep off as they can cause severe damage to the clay surfaced sections. Leading off on both sides of the road are many old tracks pre-dating the park reservations, and along the way are many borrow pits from which material has been taken for the road surface. With the exception of four-wheel drive Milmed Rock, Chinaman Well and Twelve Mile Patch Tracks, the old tracks in Wyperfeld National Park and the Big Desert Wilderness Park have been closed. More detailed information for exploring the Western Wilderness is given in chapter 15.

The Murrayville Track at No. 1 Bore

Photo: Geoff Durham


#HAPTER7EST7YPERFELDn4HE-URRAYVILLE4RACKs

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Appendix 1: Mallee Runs in 1865

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The map above is reproduced from Alfred S. Kenyon’s The Story of the Mallee and shows the Mallee runs in 1865 at what Kenyon calls ‘the zenith of pastoral occupation’. Occupation licences were granted to squatters from 1835, and 14-year leases from 1847. By 1865 the whole of what is now Wyperfeld National Park was the subject of grazing runs, although not necessarily occupied. The original park reservation of 1909 was within the area of the Wonga Lake run (see map in appendix 2). This run was forfeited in 1880.

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Appendix 2: ;he .YVwth of >yperfeld National PHYR Wyperfeld National Park evolved to its present form throughout the twentieth century with thirteen successive reservations of parkland; ‘temporary’ reservations were subsequently incorporated into ‘permanent’ reservations, as shown on the map on page 34. The sequence of reservations is shown in this table. The National Parks Act 1999–2000 Annual Report lists the present area of the park as 357,017 ha. Acres Temporary (see map below) (9,600) Permanent 16,000 Permanent 7,680 Permanent 6,400 Temporary (14,000) Temporary (21,000) Permanent 56,780 Permanent 51,840 Permanent 1,060 Permanent Permanent Permanent Permanent

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Appendix 3: >yperfeld *VTTP[[LLZ Wyperfeld National Park Committee of Management 1922–1975 Sir James Barrett Mr Charles Barrett Mr W.F. Disher Mr R.A. Francis Dr J.A. Leach Mr Owen O’Sullivan Cr T. Raggatt Cr G.R. Riby Mr T. Mellington Mr V.H. Miller Prof. E.W. Jones Dr J.S. Buchanan Mr A. McDonald Mr D.J. Mahony Mr A.H.E. Mattingley Sir Julius Bruche Mr R. Dunn Mr E.S. Hanks

1922-45 1922-48 1922-30 1922-25 1922-29 1922-29 1922-27 1928-38 1930-46 1930-57 1930-38 1934-45 1938-45 1938-40 1938-50 1945-47 1945-50 1945-60

Mr C. Gould Mr I.F. McLaren Mr J.C. Riby Mr H.E. Tarr Mr W.J. Zimmer Mr A.D. Butcher Mr M.C. Downes Mr J. Ros Garnet Mr H. Wilson Mr T. Arthur Mr I.O. Maroske Mr R.P. Falla Mr W.G.D. Middleton Mr J.M. Landy Mr O.J. Thomas

Wyperfeld National Park Advisory Committee 1975–1996 (appointed under the National Parks Act 1975) Mr R.P. Falla Mr I.O. Maroske Mr W.G.D. Middleton Mr H.E. Tarr Mr O.J. Thomas Mr R.A. Gosling Cr R.A. Boehm Mr W.J. Sleep Mr J.A. Bathgate Mrs P.N. Mellington Mr O.F. Noelker Mrs J.L. Yetman Mr C. Crouch Dr T. O’Brien Mr I. Herben Cr L. Jackson Mr G. Cornwall

1975-92 1975-93 1975-85 1975-84 1975-78 1976-96 1976-92 1976-96 1985-96 1985-88 1985-96 1985-96 1989-96 1989-93 1992-96 1992-96 1994-96

A Mallee Parks Advisory Committee was established in 1999.

1946-62 1947-57 1948-52 1948-75 1950-51 1950-57 1957-68 1957-75 1957-63 1959-62 1959-75 1962-75 1962-75 1965-75 1970-75




Appendix 4: National Parks & Other Protected (YLHZ National Park The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 1994 adopted the following resolution: A National Park is a protected area managed mainly for ecosystem protection and recreation. Definition: Natural area of land and/or sea, designated to: (a) protect the ecological integrity of one or more ecosystems for present and future generations, (b) exclude exploitation or occupation inimical to the purposes of designation of the area, and (c) provide a foundation for spiritual, scientific, educational, recreational and visitor opportunities, all of which must be environmental and culturally compatible. In Victoria, a National Park is an area characterised by its predominantly unspoilt landscape, and its flora, fauna or other features, reserved and preserved and protected permanently for the benefit of the public under the provisions of the National Parks Act 1975 (Vic.). (The Act provides for the preservation, protection and study of the natural environment and in accordance with such protection, for use by the public for the purposes of enjoyment, recreation or education and for the encouragement and control of that use.) Wilderness Park A park established under the National Parks Act 1975 (Vic.) and managed to protect or enhance its essentially unmodified natural condition and, subject to that protection and minimal interference to natural processes, provide opportunities for solitude, inspiration and appropriate self-reliant recreation. Wilderness Zone An area within a park designated under the National Parks Act 1975 (Vic.) and managed in the same manner as a Wilderness Park. Remote and Natural Area An area within a park designated under the National Parks Act 1975 (Vic.) to protect the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s remote and natural attributes; prevent new and incremental developments, including the construction and upgrading of vehicular tracks and construction of new structures. Reference Area An area proclaimed under the Reference Areas Act 1978 (Vic.) to protect viable samples of one or more land types of ecological interest and significance that are relatively undisturbed for comparative study with similar land types elsewhere, by restricting access and keeping all human interference to the minimum essential and ensuring as far as practicable that the only long-term change results from natural processes. Heritage River Area A river and its environs proclaimed under the Heritage Rivers Act 1992 (Vic.) to protect significant nature conservation, recreation, scenic or cultural heritage values.




Appendix 5: >yperfeld =ascular Plant List Original list by A.C. Beauglehole. Revised by D.C. Cheal, July 1981 and November 1985, and subsequent additions made. Fully revised by L.F. Costermans in July 2000 to follow Flora of Victoria (Vols 2–4, 1994–99) and A Census of the Vascular Plants of Victoria by J.H. Ross (6th edn, January 2000); checked by N.G. Walsh (National Herbarium of Victoria) against Herbarium records, and further amendments made. An asterisk (*) indicates a species naturalised in Victoria (including environmental weeds). Common names follow Flora of Victoria, except where that authority gives no common name, in which case some earlier names have been retained (shown in parentheses). ? means in the general area, but not confirmed with a verified specimen for Wyperfeld itself. Symbols in parentheses represent the species’ conservation status as in Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria, as follows: e V v R r K k

Endangered in Victoria Vulnerable in Australia Vulnerable in Victoria Rare in Australia Rare in Victoria Poorly known species considered to be rare or threatened throughout Australia Poorly known species considered to be rare or threatened in Victoria

FERNS AND ALLIED PLANTS Adiantaceae Cheilanthes sieberi subsp. sieberi Narrow Rock-fern Azollaceae Azolla filiculoides

Pacific Azolla

Marsileaceae Marsilea costulifera Narrow-leaf Nardoo Marsilea drummondii Common Nardoo (Dullum Dullum) Marsilea hirsuta Short-fruit Nardoo Pilularia novae-hollandiae Austral Pillwort Ophioglossaceae Ophioglossum lusitanicum Austral Adder’s-tongue Ophioglossum polyphyllum (v) Adder’s-tongue

CONIFERS Cupressaceae Callitris gracilis subsp. murrayensis Slender Cypress-pine Callitris verrucosa Scrub Cypress-pine

MONOCOTYLEDONS Alismataceae Damasonium minus

Star Fruit

Centrolepidaceae Centrolepis cephaloformis subsp. cephaloformis Cushion Centrolepis Centrolepis polygyna Wiry Centrolepis Cyperaceae Carex bichenoviana (Sedge Cyperus) Cyperus gymnocaulos Spring Flat-sedge Eleacharis acuta Common Spike-rush Eleocharis pusilla Small Spike-rush Gahnia lanigera Desert Saw-sedge Isolepis cernua Nodding Club-rush Isolepis hookeriana (Grassy Club-rush) Isolepis marginata Club-rush Isolepis nodosa Knobby Club-rush Isolepis platycarpa Club-rush Isolepis victoriensis Victorian Club-rush Lepidosperma carphoides Black Rapier-sedge Lepidosperma viscidum Sticky Sword-sedge Schoenoplectus pungens Sharp Club-rush Schoenus breviculmis Matted Bog-rush Schoenus racemosus (r) Tufted Bog-rush Schoenus subaphyllus Desert Bog-rush Juncaceae *Juncus articulatus Juncus bufonius Juncus pallidus Juncus radula

Jointed Rush Toad Rush Pale Rush Hoary Rush

Juncaginaceae Triglochin subsp. B (calcitrapum) (Spurred Arrowgrass) Triglochin nanum (centrocarpum) Dwarf Arrowgrass Lemnaceae ?*Lemna minor ?Lemna disperma ?Spirodela punctata

Common Duckweed Common Duckweed Thin Duckweed


s!PPENDIX7YPERFELD6ASCULAR0LANT,IST Liliaceae Arthropodium fimbriatum Nodding Chocolate-lily Arthropodium minus Small Vanilla-lily *Asparagus asparagoides Smilax (Bridal Creeper) *Asphodelus fistulosus Onion Weed Bulbine semibarbata Leek Lily Dianella revoluta Black-anther Flax-lily Hypoxis glabella var. glabella Tiny Star Laxmannia orientalis Dwarf Wire-lily Thysanotus baueri Mallee Fringe Lily Thysanotus juncifolius Branching Fringe Lily Thysanotus patersonii Twining Fringe Lily Tricoryne elatior Yellow Rush Lily Tricoryne tenella Mallee Rush Lily Wurmbea dioica subsp. dioica Early Nancy Orchidaceae Caladenia capillata Daddy Long-legs Caladenia fuscata Dusky Caladenia Caladenia stricta (v) Rigid-combed Spider-orchid Caladenia verrucosa Mallee Spider-orchid Calochilus robertsonii Purplish Beard-orchid Genoplesium nigricans Mallee Midge-orchid Microtis unifolia and/or M. arenaria Onion-orchid Orthoceras strictum Horned Orchid Prasophyllum elatum Tall Leek-orchid Prasophyllum occidentale (v) Western Leek-orchid Prasophyllum odoratum Fragrant Leek-orchid Pterostylis mutica Midget Greenhood Pterostylis nana Dwarf Greenhood ?Pterostylis planulata (at Broken Bucket Reserve) ?Pterostylis pusilla (at Broken Bucket Reserve) Pterostylis sanguinea Banded Greenhood Pterostylis xerophila (Ve) Desert Greenhood Pyrorchis nigricans Red-beaks Thelymitra azurea (v) Azure Sun-orchid Thelymitra megcalyptra Scented Sun-orchid Poaceae Agrostis aemula var. aemula Purplish Blown-grass Agrostis avenacea var. avenacea Common Blown-grass *Alopecurus geniculatus Marsh Fox-tail Amphibromus nervosus Common Swamp Wallaby-grass Amphipogon caricinus var. caricinus Long Grey-beard Grass Amphipogon strictus var. setifer Grey-beard Grass

Aristida behriana Brush Wire-grass Aristida contorta (Sand Wire-grass) Austrodanthonia caespitosa Common Wallaby-grass Austrodanthonia eriantha Hill Wallaby-grass Austrodanthonia geniculata Kneed Wallaby-grass Austrodanthonia pilosa Velvet Wallaby-grass Austrodanthonia setacea Bristly Wallaby-grass Austrostipa acrociliata Graceful Spear-grass Austrostipa drummondii (Cottony) Spear-grass Austrostipa elegantissima Feather Spear-grass Austrostipa eremophila Desert Spear-grass Austrostipa hemipogon (r) (Half-bearded Spear-grass) Austrostipa mollis Spear-grass Austrostipa nitida Balcarra grass Austrostipa nodosa Knotty Spear-grass Austrostipa platychaeta Flat-awned Spear-grass Austrostipa puberula Fine-hairy Spear-grass Austrostipa scabra subsp. falcata Spear-grass *Avellinia michelii Avellinia *Avena barbata Bearded Oat *Avena fatua Wild Oat *Avena sativa Oat *Avena sterilis subsp. sterilis (Sterile Oat) *Bromus diandrus Great Brome *Bromus hordeaceus subsp. hordeaceus Soft Brome *Bromus madritensis Madrid Brome *Bromus rubens Red Brome Chloris truncata Windmill Grass *Critesion hystrix Mediterranean Barley-grass *Critesion marinum Sea Barley-grass *Critesion murinum subsp. glaucum Northern Barley-grass Cynodon dactylon var. dactylon Couch Dichelachne crinita Long-hair Plume-grass Distichlis distichophylla Australian Salt-grass *Ehrharta calycina Perennial Veldt-grass Elymus scaber var. scaber Common Wheat-grass Eragrostis dielsii Mallee Love-grass Eragrostis infecunda Southern Cane-grass *Hordeum vulgare subsp. distichon Two-rowed Barley *Lamarckia aurea Golden-top *Lolium perenne var. perenne Perennial Rye-grass *Lolium rigidum Wimmera Rye-grass *Molineriella minuta Small Hair-grass Neurachne alopecuroidea Fox-tail Mulga-grass *Panicum effusum Hairy Panic *Parapholis incurva Coast Barb-grass


!PPENDIX7YPERFELD6ASCULAR0LANT,ISTs *Pentaschistis airoides subsp. airoides False Hair-grass *Phalaris paradoxa Paradoxical Canary-grass *Poa annua Annual Meadow-grass *Poa bulbosa var. bulbosa Bulbous Meadow-grass Poa drummondiana (r) Knotted Poa Poa fordeana Forde Poa *Poa infirma Early Meadow-grass Poa lowanensis (Rr) (Mallee Tussock-grass) Poa sieberiana var. hirtella Tussock grass *Polypogon monspeliensis Annual Beard-grass Puccinellia stricta var. stricta Australian Saltmarsh-grass *Rostraria cristata Annual Catâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tail *Schismus barbatus Arabian Grass *Secale cereale subsp. cereale Rye Tragus australianus Small Burr-grass Triodia bunicola Porcupine-grass Triodia scariosa Porcupine-grass *Triticum aestivum Wheat *Vulpia bromoides Squirrel-tail Fescue *Vulpia ciliata Fringed Fescue *Vulpia muralis Wall Fescue *Vulpia myuros forma myuros Ratâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s-tail Fescue Restionaceae Hypolaena fastigiata Lepidobolus drapetocoleus

Tassel Rope-rush Scale Shedder

Xanthorrhoeaceae Lomandra collina Pale Mat-rush Lomandra effusa Scented Mat-rush Lomandra juncea Desert Mat-rush Lomandra leucocephala subsp. robusta Woolly Mat-rush Lomandra micrantha subsp. micrantha Small-flowered Mat-rush

DICOTYLEDONS Aizoaceae Carpobrotus modestus Inland Pigface *Mesembryanthemum crystallinum Common Ice-plant *Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum Small Ice-plant Tetragonia moorei Annual Spinach Amaranthaceae Ptilotus exaltatus var. exaltatus Pink Mulla-mulla Ptilotus exaltatus var. semilanatus Lamb Tails Ptilotus seminudus Rabbit Tails Ptilotus spathulatus f. spathulatus Pussy Tails

Apiaceae Daucus glochidiatus Australian Carrot Hydrocotyle callicarpa Small Pennywort Hydrocotyle capillaris Slender Pennywort Hydrocotyle medicaginoides Trefoil Pennywort Hydrocotyle rugulosa Mallee Pennywort Trachymene cyanopetala Purple Trachymene Trachymene pilosa Dwarf Trachymene Asteraceae Actinobole uliginosum Flannel Cudweed Angianthus tomentosus Hairy Angianthus *Arctotheca calendula Capeweed Argentipallium blandowskianum Woolly Everlasting Argentipallium obtusifolium Blunt Everlasting *Aster subulatus Aster-weed Asteridea athrixioides Wirewort Blennospora drummondii Dwarf Beauty-heads Brachyscome chrysoglossa Yellow-tongue Daisy Brachyscome ciliaris Variable Daisy Brachyscome debilis Downy Daisy Brachyscome exilis (r) Finger-leaved Daisy Brachyscome goniocarpa Dwarf Daisy Brachyscome lineariloba Hard-headed Daisy Brachyscome perpusilla Tiny Daisy Bracteantha bracteata Golden Everlasting Calotis erinacea Tangled Burr-daisy Calotis hispidula Hairy Burr-daisy *Carduus pycnocephalus Slender Thistle *Carduus tenuiflorus Winged Slender Thistle *Carthamus lanatus Saffron Thistle Cassinia uncata Sticky Cassinia *Centaurea melitensis Malta Thistle Centipeda crateriformis subsp. compacta Claypan Sneezeweed Centipeda thespidioides (r) Desert Sneezeweed *Chondrilla juncea Skeleton Weed Chrysocephalum sp. 1 (apiculatum) Common Everlasting Chrysocephalum baxteri Fringed Everlasting Chrysocephalum semipapposum Clustered Everlasting Chthonocephalus pseudevax Ground-heads *Cirsium vulgare Spear Thistle *Conyza bonariensis Flaxleaf Fleabane Cotula australis Common Cotula Craspedia haplorrhiza (Billy-buttons) *Dittrichia graveolens Stinkwort Eclipta platyglossa Yellow Twin-heads Elachanthus pusillus Small Elacanth Euchiton sphaericus Star Cudweed Gnephosis tenuissima (Dwarf Cup-flower)


s!PPENDIX7YPERFELD6ASCULAR0LANT,IST *Hedypnois cretica Cretan Hedypnois Helichrysum leucopsideum Satin Everlasting *Helminthotheca echioides Ox-tongue Hyalosperma demissum Moss Sunray Hyalosperma glutinosum subsp. glutinosum (Dwarf Sunray) Hyalosperma semisterile (Orange Sunray) *Hypochoeris glabra Smooth Cat’s ear *Hypochoeris radicata Cat’s ear Isoetopsis graminifolia Grass Cushion *Lactuca serriola Prickly Lettuce Leptorhynchos tetrachaetus Beauty Buttons Leptorhynchos waitzia Button Immortelle Microseris lanceolata Yam Daisy Millotia macrocarpa (r) Large-fruited Millotia Millotia muelleri Common Bow-flower Millotia myosotidifolia Broad-leaf Millotia Millotia perpusilla Tiny Bow-flower Millotia tenuifolia var. tenuifolia Soft Millotia Minuria leptophylla Minnie Daisy Myriocephalus rhizocephalus Woolly-heads Olearia ciliata Fringed Daisy-bush Olearia decurrens Daisy-bush ?Olearia floribunda (at Broken Bucket Reserve) Heath Daisy-bush Olearia lanuginosa Woolly Daisy-bush Olearia lepidophylla Club-moss Daisy-bush ?Olearia minor (at Broken Bucket Reserve) Daisy-bush Olearia passerinoides Shiny Daisy-bush Olearia pimeleoides Pimelea Daisy-bush Olearia rudis Azure Daisy-bush *Onopordum acaulon Stemless Onopordum *Osteospermum clandestinum Tripteris Ozothamnus decurrens Ridged Everlasting Ozothamnus pholidotus Scaly Everlasting Ozothamnus retusus Rough Everlasting *Picnomon acarna Soldier Thistle Podolepis canescens (r) Grey Podolepis Podolepis capillaris Wiry Podolepis Podolepis jaceoides Showy Podolepis Podolepis rugata var. rugata Pleated Podolepis Podolepis tepperi Delicate Podolepis Podotheca angustifolia Sticky Long-heads (Stiff Cup flower) Pogonolepis muelleriana Polycalymma stuartii Poached-eggs Daisy Pseudognaphalium luteoalbum Jersey Cudweed *Reichardia tingitana False Sow-thistle Rhodanthe corymbiflora Paper Sunray Rhodanthe laevis Smooth Sunray Rhodanthe moschata Musk Sunray Rhodanthe pygmaea Pygmy Sunray

Rhodanthe stuartiana Flowery Sunray Rhodanthe tietkensii (Sand Sunray) *Scorzonera laciniata var. calcitrapifolia Scorzonera Senecio glossanthus (Slender Groundsel) Senecio gregorii (r) (Fleshy Groundsel) Senecio hispidulus var. dissectus Rough Fireweed Senecio magnificus Tall Yellow-top Senecio picridioides Senecio pinnatifolius (vars.) Variable Groundsel Senecio quadridentatus Cottony Fireweed Senecio runcinifolius Tall Groundsel Senecio tenuiflorus (Slender Fireweed) *Silybum marianum Variegated Thistle *Soliva stolonifera (Carpet Burrweed) *Sonchus asper subsp. glaucescens Rough Sow-thistle *Sonchus oleraceus Sow-thistle Stuartina hamata Hooked Cudweed Triptilodiscus pygmaeus Common Sunray *Vellereophyton dealbatum White Cudweed Vittadinia blackii (v) Western New-Holland-daisy Vittadinia cervicularis Annual New-Holland-daisy Vittadinia condyloides (r) Club-hair New-Holland-daisy Vittadinia cuneata var. cuneata Fuzzy New-Holland-daisy Vittadinia dissecta var. hirta Dissected New-Holland-daisy Vittadinia gracilis Woolly New-Holland-daisy Vittadinia megacephala (v) Giant New-Holland-daisy Waitzia acuminata var. acuminata Orange Immortelle *Xanthium spinosum Bathurst Burr Boraginaceae *Amsinckia calycina Hairy Fiddle-neck *Buglossoides arvensis Sheepweed Cynoglossum australe Austral Hound’s-tongue Cynoglossum suaveolens Sweet Hound’s-tongue *Echium plantagineum Paterson’s Curse Halgania andromedifolia Smooth Halgania Halgania cyanea Rough Halgania *Heliotropium curassavicum Smooth Heliotrope *Heliotropium europaeum Common Heliotrope *Heliotropium supinum Creeping Heliotrope *Neatostema apulum Hairy Sheepweed Omphalolappula concava Burr Stickseed Plagiobothrys elachanthus Hairy Forget-me-not Plagiobothrys plurisepalus White Rochelia


!PPENDIX7YPERFELD6ASCULAR0LANT,ISTs Brassicaceae *Alyssum linifolium Flax-leaf Alyssum *Brassica tournefortii Mediterranean Turnip *Capsella bursa-pastoris Shepherd’s Purse *Coronopus didymus Lesser Swine-cress Geococcus pusillus Earth Cress Harmsiodoxa blennodioides May Smocks Harmsiodoxa brevipes var. brevipes Short Cress *Hymenolobus procumbens Oval Purse *Lepidium africanum Common Peppercress Lepidium fasciculatum (k) Bundled Peppercress Lepidium monoplocoides (Ee) Winged Peppercress Lepidium papillosum Warty Peppercress Menkea australis Fairy Spectacles Pachymitus cardaminoides Sand Cress Rapistrum rugosum Giant Mustard *Sisymbrium irio London Rocket *Sisymbrium orientale Indian Hedge-mustard Stenopetalum lineare Narrow Thread-petal Stenopetalum sphaerocarpum Pea Thread-petal Caesalpiniaceae Senna artemisioides (several sspp.)Desert Cassia Campanulaceae Lobelia gibbosa var. gibbosa Tall Lobelia ?Wahlenbergia communis Tufted Bluebell Wahlenbergia fluminalis River Bluebell Wahlenbergia gracilenta Hairy Annual-bluebell Wahlenbergia graniticola Tufted Bluebell Wahlenbergia luteola (Yellowish Bluebell) Wahlenbergia multicaulis Many-stemmed Bluebell Wahlenbergia stricta Tall Bluebell Wahlenbergia tumidifructa Mallee Annual Bluebell Caryophyllaceae *Cerastium diffusum Sea Mouse-ear Chickweed *Cerastium glomeratum Sticky Mouse-ear Chickweed *Gypsophila tubulosa Chalkwort *Herniaria cinerea Hairy Rupture-wort *Petrorhagia velutina Velvet Pink *Polycarpon tetraphyllum Four-leaved Allseed *Sagina apetala Annual Pearlwort *Sagina procumbens Spreading Pearlwort Cushion Knawel Scleranthus minusculus *Silene longicaulis Portuguese Catchfly *Silene nocturna Mediterranean Catchfly *Spergularia bocconii Bocconi’s Sand-spurrey *Spergularia diandra Lesser Sand-spurrey Spergularia marina Lesser Sea-spurrey

*Spergularia rubra Spergularia sp. 3 *Stellaria media Stellaria multiflora *Vaccaria hispanica

Red Sand-spurrey Chickweed Rayless Starwort Cow Soapwort

Casuarinaceae Allocasuarina luehmannii Buloke Allocasuarina mackliniana subsp. xerophila (k) Western Sheoak Allocasuarina muelleriana subsp. muelleriana Slaty Sheoak Allocasuarina pusilla Dwarf Sheoak Allocasuarina verticillata Drooping Sheoak Chenopodiaceae Atriplex australasica (k) Native Orache Atriplex leptocarpa (Slender-fruit Saltbush) *Atriplex prostrata Orache Atriplex pseudocampanulata (r) Fan Saltbush Atriplex pumilio Mat Saltbush Atriplex semibaccata Berry Saltbush Atriplex suberecta Sprawling Saltbush Chenopodium cristatum Crested Goosefoot Chenopodium desertorum subsp. desertorum (k) Frosted Goosefoot Chenopodium desertorum subsp. microphyllum Small-leaf Goosefoot Chenopodium glaucum Glaucous Goosefoot *Chenopodium murale Sowbane Chenopodium pumilio Clammy Goosefoot Einadia nutans subsp. nutans Nodding Saltbush Enchylaena tomentosa var. tomentosa Ruby Saltbush Halosarcia pergranulata subsp. pergranulata Grey Glasswort Maireana brevifolia Short-leaf Bluebush Maireana enchylaenoides Wingless Bluebush Maireana excavata Bottle Bluebush Maireana pentagona Hairy Bluebush Maireana pentatropis Erect Bluebush Maireana rohrlachii (R) Rohrlach’s Bluebush Maireana trichoptera Bluebush Osteocarpum acropterum var. deminutum Babbagia Rhagodia crassifolia Fleshy Saltbush Rhagodia spinescens Hedge Saltbush *Salsola tragus subsp. tragus Prickly Saltwort (Roly-poly) Scleroblitum atriplicinum Starry Goosefoot Sclerolaena diacantha (Two-spined Bassia) Sclerolaena muricata var. villosa Black Roly-poly Sclerolaena parviflora (Small-flower Bassia)


s!PPENDIX7YPERFELD6ASCULAR0LANT,IST Stelligera endecaspinis Convolvulaceae Convolvulus crispifolius Convolvulus erubescens Cressa australis Wilsonia rotundifolia

Star Bluebush Silver Bindweed Pink Bindweed Rosinweed Round-leaf Wilsonia

Crassulaceae Crassula closiana Stalked Crassula Crassula colorata (vars.) Dense Crassula Crassula decumbens var. decumbens Spreading Crassula Crassula peduncularis Purple Crassula Crassula sieberiana Sieber Crassula Cucurbitaceae *Citrullus lanatus Camel Melon (Wild Melon) *Cucumis myriocarpus Paddy Melon Dilleniaceae Hibbertia riparia (Erect Guinea-flower) Hibbertia sericea var. scabrifolia Guinea-flower Hibbertia virgata (Twiggy Guinea-flower) Droseraceae Drosera glanduligera Scarlet Sundew Drosera macrantha Climbing Sundew Drosera peltata subsp. peltata Pale Sundew Drosera whittakeri subsp. aberrans Scented Sundew Elatinaceae Elatine gratioloides

Waterwort

Epacridaceae Acrotriche affinis Ridged Ground-berry Astroloma conostephioides Flame Heath Astroloma humifusum Cranberry Heath Brachyloma daphnoides Daphne Heath Brachyloma ericoides subsp. ericoides Brush Heath Leucopogon clelandii Cleland’s Beard-heath Leucopogon cordifolius (Heart-leaf Beard-heath) Leucopogon costatus (r) Twiggy Beard-heath Leucopogon rufus (Ruddy Beard-heath) Leucopogon woodsii (r) (Nodding Beard-heath) ?Styphelia exarrhena (r) (30 km W Rainbow) Desert Styphelia Euphorbiaceae Adriana tomentosa var. hookeri Mallee Bitter-bush Bertya mitchellii Mitchell Bertya Beyeria lechenaultii Pale Turpentine-bush Beyeria opaca Dark Turpentine-bush Chamaesyce drummondii Flat Spurge

Poranthera microphylla

Small Poranthera

Fabaceae Aotus subspinescens Mallee Aotus Bossiaea walkeri (e) Cactus Bossiaea Cullen pallidum Woolly Scurf-pea Cullen patens Scurf-pea Daviesia arenaria Sandhill Bitter-pea Daviesia brevifolia Leafless Bitter-pea Dillwynia hispida Red Parrot-pea Dillwynia sericea Showy Parrot-pea ?Dillwynia uncinata (r) (Chinamans Flat area) Silky Parrot-pea Eutaxia diffusa Spreading Eutaxia Eutaxia microphylla Common Eutaxia Glycine clandestina Twining Glycine Glycyrrhiza acanthocarpa Southern Liquorice Kennedia prostrata Running Postman Lotus cruentus Red Bird’s-foot Trefoil *Medicago mimima Little Medic *Medicago polymorpha Burr Medic *Medicago truncatula Barrel Medic *Melilotus albus Bokhara Clover *Melilotus indicus Sweet Melilot Phyllota pleurandroides Heathy Phyllota Pultenaea densifolia (r) (Dense Bush-pea) Pultenaea prostrata (Silky Bush-pea) Pultenaea tenuifolia Bush-pea Templetonia sulcata Flat Templetonia *Trifolium arvense var. arvense Hare’s-foot Clover *Trifolium campestre var. campestre Hop Clover *Trifolium glomeratum Clustered Clover *Trifolium suffocatum Suffocated Clover *Trifolium tomentosum var. tomentosum Woolly Clover Trigonella suavissima (r) Sweet Fenugreek *Vicia sativa subsp. sativa Common Vetch Fumariaceae *Fumaria bastardii

Bastard’s Fumitory

Gentianaceae *Centaurium erythraea *Centaurium tenuiflorum Centaurium spicatum Sebaea ovata

Common Centaury Slender Centaury Spiked Centaury Yellow Sebaea

Geraniaceae *Erodium botrys *Erodium cicutarium Erodium crinitum Pelargonium australe

Big Heron’s-bill Common Heron’s-bill Blue Heron’s-bill Austral Stork’s-bill


!PPENDIX7YPERFELD6ASCULAR0LANT,ISTs Goodeniaceae Dampiera lanceolata var. lanceolata Grooved Dampiera Dampiera marifolia Velvet Dampiera Dampiera rosmarinifolia Rosemary Dampiera Goodenia benthamiana Small-leaf Goodenia Goodenia geniculata Bent Goodenia Goodenia pinnatifida Cut-leaf Goodenia Goodenia pusilliflora Small-flower Goodenia Goodenia robusta Woolly Goodenia Goodenia varia Sticky Goodenia Goodenia willisiana Sandhill Goodenia Scaevola aemula Fairy Fan-flower Velleia connata Cup Velleia Gyrostemonaceae Codonocarpus cotinifolius Gyrostemon australasicus

Bell-fruit Tree Wheel-fruit

Haloragaceae Glischrocaryon behrii Golden Pennants Gonocarpus tetragynus Common Raspwort Haloragis aspera Rough Raspwort Haloragis odontocarpa forma pterocarpa Toothed Raspwort Myriophyllum porcatum (Vv) Ridged Water-milfoil Myriophyllum verrucosum Red Water-milfoil Lamiaceae Ajuga australis Austral Bugle *Lamium amplexicaule var. amplexicaule Dead Nettle *Marrubium vulgare Horehound Prostanthera aspalathoides Scarlet Mint-bush Prostanthera serpyllifolia subsp. microphylla Small-leaf Mint-bush *Salvia verbenaca var. verbenaca Wild Sage *Salvia verbenaca var. vernalis Wild Sage Teucrium racemosum Grey Germander Teucrium sessiliflorum (k) Camel Bush Westringia eremicola Slender Westringia Westringia rigida Stiff Westringia Lauraceae Cassytha glabella Cassytha melantha Cassytha pubescens Linaceae Linum marginale Loganiaceae Logania linifolia Logania nuda

Slender Dodder-laurel Coarse Dodder-laurel Downy Dodder-laurel Native Flax Flax-leaf Logania Bare Logania

Loranthaceae Amyema linophylla subsp. orientale (v) Buloke Mistletoe Amyema miquelii Box Mistletoe Amyema miraculosa subsp. boormanii Fleshy Mistletoe Lysiana exocarpi Harlequin Mistletoe Malvaceae Lawrencia glomerata Lawrencia squamata Malva australiana *Malva parviflora Sida corrugata

Clustered Lawrencia Thorny Lawrencia Australian Hollyhock Small-flowered Mallow Variable Sida

Mimosaceae Acacia acinacea Gold-dust Wattle Acacia brachybotrya Grey Mulga Acacia cupularis Cup Wattle Acacia euthycarpa (syn. A. calamifolia) Wallowa Acacia farinosa Mealy Wattle Acacia hakeoides Hakea Wattle Acacia halliana Halls Wattle Acacia ligulata Small Cooba Acacia lineata (r) Streaked Wattle Acacia microcarpa Manna Wattle Acacia montana Mallee Wattle Acacia oswaldii Umbrella Wattle Acacia pycnantha Golden Wattle Acacia rigens Nealie Acacia sclerophylla var. sclerophylla Hard-leaf Wattle Acacia spinescens Spiny Wattle Acacia trineura (v) Three-nerved Wattle Myoporaceae Eremophila glabra (2 subspp.) Common Emu-bush Eremophila longifolia Berrigan Myoporum parvifolium Creeping Myoporum Myoporum platycarpum (2 subspp.) Sugarwood Myrtaceae Babingtonia behrii (Broom Baeckea) Baeckea crassifolia Desert Baeckea Baeckea ericaea Mat Baeckea Calytrix alpestris Snow-myrtle Calytrix tetragona Common Fringe-myrtle Eucalyptus behriana Bull Mallee Eucalyptus calycogona Red Mallee Eucalyptus camaldulensis River Red-gum Eucalyptus dumosa Dumosa Mallee Eucalyptus gracilis Yorrel Eucalyptus incrassata (syn. costata)Yellow Mallee Eucalyptus largiflorens Black Box


s!PPENDIX7YPERFELD6ASCULAR0LANT,IST Eucalyptus leptophylla Slender-leaf Mallee Eucalyptus leucoxylon subsp. stephaniae Yellow Gum Eucalyptus melliodora Yellow Box Eucalyptus oleosa subsp. oleosa Oil Mallee Eucalyptus phenax Green-leaf Mallee Eucalyptus porosa Black Mallee-box Eucalyptus socialis Grey Mallee Eucalyptus wimmerensis (r) Wimmera Mallee-box Kunzea pomifera Muntries Leptospermum coriaceum Mallee Tea-tree Leptospermum myrsinoides Heath Tea-tree Melaleuca acuminata subsp. acuminata (Creamy Honey-myrtle) Melaleuca brevifolia (Mallee Honey-myrtle) Melaleuca lanceolata Moonah Melaleuca uncinata Broombush Micromyrtus ciliata Heath-myrtle Onagraceae Epilobium hirtigerum Hairy Willow-herb *Oenothora stricta Common Evening-primrose Orobanchaceae *Orobanche minor Oxalidaceae Oxalis perennans Papaveraceae *Papaver aculeatum *Papaver hybridum *Papaver somniferum

Lesser Broomrape (Creeping Wood-sorrel) (Bristle Poppy) (Rough Poppy) (Opium Poppy)

Pittosporaceae Billardiera cymosa Sweet Apple-berry Bursaria spinosa subsp. spinosa Sweet Bursaria Pittosporum angustifolium (phylliraeoides) Weeping Pittosporum Plantaginaceae Plantago cunninghamii Plantago drummondii Plantago hispida *Plantago scabra Plantago turrifera

Clay Plantain Dark Plantain Hairy Plantain Sand Plantain Crowned Plantain

Polygalaceae Comesperma calymega

Blue-spike Milkwort

Polygonaceae *Emex australis Three-cornered Jack Muehlenbeckia diclina subsp. diclina Twiggy Lignum

Muehlenbeckia florulenta Tangled Lignum Muehlenbeckia horrida subsp. horrida (k) Spiny Lignum *Polygonum aviculare Hogweed Rumex brownii Slender Dock *Rumex crispus Curled Dock Rumex dumosus Wiry Dock Rumex stennoglottis (k) (Tongue Dock) Rumex tenax Narrow-leaf Dock Portulacaceae Calandrinia calyptrata Calandrinia corrigioloides Calandrinia eremaea Calandrinia granulifera Primulaceae *Anagallis arvensis

Pink Purslane Strap Purslane Small Purslane Pigmy Purslane Pimpernel

Proteaceae Adenanthos terminalis Gland Flower Banksia marginata Silver Banksia Banksia ornata Desert Banksia Conospermum patens Slender Smoke-bush Grevillea huegelii Comb Grevillea Grevillea ilicifolia Holly Grevillea Grevillea lavandulacea Lavender Grevillea Grevillea pterosperma Desert Grevillea Hakea mitchellii (syn. muelleriana)Desert Hakea Hakea tephrosperma Hooked Needlewood Ranunculaceae Clematis microphylla var. microphylla Small-leaved Clematis Myosurus mimimus var. australis Mousetail Ranunculus pentandrus var. platycarpus Inland Buttercup Ranunculus pumilio (2 vars.) Fan-leaf Buttercup Ranunculus sessiliflorus (2 vars.) Annual Buttercup Resedaceae *Reseda luteola Rhamnaceae Cryptandra tomentosa (2 vars.) Prickly Cryptandra Spyridium eriocephalum var. eriocephalum Heath Spyridium Spyridium subochreatum var. subochreatum Velvet Spryidium Stenanthemum leucophractum (White Cryptandra) Rosaceae Aphanes australiana

Australian Piert


!PPENDIX7YPERFELD6ASCULAR0LANT,ISTs Rubiaceae Asperula conferta *Galium aparine Galium gaudichaudii *Galium murale Opercularia scabrida Opercularia turpis

Common Woodruff Cleavers Rough Bedstraw Small Goosegrass Rough Stinkweed Twiggy Stinkweed

Rutaceae Boronia coerulescens subsp. coerulescens Blue Boronia Correa reflexa var. scabridula Common Correa Phebalium bullatum Silvery Phebalium (Desert Phebalium) Philotheca angustifolia subsp. angustifolia Narrow-leaf Waxflower Philotheca pungens Prickly Wax-flower Santalaceae Choretrum glomeratum var. glomeratum Common Sour-bush Choretrum glomeratum var. chrysanthum Common Sour-bush Exocarpos aphyllus Leafless Ballart Exocarpos sparteus Broom Ballart Santalum acuminatum Sweet Quandong Santalum murrayanum Bitter Quandong Sapindaceae Alectryon oleifolius subsp. canescens Cattle Bush Dodonaea bursariifolia Small Hop-bush Dodonaea viscosa (several subspp.) Sticky Hop-bush (Akeake) Scrophulariaceae Euphrasia collina subsp. tetragona Purple Eyebright Glossostigma elatinoides Small Mud-mat Limosella australis Austral Mudwort Limosella curdieana Large Mudwort *Parentucellia latifolia Red Bartsia Stemodia florulenta Bluerod *Veronica peregrina Wandering Speedwell *Zaluzianskya divaricata Spreading Night-phlox

Solanaceae Cyphanthera myosotidea Small-leaf Ray-flower *Lycium ferocissimum African Boxthorn *Nicotiana glauca Tree Tobacco Nicotiana velutina Velvet Tobacco *Solanum nigrum Black Nightshade Solanum simile Oondoroo Stackhousiaceae Stackhousia annua Slender Stackhousia Stackhousia aspericocca Stackhousia sp. aff. monogyna Sterculiaceae Lasiopetalum baueri Lasiopetalum behrii Stylidiaceae Levenhookia dubia

Slender Velvet-bush Pink Velvet-bush Hairy Style-wort

Thymelaeaceae Pimelea flava subsp. dichotoma Diosma Rice-flower Pimelea glauca Smooth Rice-flower Pimelea microcephala subsp. microcephala Mallee Rice-flower Pimelea octophylla Woolly Rice-flower Pimelea phylicoides Heath Rice-flower Pimelea stricta Gaunt Rice-flower Urticaceae Parietaria debilis *Urtica urens

Shade Pellitory Small Nettle

Violaceae Hybanthus floribundus subsp. floribundus Shrub Violet Zygophyllaceae Tribulus terrestris Zygophyllum ammophilum Zygophyllum apiculatum Zygophyllum glaucum

Caltrop Sand Twinleaf Pointed Twinleaf Pale Twinleaf




Appendix 6: Dominant and Significant ;Yees & Shrubs Described here are most of the trees and mallees in Wyperfeld National Park, and some shrubs which are common and conspicuous. Particularly significant are the tree and shrub species used to define the main vegetation types in the park. (All illustrations by Leon Costermans and taken from Native Trees and Shrubs of South-eastern Australia.)

TREES and MALLEES River Red-gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) Tree with smooth greyish bark and red wood. Occurs along the Outlet Creek flood plain (around â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;lakesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;), usually at a slightly lower level than Black Box. Budcaps contract to sharp point; fruits have projecting valves. Provides habitat for many creatures, especially nesting hollows. (Photo page 70)

Black Box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) Tree with dark rough persistent bark and greyishgreen leaves. Common on grey clayey soils along the Outlet Creek flood plain, usually at a slightly higher level than Red-gum, but clearly delineated from mallee. Buds and fruits usually numerous, clusters in compound structures. (Photo page 70)

Yellow Gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon subsp. stephaniae) Tree with smooth bark on most of trunk, grey or mottled colours (often pale yellowish). Buds and fruits in clusters of up to 3; flowers creamy or pink. Only occasional natural occurrences in Wyperfeld, in swales between dunes.

Bull Mallee (Eucalyptus behriana) Mallee with distinctively broad shiny-green leaves. Small buds and fruits are numerous in compound clusters. Occasional in the park in damper areas (e.g. at Frog Lagoon).

Grey Mallee (Eucalyptus socialis) Generally a taller mallee, with dull greyish broad leaves; occurs mainly on flatter areas of reddish loamy-calcareous sands. Bud-caps extended to a point; valves of fruit have fragile needle-like extensions.

!LLEUCALYPTLEAVESABOUTONE THIRDSIZE BUDSANDFRUITSCLOSETOACTUALSIZE


!PPENDIX$OMINANTAND3IGNIFICANT4REESAND3HRUBSs Oil Mallee (Eucalyptus oleosa) Usually a fairly tall mallee; small populations in the east of the park where limestone is close to the surface. Distinguished from Grey Mallee by its glossy green leaves, and its bud-caps which are rounded (making buds acorn-like); valves of fruit have fragile needle-like extensions.

Red Mallee (Eucalyptus calycogona) Generally a taller mallee, occurring mainly on brown loams of flatter areas, in swales, and with Broombush on rock outcrops. Leaves shiny green. Buds and fruits with about four ridges making them more or less four-sided.

Yorrel (Eucalyptus gracilis) Mallee with fairly narrow shiny-green leaves; a few specimens in the eastern section, and some along the Eastern Lookout Nature Drive. Buds slender with small rounded caps; fruits slender barrelshaped with thin walls.

Dumosa Mallee (Eucalyptus dumosa) Common in various mallee types, especially on loamy sands. Leaves fairly large, dull or glossy green. Buds and fruits smaller than in Yellow Mallee, fruits more cup-shaped.

Yellow Mallee (Eucalyptus incrassata, syn. E. costata) A very common smaller mallee, with large, leathery, shiny-green leaves. Grows mainly on deeper pale sands of dunes. Buds smooth to ribbed, conical cap with a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;beakâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;; fruit fairly large and thick-walled. (Photo page 105)

Slender-leaf Mallee (Eucalyptus leptophylla) Common smaller mallee occurring in various mallee types. Leaves small, narrow, shiny green; branchlets and buds seasonally vivid red. Buds and fruits small.


s!PPENDIX$OMINANTAND3IGNIFICANT4REESAND3HRUBS Slender Cypress-pine (Callitris gracilis subsp. murrayensis; formerly C. preissii) Single-trunked dark-green tree to 20 m high (not necessarily ‘slender’). Mostly on sandy rises, but also on heavier loams, associating particularly with Buloke. Foliage cypress-like. ‘Cones’ with six segments, usually with scattered warts. Killed by fire. (Photo page 70)

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Buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii) A rough-barked tree with ascending dull-green branchlets instead of leaves. In open woodlands along the Outlet Creek system, mainly on heavier loams, commonly with Slender Cypress-pine. Female plants have flattened ‘cones’ which do not persist on the tree and are usually found under it. (Photo page 70)

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Hooked Needlewood (Hakea tephrosperma) Open small tree, scattered along Outlet Creek floodplain system, with Slender Cypress-pine and Buloke (e.g. along entrance road). Foliage needle-like with curved tips. Flowers (Sept–Oct) small, white, ‘spidery’. Fruit woody, wedge-pointed, splitting into two segments (especially after fire). (Photo page 122)

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Sugarwood (Myoporum platycarpum) Tree to 10 m with deeply fissured bark. Occasional in pine–buloke woodlands in the north (Pine Plains area). Leaves dark-green, smooth, on pendulous branchlets, margins with tiny teeth towards tip. Flowers (Aug–Dec) white, five-lobed.

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Cattle Bush (Alectryon oleifolius subsp. canescens) Small tree with greyish spreading crown. Occurs on heavier loams in the pine–buloke woodland of the north. Leaves to 12 cm long, rather stiff, greyish with fine hairs. Flowers (Sept–Jan) small, in short branched clusters. Fruit 2-lobed and hard.

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Weeping Pittosporum (P. angustifolium syn. P. phylliraeoides) Shrub or small graceful tree. Often in clumps in woodlands or mallee on sandy loams. Leaves alternate, flat, smooth, green. Flowers (Aug–Nov) pale yellow. Ovoid fruit capsules become orange, opening to expose sticky red seeds. (Photo page 122)

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!PPENDIX$OMINANTAND3IGNIFICANT4REESAND3HRUBSs Moonah (Melaleuca lanceolata) A dull dark-green multistemmed small tree with twisting branches, in taller mallee on shallower calcareous sands and on the flood plain. Leaves less than 12 mm long, curving back. Flowers (Jan–March) creamy, in short soft ‘bottlebrushes’; fruit capsules in tight clusters around branchlets. (Photos page 42)

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SHRUBS Scrub Cypress-pine (Callitris verrucosa) Bushy green or grey-green large shrub (to 6 m), common in mallee scrub on pale sands. ‘Cones’ rounded, the six segments usually densely covered with small warts. (See page 54 for fire adaptation, and page 101 for photo.)

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Desert Banksia (Banksia ornata) Bushy shrub to 3 m tall, mainly in heathlands on pale sands. Leaves dark green above, pale green beneath, with regular teeth on margins. Inflorescence (March–June) large, creamy, ovoid; valves of fruiting cones require fire to open. Regenerates only from seed. (Photos pages 47, 55)

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Broom Baeckea (Babingtonia behrii) [formerly Baeckea behrii] Erect broom-like green shrub, common in various mallee formations on sands. Leaves opposite, less than 1 cm long, with a small hooked tip. Flowers (Oct–Dec) with 5 white petals, like tea-tree but smaller.

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Broombush (Melaleuca uncinata) A broom-like erect shrub, in mallee formations, especially on sandstone rises such as Milmed Rock and Rudds Rocks. Leaves to 5 cm long, needle-like with bent tips. Pale-yellow flowers (Oct–Dec) in globular clusters; fruit capsules fused into globular clusters.

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Mallee Tea-tree (Leptospermum coriaceum) A very common shrub with mallee, especially in heathlands on deeper pale sands. Leaves pale-green, flat, less than 15 mm long. Flowers (Sept–Nov) abundant with 5 rounded petals; small fruit capsules fall away. (Photo page 101)

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s!PPENDIX$OMINANTAND3IGNIFICANT4REESAND3HRUBS Heath Tea-tree (Leptospermum myrsinoides) Shrub in mallee-heath formations on pale sands. Leaves pale-green, less than 12 mm long, narrow and concave above. Flowers (Sept–Nov) abundant with 5 rounded petals, white or pinkish; small fruit capsules fall away.

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Common Fringe-myrtle (Calytrix tetragona) Rather bright green heathy shrub, common on sands (e.g. along entrance road to park, page 122). Leaves slender, fairly short (to 12 mm), usually crowded and ascending. Flowers (Sept–Nov) ‘starry’, in dense clusters, white to pink, maroon sepals with hair-like extensions. (Photo page 61)

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SEPAL EXTENSION

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Snow-myrtle (Calytrix alpestris) Open wiry shrub, in heathy mallee on sands. Leaves to 5 mm long, usually perpendicular to branchlets. Flowers (Sept–Nov) like C. tetragona, but generally whitish, fewer in clusters, and without hair-like extensions on sepals.

SEPALS

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Desert Hakea (Hakea mitchellii, syn. H. muelleriana) A needle-leaved shrub mainly in mallee-heath on deeper pale sands. Leaves very sharp, rigid, usually angular in section, to 7 cm long. Flowers (Oct–Dec) small, white, ‘spidery’. Fruit woody, smooth or with scattered warts, splitting into two segments.

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Slaty Sheoak (Allocasuarina muelleriana) A grey-green shrub, wiry branchlets acting as leaves. Mainly in mallee-heath on sands. Mostly separate male and female plants: male with stamens at ends of branchlets give plants a reddish colour; female plants bear cones. [Two other shrubby sheoak species also occur in mallee (A. mackliniana and A. pusilla); tree Drooping Sheoak is rare in Wyperfeld, north only.]

RIDGESON BRANCHLET

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Wallowa (Acacia euthycarpa, syn. A. calamifolia) Green or greyish rounded large shrub in mallee scrub (especially with Broombush), and in Yellow Gum woodlands. Foliage of slender flexible phyllodes with curved tips, to 11 cm long. Flowers (Aug–Oct) in small bright-yellow globules. Pods become curved, to 15 cm long.

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!PPENDIX$OMINANTAND3IGNIFICANT4REESAND3HRUBSs Small Cooba (Acacia ligulata) Large shrub mainly in mallee on deeper pale sands. Foliage of flat firm phyllodes, often tending erect, mid-green or bluish-green, to 10 cm long. Flowers (Aug–Oct) in bright- or orange-yellow globules in compound inflorescence. Pods become woody and break between seeds.

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Grey Mulga (Acacia brachybotrya) Rounded greyish shrub, common in various formations on loamy soils in the area (mallee and flood plain). Foliage of grey-green flat phyllodes to 3 cm long. Flowers (Sept–Oct) in bright-yellow globules on slender stalks. Pods almost straight, to 6 cm long.

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Nealie (Acacia rigens) Dense, rounded, greyish large shrub, mainly in mallee formations on sands. Foliage of needle-like phyllodes to 11 cm long, finely striate. Flowers (Aug–Oct) in profuse bright-golden globules on very short stalks at the base of phyllodes. Pods narrow, becoming twisted.

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Spiny Wattle (Acacia spinescens) A leafless, rigid, much-branching small shrub, in heathy mallee scrub on sands. Green branchlets coarsely streaked and mostly spine-tipped. Flowers (Aug–Oct) in small vivid golden-yellow globules along branchlets. Narrow pods become twisted.

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Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha) A loosely-branched shrub or small tree, occurring on Black Box flats. Foliage of green or grey-green leathery phyllodes. Flowers (around August) in conspicuous golden globules in compound inflorescence. Thin-walled pods remain almost straight.

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Gold-dust Wattle (Acacia acinacea) A small shrub growing on Black Box flats. This shrub is usually inconspicuous because its phyllodes (‘leaves’) are very small, but when in flower (July–October), the branches become beautiful arching sprays with abundant small golden globules. Pods small, becoming twisted.

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Appendix 7: >yperfeld =egetation ;ypes and Classes Two systems of vegetation classification are commonly used in Victoria: Broad Vegetation Types (BVTs) and Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs). Wyperfeld contains the following: Broad Vegetation Types (BVTs) (4) Mallee Mallee Heath Riverine Grassy Woodland Wimmera/Mallee Woodland

Area (ha) 148,370 180,630 *30,990 120 360,100

Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs) (23) Chenopod Woorinen Sands Mallee Lowan Sands Mallee Heath Sandplain Heath Tea-tree Scrub Loamy-Sand Mallee Scrub-Pine Woodland Broombush Mallee Lowan Sands Heathy Woodland Red-Swale Mallee Big Mallee Pine-Buloke Woodland Savannah Woodland/Savannah Mallee/Grassland Mosaic Drainage Line Grassy Woodland Riverine Grassy Forest Lake Bed Herbfield Drainage Line Grassy Forest/Lake Bed Herbfield Mosaic Drainage Line Grassy Forest/Riverine Grassy Forest Mosaic Grassland/Drainage Line Grassy Forest Mosaic Loamy-Sand Mallee/Scrub-Pine Woodland Mosaic Riverine Grassy Forest/Lake Bed Herbfield Mosaic Bare Rock/Ground No Tree Cover

Area (ha) 100 1,080 155,150 66,910 3,190 44,200 5,860 36,440 390 16,920 110 5,780 6,010 4,930 1,540 6,600 340 1,740 20 20 30 170 1,560 359,090

* The Wirrengren/Mt Jenkins area of the park is designated as cleared on the official BVT map but is considered to be vegetated on the EVC map. It is included above in BVT Riverine Grassy Woodland.




Appendix 8: >yperfeld Amphibian and Reptile List List by Peter Robertson (see note over). T means threatened in Victoria. (‘Threatened’ means ‘Critically Endangered’, ‘Endangered’, or ‘Vulnerable’.) Southern Frogs Southern Bullfrog (Limnodynastes dumerilii) Mallee Spadefoot Toad (Neobatrachus pictus) Common Spadefoot Toad (Neobatrachus sudelli) Geckoes Beaded Gecko (Diplodactylus damaeus) Southern Spiny-tailed Gecko (Diplodactylus intermedius) Wood Gecko (Diplodactylus vittatus) Thick-tailed Gecko (Nephrurus milii) Marbled Gecko (Phyllodactylus marmoratus) Legless Lizards Mallee Worm-Lizard (Aprasia aurita) Pink-nosed Worm-Lizard (Aprasia inaurita) Southern Legless Lizard (Delma australis) Butler’s Legless Lizard (Delma butleri) Burton’s Snake Lizard (Lialis burtonis) Common Scaly-foot (Pygopus lepidopodus) Dragons (Western) Nobbi Dragon (Amphibolurus nobbi coggeri) Norris’s Dragon (Amphibolurus norrisi) Mallee Dragon (Ctenophorus fordi) Painted Dragon (Ctenophorus pictus) Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) Lined Earless Dragon (Tympanocryptis lineata) T Goannas Sand Goanna (Varanus gouldii) Tree Goanna (Varanus varius) Rosenberg’s Goanna (Varanus rosenbergi) T Skinks Murray Striped Skink (Ctenotus brachyonyx) Brooks’s Striped Skink (Ctenotus brooksi iridis) Regal Striped Skink (Ctenotus regius) Large Striped Skink (Ctenotus robustus) Uber Striped Skink (Ctenotus uber orientalis) Desert Skink (Egernia inornata) Heath Skink (Egernia multiscutata) T


s!PPENDIX7YPERFELD!MPHIBIANAND2EPTILE,IST Bougainville’s Skink (Lerista bougainvillii) Spotted Burrowing Skink (Lerista punctatovittata) Grey’s Skink (Menetia greyii) Boulenger’s Skink (Morethia boulengeri) Obscure Skink (Morethia obscura) Western Blue-tongued Lizard (Tiliqua occipitalis) Stumpy-tailed Lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) Blind Snakes West Australian Blind Snake (Ramphotyphlops australis) Peters’s Blind Snake (Ramphotyphlops bituberculatus) Front-fanged Snakes Masters’s Snake (Drysdalia mastersii) Bardick (Echiopsis curta) Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis) Coral Snake (Simoselaps australis) Mitchell’s Short-tailed Snake (Suta nigriceps) Port Lincoln Snake (Suta spectabilis) T Bandy Bandy (Vermicella annulata)

The nomenclature for the scientific names of reptiles and amphibians generally follows that used by Cogger (2000), with a few exceptions for taxa about which there is some taxonomic debate. For these, we follow the names widely used in Victoria, as adopted by the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife (database of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment). Similarly, common names used here are those in common usage within Victoria, again as listed in the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife.




Appendix 9: >yperfeld )PYd 3PZ[ List compiled in May 2000 (see note at the end of the list). A E I M R W

Accidental. Presumed aviary escapee. Introduced species. Spring-summer migrants to the park. Rarely recorded; in some cases only one record for the park. Seen in the park only when significant water was present, particularly during the floods of 1956–57 and/or 1975–77. T Threatened in Victoria (i.e. ‘Critically Endangered’, ‘Endangered’, or ‘Vulnerable’).

Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata) T Stubble Quail (Coturnix pectoralis) Plumed Whistling-Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni) W Blue-billed Duck (Oxyura australis) WT Musk Duck (Biziura lobata) WT Freckled Duck (Stictonetta naevosa) WT Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) W Australian Shelduck (Tadorna tadornoides) Australian Wood Duck (Chenonetta jubata) Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa) Australasian Shoveler (Anas rhynchotis) WT Grey Teal (Anas gracilis) W Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea) W Pink-eared Duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) W Hardhead (Aythya australis) WT Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) W Hoary-headed Grebe (Poliocephalus poliocephalus) W Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) W Darter (Anhinga melanogaster) W Little Pied Cormorant (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos) W Pied Cormorant (Phalocrocorax varius) W Little Black Cormorant (Phalocrocorax sulcirostris) W Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) W Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) W White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica) W Great Egret (Ardea alba) WT Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia) WT Nankeen Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) WT Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) WT Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis molucca)


s!PPENDIX7YPERFELD"IRD,IST Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis) Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) WT Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes) W Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) Letter-winged Kite (Elanus scriptus) R Black Kite (Milvus migrans) Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) T Spotted Harrier (Circus assimilis) Swamp Harrier (Circus approximans) W Brown Goshawk (Accipiter fasciatus) Grey Goshawk (Accipiter novaehollandiae) R Collared Sparrowhawk (Accipiter cirrhocephalus) Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides) Brown Falcon (Falco berigora) Australian Hobby (Falco longipennis) Grey Falcon (Falco hypoleucos) RT Black Falcon (Falco subniger) RT Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides) Baillonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Crake (Porzana pusilla) W Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) W Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa) W Black-tailed Native-hen (Gallinula ventralis) Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) W Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis) RT Little Button-quail (Turnix velox) Painted Button-quail (Turnix varia) Plains-wanderer (Pedionomus torquatus) RT Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) W Marsh Sandpiper (Tringa stagnatilis) W Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) W Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis) W Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata) W Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) W Bush Stone-curlew (Burhinus grallarius) RT Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) W Banded Stilt (Cladorhynchus leucocephalus) W Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae) W Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus) Inland Dotterel (Charadrius australis) Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops) Red-kneed Dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus) Banded Lapwing (Vanellus tricolor)


!PPENDIX7YPERFELD"IRD,ISTs Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) Silver Gull (Larus novaehollandiae) AW Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica) WT White-fronted Tern (Sterna striata) A Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybridus) W Rock Dove (Columba livia) I Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera) Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata) T Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida) Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus) R Galah (Eolophus roseicapillus) Long-billed Corella (Cacatua tenuirostris) Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea) Major Mitchellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cockatoo (Cacatua leadbeateri) T Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) M Musk Lorikeet (Glossopsitta concinna) Purple-crowned Lorikeet (Glossopsitta porphyrocephala) Superb Parrot (Polytelis swainsonii) R Regent Parrot (Polytelis anthopeplus) T Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) Australian Mallee Ringneck (Barnardius zonarius) Blue Bonnet (Northiella haematogaster) Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) RT Red-rumped Parrot (Psephotus haematonotus) Mulga Parrot (Psephotus varius) Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) M Blue-winged Parrot (Neophema chrysostom) Elegant Parrot (Neophema elegans) Pallid Cuckoo (Cuculus pallidus) M Brush Cuckoo (Cacomantis variolosus) M Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Cacomantis flabelliformis) M Black-eared Cuckoo (Chalcites osculans) M Horsfieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bronze-Cuckoo (Chalcites basalis) M Shining Bronze-Cuckoo (Chalcites lucidus) M Barking Owl (Ninox connivens) RT Southern Boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae) Barn Owl (Tyto alba) Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) Australian Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles cristatus) Spotted Nightjar (Eurostopodus argus) White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caudacutus) M Fork-tailed Swift (Apus pacificus) MR Azure Kingfisher (Alcedo azurea) W


s!PPENDIX7YPERFELD"IRD,IST Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) Red-backed Kingfisher (Todiramphus pyrrhopygia) MT Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus) M Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) M White-browed Treecreeper (Climacteris affinis) T Brown Treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus) Splendid Fairy-wren (Malurus splendens) Variegated Fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti) White-winged Fairy-wren (Malurus leucopterus) Mallee Emu-wren (Stipiturus mallee) T Striated Grasswren (Amytornis striatus) Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus) Spotted Pardalote â&#x20AC;&#x201C; yellow-rumped form (p.p. P. xanthopyge) Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus) Shy Heathwren (Hylacola cauta) Rufus Fieldwren (Calamanthus campestris) Redthroat (Pyrrholaemus brunneus) T Weebill (Smicrornis brevirostris) Western Gerygone (Gerygone fusca) Inland Thornbill (Acanthiza apicalis) Chestnut-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza uropygialis) Buff-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza reguloides) Slender-billed Thornbill (Acanthiza iredalei) Yellow-rumped Thornbill (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa) Yellow Thornbill (Acanthiza nana) Southern Whiteface (Aphelocephala leucopsis) Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata) Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater (Acanthagenys rufogularis) Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata) Little Friarbird (Philemon citreogularis) R Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis) Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala) Yellow-throated Miner (Manorina flavigula) Black-eared Miner (Manorina melanotis) RT Singing Honeyeater (Lichenostomus virescens) White-eared Honeyeater (Lichenostomus leucotis) Yellow-tufted Honeyeater (Lichenostomus melanops) R Purple-gaped Honeyeater (Lichenostomus cratitius) Yellow-plumed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus ornatus) White-plumed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus penicillatus) Black-chinned Honeyeater (Melithreptus gularis) Brown-headed Honeyeater (Melithreptus brevirostris) White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus) New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) White-fronted Honeyeater (Phylidonyris albifrons)


!PPENDIX7YPERFELD"IRD,ISTs Tawny-crowned Honeyeater (Phylidonyris melanops) Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) Black Honeyeater (Certhionyx niger) R Crimson Chat (Epthianura tricolor) R Orange Chat (Epthianura aurifrons) R White-fronted Chat (Epthianura albifrons) Jacky Winter (Microeca fascinans) Scarlet Robin (Petroica multicolor) Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii) Flame Robin (Petroica phoenicea) Hooded Robin (Melanodryas cucullata) Southern Scrub-robin (Drymodes brunneopygia) White-browed Babbler (Pomatostomus superciliosus) Chestnut-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus ruficeps) Chestnut Quail-thrush (Cinclosoma castanotus) Varied Sittella (Daphoenositta chrysoptera) Crested Shrike-tit (Falcunculus frontatus) R Crested Bellbird (Oreoica gutturalis) Red-lored Whistler (Pachycephala rufogularis) T Gilbertâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Whistler (Pachycephala inornata) Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis) Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica) Satin Flycatcher (Myiagra cyanoleuca) Restless Flycatcher (Myiagra inquieta) Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) Grey Fantail (Rhipidura fuliginosa) Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina novaehollandiae) White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina papuensis) Ground Cuckoo-shrike (Coracina maxima) RT White-winged Triller (Lalage sueurii) M Olive-backed Oriole (Oriolus sagittatus) MR White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus) M Masked Woodswallow (Artamus personatus) M White-browed Woodswallow (Artamus superciliosus) M Black-faced Woodswallow (Artamus cinereus) M Dusky Woodswallow (Artamus cyanopterus) M Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus) Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) Grey Currawong (Strepera versicolor) Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) Little Raven (Corvus mellori) Little Crow (Corvus bennetti) R


s!PPENDIX7YPERFELD"IRD,IST White-winged Chough (Corcorax melanorhamphos) Spotted Bowerbird (Chlamydera maculata) RT Singing Bushlark (Mirafra javanica) Richardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pipit (Anthus novaeseelandiae) House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) I Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata) Double-barred Finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii) E Diamond Firetail (Stagonopleura guttata) European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) I Mistletoebird (Dicaeum hirundinaceum) White-backed Swallow (Cheramoeca leucosternus) M Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena) Tree Martin (Hirundo nigricans) Fairy Martin (Hirundo ariel) Rufous Songlark (Cincloramphus mathewsi) M Brown Songlark (Cincloramphus cruralis) M Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) I Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) I The primary source of information for this list was The Birds of Wyperfeld National Park, produced by the National Parks Service and the Wyperfeld National Park Committee of Management, April 1971, supplemented by various sources with the assistance of Don Saunders. Nomenclature follows Christidis L. & Boles W.E. (1994) The Taxonomy and Species of Birds of Australia and its Territories RAOU Monograph 2.




Appendix 10: >yperfeld Mammal List This list is derived from the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, May 2000. Species marked † are additional inclusions based on observations in Wyperfeld. Monotremes Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) Marsupials Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus) Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus) Black Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor) Mallee Ningaui (Ningaui yvonneae) Fat-tailed Dunnart (Sminthopsis crassicaudata)† Common Dunnart (Sminthopsis murina) Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) Western Pygmy-possum (Cercartetus concinnus) Little Pygmy-possum (Cercartetus lepidus) Native Placental Mammals Lesser Long-eared Bat (Nyctophilus geoffroyi) Gould’s Wattled Bat (Chalinolobus gouldii) Chocolate Wattled Bat (Chalinolobus morio) Inland Broad-nosed Bat (Scotorepens balstoni) Southern Forest Bat (Vespadelus regulus) Little Forest Bat (Vespadelus vulturnus) Southern Freetail Bat (Mormopterus sp. (long penis)) White-striped Freetail Bat (Tadarida australis)† Silky Mouse (Pseudomys apodemoides) Mitchell’s Hopping-mouse (Notomys mitchelli) Introduced Placental Mammals House Mouse (Mus musculus) European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) Brown Hare (Lepus capensis) Goat (feral) (Capra hircus) Dingo and dog (feral) (Canis familiaris) Red Fox (Canis vulpes) Cat (feral) (Felis catus)




Appendix 11: Place Names This list is largely derived from a list prepared by Ian O. Maroske who was a member of the park Committee of Management from 1959 to 1975 and Chairman of the Advisory Committee from 1975 until his death in 1994. Many of the names for park features were given by the Committee of Management. Information on names along the Murrayville Track has been supplied by John Deckert of Westprint Heritage Maps. Reference has also been made to Place Names of Victoria by Les Blake (Rigby, 1977), and to Karkarooc: a Mallee Shire History 1896–1995 by Phil Taylor (Yarriambiack Shire Council, 1996). Albacutya Early name from Aboriginal Ngelbakutya, place of bitter quandongs. In use by 1847. Map page 5. Archbold Track Sometimes misspelt ‘Archbald’ or ‘Archibald’. Runs south off Nine Mile Square Track. After John Archbold, an early settler whose grave is in private property near Leg of Mutton Lake. In 1849 Archbold established the Brimin Run, renamed Nypo in 1855. Map page 5. Arnold Springs On the Milmed Rock Track. Origin not known. Map page 138. Balak Clearing A small, naturally treeless area north-east of Lake Brambruk named after the Aboriginal tribes of the Lake Hindmarsh area. Map page 118. Beacon Hill The name by which Flagstaff Hill was sometimes known. See Flagstaff Hill. Bee Rack Hill In 1925 the Committee of Management granted a lease for bee-keeping to Ernest Ey for seven years. Ants interfered with the hives, so Ey suspended them by wires to which bundles of rabbit fur had been attached. The remains of the racks are on the south-west side of the Black Flat Track, just before Maiden Swamp. Map page 118. Big Billy Now a camping area on the Murrayville Track north of the park. A ‘billy’ is a container for boiling water, and this was the largest tank in the desert and held water like a billy. Big Billy was adopted as the Parish name. A large well put down by early settlers was replaced by a bore during the 1914 drought. See also Little Billy. Map page 138.


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Black Flat Named ‘White Lake’ by James Maxwell Clow (see p. 18), but in an article in the Victorian Naturalist in 1899, ‘Archie’ Campbell jun. says: ‘This place is called Black Flat after the very dark colour of its rich alluvial soil’. Map page 118. Booligal The large freehold enclave in the south of the park. Local identity Fred Saul lived here—sleeping every night for seven years in the box of his crop-sowing machine. Map page 5. Bracky Well Descriptive. Situated on freehold property at a small treeless lake bed, this reliable well containing brackish water suitable for sheep and cattle was on the bullock track from Pine Plains to the south. Map page 132. Broken Bucket Now a camping and picnic area on the Murrayville Track south of the park. Originally the location of an earthen water tank dug by early settlers, it became known as Broken Bucket because it did not hold water well and could be ‘full today and empty tomorrow’. Photo page 140; map page 138. Bullock Head Swamp Bullock Head Swamp, to the east of the entrance road, holds water after rain. It was one of the ‘milestones’ to be passed along the old bullock track and mail route. Ranger Rudd Campbell said that the skull displayed beside the entrance road in his time was that of ‘Magpie’, a rogue bull that ran wild for many years. Bullock Head dam is to the west of the entrance road. Photo page 122; map page 118. Callitris Plain (or Callitris Clearing) An extensive treeless plain on Moonah Track with Slender Cypress-pine (Callitris gracilis) around the edge. It was burnt in the 1985 fire. Map page 132. Cambacanya Clearing A clearing and old camp site in the east of the park on the Dattuck Track marked on Bolton’s feature survey map of 24 April 1915. Possibly from Combaconum, a town near Madras, India. Cambacanya Station is to the south of the park at Hopetoun West. Cambacanya is also the Parish name. Map page 100. Cameron Track The track along Outlet Creek between the Nine Mile Square Track and Lake Brambruk. Named after the Cameron brothers who had Wonga Lake Run from 1874 to 1880. Map page 118.


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Carters Tank On the freehold enclave east of Lake Agnes. Named after William Charles Carter, proprietor of Pine Plains Station 1887 to 1896. Map page 132. Casuarina Camp Ground In the north of the park on Meridian Track with two-wheel drive access from Patchewollock. Named after Buloke (Allocasuarina luehmannii, formerly Casuarina luehmannii). Map page 132. Chinaman Flat, Chinaman Well, Chinaman Well Track Chinaman Flat is in the south-west of the park at the junction of Pella Track and Chinaman Well track which runs north-west to the Murrayville Track. Chinaman Well is about six kilometres south of Chinaman Flat. Chinaman Flat is also the name of the Parish. Chinese passed through the locality en route from South Australia to the goldfields. Map page 138. Clow’s Ridge A tall sand dune north-east of Lake Brambruk with a long, high ridge visible from Eastern Lookout. After James Maxwell Clow. Map page 118. Conga Wonga The freehold enclave near the Pine Plains entrance to the park. Conga Wonga is also the name of the Parish. The meaning is not known. Map page 132. Congi Plain A large plain south-west of the Pine Plains entrance to the park. The meaning is not known. Map page 132. Copi Lake A treeless depression of copi soil south of Moonah Track. Copi is the local Aboriginal word for the white earthy gypsum which was used for a ceremonial white paint and to make the widow’s mourning cap. Map page 132. Cow or Kow Plains, Kow Track The name given in the 1860s to a station property on the Mallee Highway between Underbool and Murrayville. The name has no connection with cows; it is of Aboriginal origin meaning ‘white’, in reference to the prevalent earthy gypsum or ‘copi’, and hence the variation in spelling. It was later changed to Cowangie. The Murrayville Track was known as Kow Track in the pastoral days. Map page 4. Dattuck Track Runs east off the Eastern Lookout Nature Drive. Named after the Parish of Dattuck. Aboriginal for young tree. Map page 118.


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Devil’s Pools A claypan between Lake Brimin and Lake Brambruk passed on the walking track. The 1946 fire burnt most of the vegetation. Photo page 128; map page 118. Dingo Swamp A distinct treeless depression, near Callitris Plain about one kilometre east of Lost Lake, and surrounded by dense mallee. Arthur Mattingley refers to ‘a beautifully green oval space of about ten acres named by Mr McLennan “the Dingoes’ recreation reserve”’. Map page 132. Dip Plain South-west of Lake Agnes between Red Hill Tank and Emu Flat. The origin of the name is not known. Eagle Clearing South of Maroong Rise. It had at its centre a shattered cypress-pine in which there was the large nest of a Wedge-tailed Eagle. Map page 100. Eagle Track In the east of park between Moonah Track and North-South Track. It was bulldozed about 1964 along an old track from Maroong Rise to Eagle Clearing. Eastern Lookout Descriptive. This double-humped dune was denuded of vegetation by the 1946 fires. In 1964 the students of Ararat High School erected a fine timber lookout tower. This was replaced with the present steel tower by the Department of Conservation and Environment in 1991. Map page 118. Emu Clearing A small naturally treeless area north-east of Lake Brambruk. Map page 118. Flagstaff Hill The most prominent sand dune in the vicinity of Wonga Hut. In the early station days it is said that a bucket of burning wood was hoisted to the top of a pole on the hill to guide bullock teams, hence the occasional name, Beacon Hill. The valuer for the Shire of Lowan, St Elroy D’Alton visited Wonga Lake Homestead at Lake Brimin in 1879–80 and reported: ‘The homestead was the usual log hut type seated at the foot of a high sand hill, with a pole or flagstaff erected from the highest part’. The hill was burnt in 1946 and became seriously eroded by a combination of rabbits and visitors climbing up it, necessitating restricted access. One solitary Drooping Sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillata) grew here, possibly planted as there were no others in the then park, but there are some in the north near Casuarina camp. Map page 118.


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Freeway Track As a result of the huge fire in the Big Desert in 1959, the National Parks Authority and the Committee of Management decided to divide the then park into two as a fire protection measure. A north-south track was bulldozed through east of Outlet Creek in 1962. It was 20 feet wide so that two vehicles could pass and it became known as ‘The Freeway’. It is a ‘Management Vehicle Only’ track with very sandy stretches. Map page 118. Frew’s Plain Between the entrance road and Outlet Creek south of Nine Mile Square Track. Named by the Yaapeet and Rainbow people for James ‘Jim’ Frew, a bullock driver who unofficially rested his animals here in the off-season. Map page 118. Frog Lagoon A claypan south of the Dattuck Track many miles from permanent water in which frogs’ eggs were found in 1960. Map page 100. Ginap Track Constructed in the early 1960s, this was the first track in the eastern section of the park made specifically for fire access. A corruption of Ghynup, Aboriginal for Yellow-crested Cockatoo. Ginap is also the name of the Parish. Map page 118. Gunners Track A four-wheel drive sandy track linking Pine Plains with Underbool, passing through Gunners Bushland Reserve adjacent to the northern boundary of the park. The origin of the name is uncertain. Kenyon quotes Neumayer’s account of his trip in September 1861 to January 1862: ‘… passed the Wirrengren Plain, and arrived at Kenna [Gunner], where we camped for the night’. Map page 132. Hermie’s Garden Off the Milmed Rock Track, where Herman Strauss of ‘Booligal’ had his vegetable patch. Map page 138. Hopetoun Named after the Earl of Hopetoun, Governor of Victoria 1889–95 and Australia’s first Governor General 1901–03. Map page 5. Hopping Mouse Hill Along the Nine Mile Square Track. Named in 1961 by Harold Tarr, the chairman of the Committee of Management, who had seen tracks of Mitchell’s Hopping Mouse on the ridge. Map page 5. Horne Point A promontory on the west side of Wirrengren Plain. In his article ‘In the


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Heart of the Mallee’ in the Victorian Naturalist Vol. 26, October 1909, Arthur Mattingley describes Wirrengren Plain as ‘the dried-up bed of an inland sea, with its bays, inlets, promontories, &c., each named by the station hands for convenience in directing the movement of stock’. He refers to a locality known as Cape Horn. Map page 132. Kelley Lookout In the north of the park. After Michael Francis Kelley who with Owen ‘Hugh’ O’Sullivan purchased Pine Plains from the Poultons about 1916. Map page 132. Lake Agnes Adjacent to the Pine Plains homestead where Michael Francis Kelley, his wife Agnes and family lived from 1919 until 1922. The lake is named Agnes after Mrs Kelley. Map page 132. Lake Albacutya See Albacutya. Lake Brambruk Said by Kenyon in his Story of the Mallee ‘to have been named by Morgan, the bushranger, after a favourite steed. He was in the habit of traversing the Mallee by the Pine Plains – Kulkyne Track when one place or the other got too hot for him. He was eventually shot in 1865, at Peechelba …’ Massola says it is more likely the horse is named after the lake, and that the name comes from Aboriginal mythology in which two brothers Bram-bram-bult are involved. The dam in the bed of the lake was excavated in 1962. The lake filled in 1976 causing seedling regeneration of River Red-gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) along the high water mark. Photos page 84; map page 118. Lake Brimin Adjacent to the Wonga camp ground. Named by James Maxwell Clow from Aboriginal brim brim, spring of water. Alternative name for Nypo station. Shown on Lands Department Run Plan 344 dated 1854. Map page 118. Lake Hindmarsh Named by Edward John Eyre in 1838 after Sir John Hindmarsh, first Governor of the Colony of South Australia (1836–38). Map page 79. Lake Jerriwirrup (Cherrywhip – a corruption) In the Reference Area between Lake Brambruk and Wonga Lake. From Run Plan 344 dated 1854. Aboriginal for wart on a tree. Map page 118. Lake Plagianth South of Wonga Lake. Named by Ian Maroske in 1959 after the plant then


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known as Clustered Plagianth (Plagianthus glomeratus), and now Clustered Lawrencia (Lawrencia glomerata), which he found on the lake bed. Map page 118. Lake Werrebean A ‘lake’ off Outlet Creek near the southern boundary of the park. The meaning of the name is not known. Map page 81. Lignum Swamp The large flat within the Eastern Lookout Nature Drive. After Twiggy Lignum (Muehlenbeckia diclina) which grows there. Map page 118. Lignum Track The track crossing Lignum Swamp. Map page 118. Little Billy A tank on the Murrayville Track, north of and smaller than Big Billy. Little Billy is also the name of the Parish. Map page 138. Little Black Flat On Outlet Creek ‘upstream’ from Black Flat. It has more trees than Black Flat. Map page 118. Little Callitris Plain A smaller version of Callitris Plain and not far from it. Map page 132. Lookout Dune Descriptive. Immediately west of Outlet Creek near Little Black Flat. Also called Western Lookout and Western Lookout Dune. Map page 118. Lost Lake A treeless depression at the end of a blind arm of Outlet Creek north of Wonga Lake. ‘Lost’, as it was not referred to in the early literature. Map page 132. Lost Swamp In the south of the park near Chinaman Well. The origin of the name is not known. Map page 138. Lowan Track A management vehicle track crossing the south-east of the park from the Ring Road to the southern boundary. Lowan (Aboriginal for Malleefowl) were often seen on the track. Map page 118. Lunar Clearing East of North-South Track. Named from the appearance on aerial photographs of moonscape-like features which on ground inspection were found to be enormous rings of Porcupine-grass. Map page 118.


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Maiden Swamp Crossed by the Black Flat Track. According to Rudd Campbell the name was used at least from about 1916 when O’Sullivan and Kelley came to Pine Plains. It was used as a landing strip by Management Committee members Ian Maroske and Ron Falla on 13 December 1959 when the 1959 fire was surveyed. The origin of the name is unknown. Map page 118. Majorlock Majorlock East Soak is in the north west of the park. ‘Majorlock’ was adopted as the Parish name, but its origin is not known. Map page 138. Mallee The name first appears with the present spelling on Ham’s map of 1846, although other spellings included Mar-lie, Marlee and Mallay. Ham states it was the name given by the Aboriginals to the ‘Eucalyptus Dumosa’. It is not clear whether this was referring to the particular species Eucalyptus dumosa, to ‘mallee’ eucalypts more generally, or to mallee scrub. The term is now used in three ways: • To describe a region in the north-west of Victoria—the Mallee—bounded on the west by the South Australian border, the north by the New South Wales border (the top of the southern bank of the Murray River), the east by the Loddon River and in the south by a line approximating the 36th parallel. • To describe those generally small eucalypts with a characteristic ‘parachute’ shape given by multiple stems arising from an underground lignotuber. • To describe a type of vegetation community—mallee scrub. Maroong Rise An enormous sand dune on the old northern boundary of the park. Named by the Committee of Management in 1960 from a list of Aboriginal names. Maroong means native pine. Map page 100. Meridian Track The track runs for much of its length along the 142° meridian. Meridian 142° was first traversed in this area by E.R. White, a most competent and tenacious surveyor and bushman, who surveyed the meridian in 1851 at the request of Charles La Trobe. The line was cleared in the 1890s. Maps pages 118 and 132. Miller Point, Millers Tank Named after Henry ‘Money’ Miller, proprietor of Pine Plains Station 1868–87. Miller Point is a promontory on the west side of Wirrengren Plain. Millers Tank is on the edge of Wirrengren Plain in a freehold enclave. Map page 132.


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Milmed, Milmed Well, Milmed Rock, Milmed Rock Track Milmed was a camp or outstation near Milmed Rock, a sandstone outcrop in the west of the park just off the four-wheel drive Milmed Rock Track which separates the North Wyperfeld and South Wyperfeld Wilderness zones. ‘Milmed’ was adopted as the Parish name, but its origin is not known. Map page 138. Moonah Track The track commences on Meridian Track south of Casuarina camp ground and continues east to a channel on the park boundary where Eagle Track commences. Named after Moonah (Melaleuca lanceolata). Moonah is the Aboriginal name for the tree. Map page 132. Moonlight Tank On the Murrayville Track on the western boundary of the park. A tank dug by the early settlers. So called because of its position on the north (moonlight) side of the largest dune on the track. Map page 138. Mount Jenkins A high dune near the Pine Plains entrance to the park. Named after Clow’s overseer, Jenkins, who shot an Aboriginal in 1848. He was charged but acquitted by a Horsham jury. The Aboriginal name for the dune is Garnditg meaning ‘the nose’. Photo page 93; map page 132. Mount Mattingley A dune (with lookout) to the north of the Wonga camp ground. Named after Arthur Mattingley, referred to as the ‘father’ of Wyperfeld National Park. Photo page 129; map page 118. Mount Observatory Descriptive. A dune almost on the north-east boundary of the park. Map page 132. Murrayville, Murrayville Track Murrayville is a town on the Murray Highway named after John Murray, Premier of Victoria 1909–12. The Murrayville Track is the common name of the Nhill–Murrayville Road through the Big Desert. It is not always trafficable. Map page 138. Nightjar Clearing A small naturally treeless area north-east of Lake Brambruk named after either the Spotted Nightjar or the Australian Owlet Nightjar. Map page 118. Nine Mile Square Track After the great 1959 fire a rough track was pushed through from the entrance road near Outlet Creek west for about nine miles (14.5 km) to the western


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boundary of the park at that time, then north approximately along the assumed boundary for nine miles, and then east to join Meridian Track near Bracky Well. The present Nine Mile Square management vehicle track was later cleared further to the west. Maps pages 5, 34. Nypo The name of the parish and district, possibly from Aboriginal, nepo, comrade or friend, or nipo, small lake. Old Be-al A large River Red-gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) in the Lake Jerriwirrup Reference Area and not accessible. The name was applied by Management Committee member and botanist J. Ros. Garnet to perpetuate a word used by the Lake Hindmarsh Aboriginals to describe the trees of their district. The tree escaped the 1959 fire which came within a few metres, and although severely damaged in the 1982 fire, it has survived. O’Sullivan Lookout After Owen ‘Hugh’ O’Sullivan who with Michael Kelley purchased Pine Plains from the Poultons about 1916. Map page 132. Outlet Creek Descriptive. The name of the Wimmera River after it leaves Lake Hindmarsh. Appears on Plan 344 dated 1854. Massola gives the Aboriginal name for Outlet Creek north of Lake Albacutya as Tyakil-ba-tyakil—feeding place of pelicans. Map page 81. Paradise Flora and Fauna Reserve A flora and fauna reserve adjoining the park south of Eastern Lookout. Maps pages 5 and 100. Patchewollock From the Aboriginal word Putjewallah meaning plenty of Porcupine-grass. Pella Track A four-wheel drive track along part of the southern boundary of the park giving access to Chinaman Well Track. Pella is the name of the district as used by the Lutheran settlers. Named after the ancient capital of Macedonia, the birthplace of Alexander the Great, or after a place in Palestine near the River Jordan between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. Map page 138. Pigeon Springs On the Milmed Rock Track. Presumably so named because pigeons were observed drinking there. Map page 138.


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Pine Plains Descriptive. The name given by James Maxwell Clow in 1847 to his selected run. ‘Pine Plains’ is used both as the name of the existing freehold Pine Plains Station and also more generally for the northern area of the park where grazing used to occur. Map page 132. Pine Tank A well lined with pine, on the edge of Wirrengren Plain. Pirro Dune A very tall sand dune just east of Outlet Creek where it turns north after leaving Lake Brambruk. An Aboriginal name meaning sandy place. Map page 118. Quail Lakes Treeless plains surrounded by dense mallee on the Nine Mile Square Track. Named in 1964. Map page 132. Quandong Hill A pyramid-shaped outstanding sand dune 6.4 km west of Black Flat. Named in 1960 because young quandong trees were thriving on its slopes. Map page 5. Racecourse Plain In the north of the park. The name possibly comes from its use by horses when Henry ‘Money’ Miller owned Pine Plains. Map page 132. Rainbow Settlement began in 1893 near a crescent-shaped ridge named Rainbow Rise which was shortened to Rainbow with the coming of the railway in 1899. Kenyon says the rise was once covered with a variety of flowering plants. The Aboriginal name is Croadjabrim – place of bitter water. Map page 5. Red Hill, Red Hill Tank Descriptive. A red-coloured dune about 3 km south west of Pine Plains. Red Hill Tank is about 1 km south of Red Hill. Map page 132. Round Lake Descriptive. About 1 km north-west of Black Flat. Named in 1957 and regarded by Ian Maroske as ‘one of the prettiest spots in all of Wyperfeld’. On the Tyakil Nature Walk. No inlet or outlet and not part of the Outlet Creek system. Map page 118. Round Swamp Descriptive. On Milmed Track. Map page 138.


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Rubble Lake Descriptive. A small lake bed near Round Lake unlike any other in the park with dark crumbly copi soil evenly strewn with large pebbles of limestone. Map page 118. Rudds Rocks, Rudds Rocks Reference Area The rocks are an outcrop of sandstone 100 m high near the Nine Mile Square Track. Named by Beauglehole and Finck in 1968 after Rudd Campbell, Ranger from 1958 to 1970. The Reference Area is several kilometres west of the rocks. Map page 5. Sabrina A twin-peaked sand dune visible from the Desert Walk. Unofficially named after a model and showgirl who received much publicity in the late 1950s. Shepherd’s Pines Clearing A large area west of Round Lake once quite densely clothed with pine. It is believed to have had a soak and to be where stock were kept and shepherded for lengthy periods. The old sheepyards and most of the pines were destroyed in the 1946 fires. Map page 118. Sister Dunes Three prominent and quite close dune ridges in a featureless section in the east. Map page 100. Snowdrift A large moving dune west of Pine Plains Station, with the appearance of snow. A popular picnic place. Map page 132. The Kidneys Two kidney-shaped ‘lakes’ off Outlet Creek near Lake Werrebean. Map page 81. The Springs Descriptive. A good natural spring with a certain water supply. On the Murrayville Track on the western boundary of the park. Map page 138. Trig Point Hill Descriptive. Off Milmed Rock Track. One of the highest points in the park at 107 m. Tritter Track From the north-west corner of Nine Mile Square Track to the north boundary of the park, sometimes called ‘Underbool Track’. Not open to public. Takes its name from the type of machine called a ‘tritter’ machine which cut the track. Map page 5.


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Twelve Mile Patch, Twelve Mile Patch Track In the north-west of the park. Twelve Mile Patch is about 12 miles from Boinka, but whether this explains the name is not known. Twelve Mile Patch Track gives four-wheel drive access to Twelve Mile Patch and Majorlock Soak. Map page 138. Underbool A town on the Mallee Highway and Parish name. From the German name ‘Underbolt’. There is four-wheel drive access south from here through Wyperfeld via Gunners Track. Map page 5. Wagon Flat The original Wagon Flat was a few kilometres to the south-west of the area on the Murrayville Track now known as Wagon Flat. It was flatter than much of the surrounding land with a good catchment and a good tank dug by the early settlers. In 1910 settler Hann woke in the night and found it had rained and his wagon and horses were in knee-deep water. Map page 138. Wallach Clearing A treeless area to the north-east of Lost Lake south of Moonah Track. Aboriginal for Porcupine-grass. Map page 100. Weedy Lake Descriptive. About 1 km north of Black Flat. Named by Ian Maroske in 1958 because even in a dry season it is tinged with green due to its drought-resistant herbage. Map page 118. Western Lookout Dune Descriptive. High point of dune off Outlet Creek Track near Little Black Flat. Also called Lookout Dune. Map page 118. Wimmera Named by Major Mitchell in 1836 from Aboriginal woomera, throwing stick. A region of Victoria south of the Mallee. Windmill Tank Descriptive. Tank on Wirrengren Plain. Map page 132. Wirrengren Plain Aboriginal. According to Massola, the name should be Werreng-jerren, and means ‘noise made from many people’, as by tribes assembled there. Map page 132. Wonga Lake, Wonga Station, Wonga Hut Wonga Lake was named by James Maxwell Clow. ‘Wonga’ is believed to be Aboriginal, having something to do with water, but Massola says it is Aboriginal for pigeon. In 1855 H.C. Ellerman divided Pine Plains into two runs and named


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the southern Wonga Lake run. Wonga Hut is the corrugated iron hut erected in 1934 in the Wonga camp ground near Lake Brimin adjacent to the site of the Wonga Lake Run homestead. Wonga Lake is about 8 km from Wonga Hut as the crow flies. It last held flood water in 1920. In his accounts of his 1907 visit, Arthur Mattingley refers to a corrugated iron hut with tanks of fresh water on some rising ground at ‘Wonga’, apparently a reference to the old Wonga Lake Station at Lake Brimin. The hut was said to be haunted by the ghost of a Chinese woman who was murdered by her husband and her body deposited down the well, but Mattingley says that the agonising screams giving rise to the legend were those of the Delicate Owl, now known as the Barn Owl. This hut had been removed by the time the present Wonga Hut was erected. Map page 118. Wool Track Joins Pine Plains Road and Meridian Track. It was the alternative route to Pine Plains Station when the usual route (Pine Plains Road) was too boggy. May have been the route used when carting wool from Pine Plains, although Archie Campbell refers to tufts of wool torn off by the undergrowth when sheep were taken along this route from Pine Plains to shearing sheds at Yallum. Map page 132. Wyperfeld The name comes from the parish of Wyperfeld. The original temporary park reservation in 1909 was for ‘a national park in the Parishes of Ginap and Wyperfeld’. When the first permanent reservation was made in 1921 the park was given the name ‘Wyperfeld National Park’. Many attempts have been made to discover the origin of the word ‘Wyperfeld’. It may come from the German ‘Wyper’, a tributary of the Rhine, and ‘Feld’, a field. When the eastern extension was made in 1922 it was suggested the name of the park be altered to Lowan (Aboriginal for Malleefowl). Yaapeet The name of the small town south of Wyperfeld which was changed from Turkey Bottom by public ballot. Yaapeet is the Aboriginal name of a local waterhole. Map page 5. Yallum Dune An enormous dune in the north-east corner of the park. Yallum was an outstation in the days of the squatters. It is the Parish name and Aboriginal for waterhole or well. Map page 100. Yanac A small town on the Murrayville Track about 35 km from Nhill. Yanac-a-Yanac is Aboriginal for bats flying at night.




)PISPVNYHWO` Allen, T.G. 1974, Wotjobaluk Aborigines of the Wimmera River System, published by the author, Hopetoun. Allen, T.G. 1975, Wyperfeld The History of Station and Settlement and the Flora and Fauna of Wyperfeld National Park, published by the author, Hopetoun. Allen, T.G. 1976, Shears in Hand, published by the author, Hopetoun. Attenborough, David 1995, The Private Life of Plants, BBC Books, London. Australian Dictionary of Biography 1966–90, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne [v.7, entry on Sir J.W. Barrett; v.10, entry on Arthur Mattingley] Australian Heritage Commission 2000, Big Desert/Wyperfeld Place Report in the Register of the National Estate Data Base, Canberra. Australian Museum 1983, Complete Book of Australian Mammals, Angus & Robertson, Sydney. Australian National Botanic Gardens [n.d.], The Mallee Education Kit, Canberra. Bardwell, S. 1974, National Parks in Victoria 1866-1956, Department of Geography, Monash University, Melbourne. Barrett, James 1925, Save Australia. A plea for the Right Use of our Flora and Fauna, Macmillan & Co, Melbourne. Beauglehole, A.C. 1979, The Distribution and Conservation of Native Vascular Plants in the Victorian Mallee, Western Victorian Field Naturalists Association, Portland. Beauglehole, A.C. & Finck, E.W. 1969, Wyperfeld National Park Botanical Survey, Report for the National Parks Service, Melbourne. Beilby, J.W. 1849, ‘Wanderings in the Western Wilds, being rough notes of a journey in search of a run’, Port Phillip Gazette, 29.11.1849 & 1.12.1849. Blake, L.J. 1977, Place Names of Victoria, Rigby Limited, Adelaide. Blakers, M. & Macmillan, L. 1988, Mallee Conservation in Victoria, RMIT Faculty of Environmental Design and Construction, Melbourne. Bren, L. & Acenolaza, P. 2000, An Analysis of Ecohydrological Change in Lake Albacutya Park and Wyperfeld National Park: Lake Albacutya and Outlet Creek Watering Options, University of Melbourne. Bride, T.F. 1898, Letters from Victorian Pioneers, reprint ed. Lloyd O’Neil for Currey O’Neil, South Yarra 1983 [pp. 355–62, ‘James Maxwell Clow’]. Campbell, A. jun., ‘Field Notes from the Lower Wimmera’, Victorian Naturalist, vol. 16 (1899) and vol. 18 (1901), Melbourne. Christidis L. & Boles W.E. 1994, The Taxonomy and Species of Birds of Australia and its Territories, RAOU Monograph 2, RAOU, Hawthorn East. Context Pty Ltd with Dr C. Kellaway 1995, Analysis of Historic Places: Wyperfeld


"IBLIOGRAPHYs

National Park, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Hopetoun. Corrick, M. & Fuhrer, B. 2000, Wildflowers of Victoria and Adjoining Areas, Bloomings Books, Hawthorn. Costermans, Leon 1983, Native Trees and Shrubs of South-eastern Australia, rev. edn, Rigby Publishers Limited, Adelaide. Costermans, Leon 1994, Trees of Victoria and Adjoining Areas, 5th edn, Costermans Publishing, Frankston. Coveney, Janet 1997, ‘The Campaign for Victorian National Parks 1946 to 1956’, Park Watch no. 191, Victorian National Parks Association, Melbourne. Cowling, S. & Savin, D. 1993, Mallee Country Wildlife, Gould League, and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Melbourne. CSIRO 1989, Mediterranean Landscapes in Australia. Mallee Ecosystems and their Management, eds J.C. Noble & R.A. Bradstock, CSIRO Publications, East Melbourne. CSIRO 1989, The Mallee Lands. A Conservation Perspective, eds J.C. Noble, P.J. Joss & G.K. Jones, CSIRO Publications, East Melbourne. Curr, Edward M. 1883, Recollections of Squatting in Victoria, reprint ed. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1965. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources 1993, Mallee Tourism and Recreation Strategy, Melbourne. Department of Conservation Forests and Lands 1988, Touring Guide Victoria’s Desert Country, Melbourne. Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, Melbourne. Department of Natural Resources and Environment 1997, Heritage Rivers and Natural Catchment Areas Draft Management Plans vol. 1, Western Victoria, Melbourne. Everard, G. reprinted 1977, Pioneering Days, Hopetoun District Historical Society, Hopetoun. Eyre, E.J. 1838, Letter to the Editor, South Australian Gazette and Colonial Register 19.7.1838 Foreman, D.B. & Walsh, N.G., eds 1993, Flora of Victoria vol. 1, Inkata Press, Melbourne. Fisher, J. & Fisher, F. 1966, History of Yaapeet 1898–1966, Yaapeet Back-to Committee, published by the authors, Yaapeet. Garnet, J. Ros. 1965, The Vegetation of Wyperfeld National Park, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, Melbourne. Gott, Beth 1993, ‘Use of Victorian Plants by Koories’, in Flora of Victoria, vol 1, Inkata Press, Melbourne.


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Gullan, P.K., Cheal, D.C. & Walsh, N.G. 1990, Rare or Threatened Plants in Victoria, Department of Conservation and Environment, Melbourne. Kelly, Margaret [n.d.], Discover Victoria’s Mallee, published by the author, Meringur. Kenyon, A.S. 1912, reprinted 1982, The Story of the Mallee, Wood Publications, Rainbow. Land Conservation Council 1974, Mallee Study, Report. Land Conservation Council 1977, Mallee Study, Final Recommendations. Land Conservation Council 1987, Mallee Review, Report. Land Conservation Council 1989, Mallee Review, Final Recommendations. Land Conservation Council 1989, Rivers and Streams Special Investigation, Report. Land Conservation Council 1991, Rivers and Streams Special Investigation, Final Recommendations. Land Conservation Council 1990, Wilderness Special Investigation, Report. Land Conservation Council 1991, Wilderness Special Investigation, Final Recommendations. Le Souef, D. 1887, ‘Trip to Lake Albacutya’, Victorian Naturalist vol. 4(3). Longmire, Anne 1985, Nine Creeks to Albacutya, Shire of Dimboola in conjunction with Hargreen, North Melbourne. Low, Tim 1999, Feral Future, Viking Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood. McCann, I.R. 1989, The Mallee in Flower, Victorian National Parks Association, Melbourne. Maroske, I.O. 1975, The Story of Pella, Pella District Historical Society, Horsham, for Lutheran St Johns Congregation, Pella. Massola, A. 1966, ‘The Aborigines of the Mallee’, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, vol. 79(2). Massola, A. 1969, ‘Aboriginal Campsites on Wyperfeld National Park and Pine Plains Station’, Victorian Naturalist vol. 86. Mattingley, Arthur 1909, ‘In the Heart of the Mallee’, Victorian Naturalist vol. 26. Menkhorst, P.W. (ed.) 1995, Mammals of Victoria, Oxford University Press, Melbourne. Morton, W.L. 1965, Notes on a Tour of the Wimmera District, June and July 1861, National Parks Service, Melbourne. National Parks Authority, Annual Reports 1957–1977/78 National Parks Service, Annual Reports 1978/79–1994/95 Neumayer, G. 1869, Results of the Magnetic Survey of the Colony of Victoria executed during the years 1858–1864, Mannheim. NRE 2000, Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria 2000: A Systematic List of Vertebrate Fauna Considered Extinct, at Risk of Extinction or in Major Decline


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in Victoria. Department of Natural Resources and Environment, East Melbourne. Pizzey, G. & Knight F. 1997, The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Harper Collins Publishers Australia, Sydney. Pizzey, G. 1992, Crosbie Morrison – Voice of Nature, Victoria Press, Melbourne. Reid, A.J., Shaw, N.J. & Wheeler, W.R. 1973, Birds of Victoria: Dry Country. Gould League of Victoria, Melbourne. Robertson, P. et al. 1989, Fauna of the Mallee Study Area North-western Victoria, Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands, Melbourne. Rolls, E.G. 1969, They All Ran Wild, Angus and Robertson, Sydney. Ross, Anne 1981, ‘Holocene environments and prehistoric site patterning in the Victorian Mallee’, Archaeology in Oceania vol. 16 no. 3. Rowan, J.N. & Downes, R.G. 1963, A Study of the Land in North-Western Victoria, Soil Conservation Authority Victoria. Sheedy, B. 1993, Discovering Mallee Country, Roadwrite Publishing Pty Ltd, Fitzroy. Simpson, K. & Day, N. 1984, Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Viking O’Neil, Ringwood. Slater, P., Slater, P., & Slater, R. 1986, The Slater Field Guide to Australian Birds, Lansdowne-Rigby Publishers, Willoughby. Sumner, R. 1982, Steiglitz Memories of Gold, National Parks Service Victoria. Taylor, P. 1996, Karkarooc – A Mallee Shire History, 1896–1995, Yarriambiack Shire Council, Warracknabeal. Torpey, D. (comp.) 1986, The Way It Was. A History of the Mallee 1910–1949, The Sunnyland Press, Red Cliffs. Triggs, Barbara 1996, Tracks, Scats and Other Traces, Oxford University Press, Melbourne. Walsh, N.G. & Entwisle, T.J. (eds) 1994–1999, Flora of Victoria, Vols 2–4, Inkata Press, Melbourne. Wimmera Catchment Co-ordinating Group 1992, Wimmera River Integrated Catchment Management Strategy Final Report. Wouters, C. 1993, River Red Gum Dieback in the Lower Wimmera River Catchment, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Melbourne. Wyperfeld Committee of Management, Records and Minutes 1924–1975.




0UKL_ Page numbers in bold type refer to major or principal treatment. Page numbers in italics refer to photographs and other illustrations, including maps. Individual species of flora and fauna are listed in this index under their common names. Scientific names are supplied in the plant and animal lists, pages 151–175 (Appendixes 5–10). An asterisk (*) indicates a reference in an appendix.

Aboriginal People 52, 131 ceremonial activities 10 diet 14–15, 63 evidence of occupation 12–15, 13, 89, 91 Native Title claim 16 Wergaia 109 Wotjobaluk 12–16, 104 Acacia species *157, *165 access to park 105, 113 East Wyperfeld 105 North Wyperfeld and Casuarina camp ground 96, 132, 131 South Wyperfeld and Wonga camp ground 119, 121–123, 118, 122 West Wyperfeld 137 map, all directions 112 accommodation 113–14, 120, 133, 139 Albacutya Station 94, *176 Allocasuarina species *155, *162, *164 Amaryllis Azure Butterfly 67 Anderson, Gary, 36, 99 animal tracks 109, 114, *180 Antlion 61–62 ants 42, 45, 60, 61–62, 64, 68 Aotus, Mallee see Mallee Aotus archaeological sites 12–13 Archbold Track 132, *176 area of park 1, 27, 29, 33, 34, 97, *148 Arnold Springs 108, 143, *176 Austral Adder’s-tongue 59, *151 Austral Bugle 48, 49, 86, 124, *157 Australian Bustard 142, *170 Australian Hollyhock 85, 85, *157 Australian Magpie 65, 88, *173 Australian Owlet-nightjar 66, *172 Australian Raven 65, *174

Australian Ringneck 65, 88, *171 Azure Daisy-bush 60, *154 Baeckea species *157, *163 Balak Clearing 118, *176 ballarts 15, 67, *159 see also Broom Ballart Bandy Bandy 64, *168 Banksia species *158, *163 Baring Channel 101 Barley Grass 87, *152 Barrett, Sir James 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 35, 56, 68, *149, *190 bats 66, 76, 108, *175 Beaded Gecko 42, *167 bees 37, 39, 41–42, 73, 88, 115 beetles 41, 43, 60, 62 Beilby, J.W. 17, 52, 91, 104, *190 Bell-fruit Tree 54, 98, *157 Benshemesh, Joe 39, 102, 103 Berrigan 49, 123, *157 Big Billy 139, 140, 141, *176 Big Desert 1–2, 7, 34–35, 53, 106, 108, 142, *147 panorama of 129, 130 Big Desert State Forest 34–35, 107, 144 Big Desert Wilderness Park 2, 34, 107, 137 birds 23, 42, 50, 51, 65–66, 76, 88, 97, 103, 108, 142 list *169–174 surveys 23, 32, 39, 56, 103 birdwatching 2, 108, 140 Bitter-bush see Mallee Bitter-bush Bitter-bush Blue Butterfly 68 Black Box 1, 54, 57, 67, 70, 74, 75, 83, 89, 90, 98, 105, 121, 123, 124, 130, *157, *160 Black Flat 23, 81, 83, 85, 87, 118, 119, 125, 126, 130, *177 archaeological site 13 Black Kite 54, *170 Black Mallee-box 143, *158 Black Wallaby 78, *175 Blue-billed Duck 66, *169 Blue Bonnet 97, *171 Boobook Owl see Southern Boobook Owl Booligal 140, 144, *177 botanical surveys 99, 108, 109, *158 Boulenger’s Skink 42, 46, 47, *167 Box Mistletoe 67, 67, 68, *157 Bracky Well 25, 93, 98, 132, 136, *178 Bridal Creeper see Smilax Broken Bucket 139, 140, 140, *177 Broom Baeckea 51, *157, *163 Broom Ballart 46, 54, *159 Broombush 51, 107, 108, 142, *158, *163 Broombush Reference Area 108 Brown Falcon 65, *170 Brown Treecreeper 88, *172 Bruche, Sir Julius 28, 29, *149 Budgerigar 51, *171 Bull Mallee 101, 140, 143, *157, *160 Bullock Head *177 stockyards 90, 120


)NDEXs Bullock Head Dam 128, *177 Bullock Head Swamp 118, 122, 123, *177 bullock wagons 96, 96 Buloke 54, 60, 67, 70, 92, 97, 98, 123, 131, *155, *162 Buloke Mistletoe 67, *157 Burr-daisy see Tangled Burr-daisy Burton’s Snake Lizard 44, 45, 64, *167 bushfires see fires and fire protection bushwalking see walks Bustard see Australian Bustard butcherbirds 97, *174 Butler’s Legless Lizard 104, *167 butterflies 67, 68 Callitris Plain 98, 127, 132, *177 Callitris species *151, *162, *163 Cambacanya Clearing 53, 100, *177 Cambacanya Station, 23, 94, 99, *177 Camel Melon 86, *156 Cameron baby grave 19, 19, 76,76 Cameron brothers 19 Cameron, Martin and Jane 19 Cameron, Paul and Ewan 93, *177 Cameron Track 126, 127, 129, 130, *177 camp fires 117, 141 Campbell, A. J. 25 Campbell, Alex. Edward George (‘Rudd’) 31, 32, 32, 36, 71, 101, *177, *183 Campbell, Archie 23, 31, *177, *189 Campbell brothers 31, 32, 36 Campbells’ stockyards 90, 130 camping 114, 115 Casuarina camp ground, North Wyperfeld 98, 131–133, 133, *178 Remote Camp, North Wyperfeld 116, 136 Wonga camp ground, South Wyperfeld 119, 120, *188–189 West Wyperfeld, camping in 139, 140, 141, 143, 144 Capeweed 48, 86, 87, *153 Carabid Beetle 43, 62 Carter, William Charles 94, *178 Carters Tank 93, 132, *178 Casuarina camp ground 98, 131–133, 133, *178 casuarinas see Allocasuarina species cats, feral 37, 56, *175 Cattle Bush 98, *159, *162 Central Bearded Dragon 42, 44, *167 Cheal, David 36–37, 46, 109 Chestnut Quail-thrush 103, 108, *173 Chestnut-rumped Thornbill 88, *172 Chinaman Flat 142, *178 Chinaman Flat Wilderness Zone 107, 108, 140 Chinaman Well Track 139, 140, 141, 142–3, *178 claypans 10, 10, 13, 14 Clematis see Small-leaved Clematis climate 1, 2, 7, 40–51, 56, 113 Clow, James Maxwell 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 18, 91, 93, *178, *184,*186,*188 Clow’s Ridge 118, *178 Cockatiel 51, *171

Common Correa 46, *159 Common Dunnart 63, 66, 109, *175 Common Evening Primrose 141, *158 Common Everlasting 126, *153 Common Fringe-myrtle 48, 51, 60, 122, 124, *156, *165 Common Scaly-foot 63, *167 Common Spadefoot Toad 64, *167 Conga Wonga 93, 132, *178 Congi Plain 132, *178 copi see gypsum Copi Lake 11, 132, *178 copi rises 11 Coral Snake 64, 108, *168 Correa see Common Correa Cottony Fireweed 54, *154 Cow Plains see Kow Plains crab-holes 11, 14, *143 Crested Bellbird 65, 103, *173 Crimson Chat 51, *174 Croll, R. H. 15 cycling 116, 127, 136, 144 cypress pines 42, 45, 60, 97, 98, 124, 143, *151, *162–163 see also Scrub Cypress-pine; Slender Cypress-pine Daisies and Daisy-bushes *153–154 Dattuck Reference Area 101 Dattuck Track 100, 105, 105, 125, 126, *178 Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) 35, 137 Desert Baeckea 51, *157 Desert Banksia 14, 40, 46, 47, 52, 54, 109, 142,*158, *163 Desert Grevillea 51, 144, *158 Desert Hakea 51, *158, *164 Desert Walk 106, 106, 130 car park 123, 126 Car Park Track 127, 128 Devil’s Pools 10, 13, 118, 128, 129, *179 dieback (of trees) 85, 92 Dingo Swamp 98, 100, 132, *179 dingoes and wild dogs 19, 23, 37, 67, 96, *175 Discovery Walk 128, 130 Dodder-laurel 67, *157 ‘dog-leg’ fence 72 drives and driving 105, 106, 110, 115, 121–127, 134–136, 140–144 Drooping Sheoak 98, *155 droughts 19, 21, 22, 40, 53, 57, 96 Dumosa Mallee 101, *157,*161 dunes 1, 7–10, 93, 101, 105, 108, 129, 131 dust storms 21 Eagle Clearing 53, 100, *179 Eagle Track 105, 126, 135, *179 East Wyperfeld 2, 99–105 map 100 Eastern Brown Snake 42, 64, *168 Eastern Grey Kangaroo 78, *175


s)NDEX Eastern Lookout 52, 105, 118, 125, 130, *179 car park 125 Eastern Lookout Nature Drive (Ring Road) 11, 105, 118, 125–126, 127, 130 Ebenezer Mission 16 Echidna see Short-beaked Echidna edible plants 14–15 emergency services North Wyperfeld (Pine Plains) 134 South Wyperfeld 121 West Wyperfeld 139 Emu 48, 48, 50, 57, 60, 74, 77, 89, 92, 97, 99, 108, 122, *169 Emu Clearing *118 endangered species 66, 97 entrance roads see access Environment Conservation Council 35 erosion 11, 21, 38, 98, 104 Eucalyptus species *157–158, *160–161 evaporites 11 Evening Primrose see Common Evening Primrose Everard, George 19, 52, 96 Everard Track 130 everlastings 124, *153–154 Exocarpos species *159 Eyre, Edward John 17, 106, *147, *181 Fat-tailed Dunnart 44, 66, *175 feral animals 19, 36–38, 56, 67, *175 ferns 59, *151 Field Naturalists Club of Victoria 26, 32 fires and fire protection 8, 14–15, 32, 36–37, 45, 52– 55, 53, 98, 103, 109, 127, *177, *179, 180, 183, *184, *185 camp fires 117, 141 Fireweed see Cottony Fireweed Flagstaff Hill 52, 118, 125, *179 Flame Heath 46, *156 Flame Robin 42, *173 Flannel Cudweed 59, *160 Fleshy Mistletoe 67, *157 floods 17, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 87, 92, 129 see also Outlet Creek – flood plain flowering plants 1, 2, 46, 48–49, 51, 59–61 list *151–159 four-wheel drive tracks 105, 106, 110, 126–127, 135–136, 141–144 foxes 37, 56, 67, *175 Freckled Duck 66, *169 Freeway Track 105, 118, 129, *180 Frews Plain 90, 96, 118, 126, 128, *180 Frews Plain Track 118, 127, 128 Friends of Wyperfeld 39, 88, 89, 125 Fringe Lily see Twining Fringe Lily Fringe-myrtle see Common Fringe-myrtle; Snowmyrtle Frog Lagoon 100 frogs 64, *167 frost 41, 46, 47, 53, 61 fungi 46, 58–59, 59, 61, 67–68

Galah 65, 76, 88, 123, *171 Garnet, J. Ros. 26, 32, 58, 85, 109, *149, *185 Genoveva Azure butterfly 67, 68 geology 6–11, 7, 8, 9 Ginap Track 105, 126, *180 Gold-dust Wattle 48, *157, *165 Golden Pennants 48, 49, 126, *157 Golden Wattle 48, *157, *165 Good Neighbour program 36 Gould’s Monitor see Sand Goanna Great Egret 66, *169 Grevillea species *158 Grey Mallee 101, *158, *160 Grey Mulga 48, *157, *165 Groundsels *154 Gum trees *160 Gunners Track 135, *181 gypsum 9, 9–10, 11, *179 Hakea species *158 heath species (family Epacridaceae) *156 Heath Tea-tree *158, *164 heights above sea level 10 heritage listings 34, 35, 90, *150 Heritage River Area (definition) *150 Wimmera River–Outlet Creek 34, 90 heritage sites see Aboriginal People – evidence of occupation; ruins and relics Hermie’s Garden 144, *180 Historic Feature markers 75 history of area Aboriginal occupation 12–15 European exploration and settlement 15–17 pastoral period 17–19, 93–96, 109, *147 land selection and cultivation 20–22, 80 history of park establishment 3, 32, 23–29, 96–97 management 29–33, 35-39, 71–74, *148, *149 Holly Grevillea 49, 51, *158 Hooked Needlewood 122, 123, *158, *162 Hopping Mouse Hill 34, 107,*180 Horehound 38, 61, 85–87, 130, *157 Ice-cream Fungus 59 Information Centre, Wonga camp ground 32, 72, 73, 74, 119, 127, 130 car park 125 information shelters Broken Bucket 139 Casuarina camp ground 131 Chinaman Well 142 southern (main) entrance 121 Inland Pigface 15, *153 Inner Wirrengren Plain Track 132, 135 invertebrates (including insects) 41–42, 46, 60, 61– 63 Jenkins (overseer) 17, *184 Jenkins Track 135 Jewel Beetle 41, 43, 60, 62, 62


)NDEXs Kangaroo Apple see Oondoroo kangaroos 45, 46, 51, 57, 66, 67, 74, 78, 89, 125, 126, *175 management 37, 99 Katydid Grasshopper 63 Kelley Lookout 93, 132, 135, *181 Kelley, Michael Francis 19, 94, 95, *181, *183, *185 Kenyon, Alfred S. 16–17, 73, 81, 94, 95, *147, *180, *181, *186 Kerr, Damian 36 The Kidneys 81, 127, *187 Kow Plains 108, *178 Kow Track 109–110, *178 Lace Monitor see Tree Goanna Lake Agnes 81, 85, 92, 132, 134, *181 archaeological site 13 Lake Albacutya 80, 81, 89, *176 archaeological site 13 flood history 82 Lake Albacutya Regional Park 2, *176 Lake Brambruk 10, 23, 27, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 118, 129, 130, *181 archaeological site 13 Lake Brimin 11, 52, 73, 74, 81, 85, 118, 125, *181 Lake Hindmarsh 17, 79–80, 181 Lake Jerriwirrup 27, *181 Lake Jerriwirrup Reference Area 88 Lake Plagianth 118, *181 Lake Werrebean 81, 83, 127, *182 Land Act, 1862 (Vic.) 19 Land Act, 1869 (Vic.) 20, 93 Land Conservation Council (LCC) 11, 33–35, Mallee Study Final Recommendations (1977) 34, 91, 96–97 Wimmera Area Final Recommendations (1986) 34 Mallee Area Review Final Recommendations (1989) 34, 61, 97 Rivers and Streams Special Investigation (1991) 34 Wilderness Special Investigation (1991) 34 Land Snail 104 landforms 7–11, 108 Large Striped Skink 45, *167 Lavender Grevillea 51, *158 Leg of Mutton Lake 127 Leptospermum (tea-trees) *158, *163-164 lerp 14, 14, 46, 63 lichens and mosses 11, 59, 61, 67–68 Lignum Swamp 90, 118, 126, 130, *182 Lignum Track 127, 130, *182 Little Billy Bore 141, *182 Little Black Flat 129, *182 Little Callitris Plain 132, *182 Little Corellas 43 Little Desert 7, 33–4 Little Desert National Park 34 Little Pygmy-possum 66, 66, 108, *175 lizards 42, 44, 45, 51, 63–64, 108, *168 Lookout Dune 144, *182

Lost Lake 98, 100, 132, *182 Lost Swamp 142, *182 Lowan see Malleefowl Lowan Sands 7, 9, 10, 20, 99 Lowan Track 105, 125, *182 Lunar Clearing 53, 118, *182 lunettes 11 Magpie see Australian Magpie Magpie-lark 88, *174 Maiden Swamp 118, 125, *183 Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo 65, 86, 97, *171 Majorlock East Soak 144, *183 mallee (definition) 2, *183 Mallee (region) 1, 2, 7, 8, *183 exploration 16-17 pastoral runs in 1865 *147 Mallee Aotus 49, 51, *156 ‘Mallee-Bird’ see McLennan, Charles Mallee Bitter-bush 68, *156 Mallee-box see Black Mallee-box Mallee Dragon 45, 64, 103, 104, *167 Mallee Emu-wren 108, *172 Mallee Lands Act 1896 (Vic.) 20 Mallee Mouse Spider 45 Mallee Ningaui 63, 66, 104, 108, *175 Mallee Parks Advisory Committee 36, *149 Mallee Parks Management Plan 36 Mallee Pastoral Leases Act 1883 (Vic.) 19 Mallee Research Station Hostel 134 Mallee Ringneck see Australian Ringneck mallee roots (firewood) 2, 22 Mallee Runs in 1865 *147 mallee scrub 1, 2, 14, 70 Mallee Spadefoot Toad 64, 64, *167 Mallee Tea-tree 46, 51, 101, 109, 124, 142, *158, *163 Mallee Walk 102, 118, 128 Mallee Worm-Lizard 64, 103, *167 Malleefowl 1, 2, 23, 45, 50, 54, 61, 99, 101, 102, 102, 108, *169 mounds 15, 51, 46, 48, 119, 128 surveys 39, 102, 103 Malleefowl Walk 105, 118, 119, 125, 128 mammals 66–67, 108–109 list *175 management of park 29–39, 71, 98 Marbled Gecko 42, *167 Maroong Rise 100, 183 Maroske, Ian 32, 36, *149, 176, *181, *183, *186, *188 Masked Lapwing 65, 76, *171 Masked Woodswallow 97, *174 Mattingley, Arthur 2, 19, 23–29, 25, 27, 35, 74, 98, 99, *149, *181, *184, *189 McLaren, Ian 28, 29, 71, *149 McLennan, Charles (‘Mallee-Bird’) 23, 24, 23–25, 101 Mediterranean Catchfly 60, *155 Melaleuca species *158, *163 melons see Camel Melon, Paddy Melon Meridian Track 53, 105, 118, 127, 130, 133, *183


s)NDEX Miller, Henry ‘Money’ 93–94, *184, *187 Miller, John 36, 42 Miller Point 132, *183 Millers Tank 93, 132, *183 Millers Track 135 Milmed Rock 9, 143, *184 Milmed Rock Track 11, 138, 139, 142, 143, 143–144, *184 Milmed Ruins 143, *184 Milmed Swamp 108 Mistletoebird 60, 65, *174 mistletoes 60, 67, *157 Mitchell, Sir Thomas (Major) 17 Mitchell’s Hopping-mouse 44, 45, 66, 109, *175 Moonah 41, 42, 121, 123, *158, *163, *184 Moonah Track 126, 135, *184 Moonlight Tank 139, 140, *184 Morrison, Philip Crosbie 26, 31 Morton, William Lockhart 14, 52, 54, 108 Mount Jenkins 93, 93, 132, 135, *184 Mount Mattingley 27, 118, 129, *184 Mount Observatory 93, *184 Mulga Parrot 50, 108, *171 Muller, Peter 36 Muntries 15, *158 Murray Basin 8, 81 Murrayville Track 106, 109–110, 110, 137–143, 138, 142, *184 Nankeen Kestrel 65, *170 Nardoo 13, 59, 59, *151 Narrow Rock Fern 59, *151 National Park (definition) *150 National Parks Association 25–27, 29 National Parks Authority 30, 31–33, 39 National Parks legislation 31, 35, 36, 37, *149, *150 National Parks Service 33, 73 Nealie *157, *165 Needlewood see Hooked Needlewood Netting Fence, Netting Fence Track 143, 138 New Holland Honeyeater 46, 103, *173 Newnham, Rod 36, 41 Nhill-Murrayville Road see Murrayville Track Nightjar Clearing 118, *184 Nine Mile Square Track 5, 32, 53, 106, 126, 127, 130, 134, 135, *184–185 Nobbi Dragon 42, 44, 103, *167 Noelker, Frank 36, *149 Norris’s Dragon 45, *167 North Callitris Track 127, 135 North-South Access 125, 126–127, 135 North-South Track 105, 118, 126–127 North Wyperfeld (Pine Plains) 2, 91–98, 95, 131– 136, *186 map 132 North Wyperfeld Wilderness Zone 107, 108 Northern Mallee Pipeline Project 80–81 Nypo *185 school 22, 22 Oil Mallee *161

Oondoroo 15, 54, 85, *159 orchids 48 list *152 O’Sullivan, Owen (‘Hugh’) 30, 36, 94–95, 94, *149, *181, *185 O’Sullivan, Owen Lewis (‘Jack’) 30, 36, 95 O’Sullivan Lookout 93, 132, 136, *186 O’Sullivans Lookout Reference Area 93, 108 O’Sullivan’s Pine Plains Lodge 114, 133, 133, 134 O’Sullivan’s stockyards 90 Outlet Creek 10, 13, 56, 80, 80–83, 81, *185 flood plain 1, 2, 7, 10, 56, 70, 79–90, 127 see also Wimmera River-Outlet Creek system Outlet Creek Track 127, 135 Paddy Melon 86, *156 Painted Dragon 42, 64, 109, 142, *167 Paradise Flora and Fauna Reserve 2, 36, 99, *186 parasites 67 Parilla Sand 9, 10 park regulations 115, 117 Parks Victoria 35 contact information 113, 137 Paterson’s Curse 38, 48, 86, 87, *154 Pella Track 139. 141, 144, *185 Peters’s Blind Snake 64, *168 picnic places 119, 131–132, 139, 140, 141 Pie-dish Beetle 62, 62 Pigeon Springs 143, *185 Pigface see Inland Pigface Pine Plains (area) see North Wyperfeld (Pine Plains) Pine Plains Station and Run 17–19, 18, 23, 91, 93– 98, 95, 132, *186 Pink-nosed Worm-Lizard 64, 108, *167 Pirro Dune 118, *186 Pittosporum, Weeping see Weeping Pittosporum place names (appendix 11) *176–189 plant lists (appendixes 5 & 6) *151–165 Poached-eggs Daisy 49, *154 Porcupine Grass 1, 15, 40, 45, 48, 54, 57, 88, 101, 104, 108, 124, *153, *182, *188 Possum see Common Brushtail Possum Poultons (pastoralists) 23, 94 Psyllid 14, 46, 63 Purple-crowned Lorikeet 65, *171 Quail Lakes 53, 132, *186 Quandong Hill 5 *187 quandongs 60, 67, *159 see also Sweet Quandong rabbits 19, 36, 37, 38, 45, 46, 51, 56, 58, 65, 67, 98, *175 Racecourse Plain 132, *186 Racecourse Track 132, 136 railways 20, 20–21, 29, 96, 101 Rainbow Bee-eater 43, 51, 65, *172 rainfall 2, 8, 41, 91 rangers 31, 35–36, 39, 71 contact information 113 rangers’ office 121, 123


)NDEXs Raven see Australian Raven Red-capped Robin 50, 97, *173 Red Hill Tank 132, *186 Red Hill Track 136 Red Kangaroo 78, 97, *175 Red-lored Whistler 108, 142, *173 Red Mallee 46, *157, *161 Red-rumped Parrot 86, 88, *171 Redthroat 50, *172 Reference Area (definition) *150 see also Broombush, Dattuck, Lake Jerriwirrup, O’Sullivans Lookout and Rudds Rocks Reference Areas regeneration of plants 46, 52, 54–55, 47, 55, 74, 83, 84, 92, 98, 109, 123, 129 Regent Parrot 65, 88, *171 Remote Camp 116, 132 Remote and Natural Areas (definition) *150 reptiles 42, 44, 45, 51, 61, 63–64, 108 list 167–168 Ring Road see Eastern Lookout Nature Drive Ringneck see Australian Ringneck Ringneck Clearing 118 River Red-gum 10, 40, 42, 46, 54, 56, 59, 70, 74, 83, 83, 84, 90, 115, 124–125, 130, *157, *160 fungi on 58 scar trees 89 Rivers and Streams Special Investigation, LCC 34 ‘Road to Nowhere’ 105 roads and tracks see drives and driving; four-wheel drive tracks Round Lake 118, 129, *186 Round Swamp 11, 143–144, 138, *186 Royal Australian Ornithologists’ Union 25, 27 Royal Spoonbill 66, *170 Rubble Lake 11, 118, *187 Rudds Rocks 9, 9, 53, *187 Rudds Rocks Reference Area 108, *187 Rufous Songlark 51, *174 ruins and relics 72, 74, 75, 90, 90, 101, 140, 142, 144 Milmed Ruins 143, *185 Wonga Hut 71, 72, 125, *188 other huts 76, 101, 143 Baptist church 22 Ebenezer Mission 16 grave of baby Cameron 19, 19, 76 plough 72, 74 schools 22, 22 stockyards 90, 123, 130 wells 74, 90, 96, 101, 142, 143 Russell, Andrew 17, 93 Sabrina 187 salinity 9, 57, 80, 85 Sand Goanna 42, 44, 64, 103, *168 scar tree 13 Scrub Cypress-pine 46, 54, 59, 101, 101, 103, 108, 109, *151, *163 seed dispersal 60 sheoaks see Allocasuarina species Shepherd’s Pines Clearing 90, 118, *187

Shingleback see Stumpy-tailed Lizard Short-beaked Echidna 51, 61, 66, *175 Shy Heathwren 103, *172 Silky Mouse 45, 66, 108, *175 Silver Gull 66, *171 Sim Perry’s pump 141 Sister Dunes 100, *187 Sitella see Varied Sitella Skene, A.J. 17 Slaty Sheoak *155, *164 Slender-billed Thornbill 108, *172 Slender Cypress-pine 40, 52, 54, 59,70, 87–88, 89, 92, 98, 103, 105, 123, 124, 125, *154, *151, *162 Slender-leaf Mallee 101, *158, *161 Slender Velvet-bush 126, *159 Small Cooba 48, *157, *165 Small-leaved Clematis 51, 60, *158 Smilax 38, *152 snakes 42, 64, 115, list *168 Snow-myrtle 48, *157, *164 Snowdrift 93, 116, 131, 132, 134, 136, *187 soils and sands 6–11, 85, 95 South Wyperfeld 2, 71–76, 119–130 map 118 South Wyperfeld Wilderness Zone 107, 140 Southern Boobook Owl 66, 76, *172 Southern Bullfrog 64, *167 Southern Scrub-robin 108, *173 Southern Spiny-tailed Gecko 44, 45, *167 Spear-grass species 48, 87, 97, 124, *152 spiders 45, 62–63 Spiny-tailed Gecko see Southern Spiny-tailed Gecko Spiny Wattle 51, *157, *165 Splendid Fairy-wren 50, 103, *172 Spotted Burrowing Skink 42, *167 The Springs 138, 139, 140-141, *187 Steelblue Sawfly 63 Stinkwort 85, 87, *153 Stone-maker Fungus 59 Strauss, Herman 144, *180 Striated Grasswren 104, 108, *173 Stumpy-tailed Lizard 42, 46, 51, 60, 64, 65, 67, 86, 103, *167 Sturt, Charles 17 Sugarwood 98, *157, *162 Sulphur-crested Cockatoo 88, 123, *171 Sunset Country 7, 35 sunsets 1, 43, 98 swales 11, 101, 108 Sweet Quandong 15, 15, *159 Tangled Burr-daisy 48, 60, 124, *153 Tarr, Harold 28, 29, 36, 65–66, *149, *180 Tawny Frogmouth 65, 66, 76, *172 Tea-tree see Heath Tea-tree; Mallee Tea-tree temperatures 41, 46 termites 61 Three-nerved Wattle 52, 85, *157


s)NDEX tracks see animal tracks; four-wheel drive tracks; walks Tree Goanna 42, 64, *167 Treecreepers see White-browed Treecreeper; Brown Treecreeper trees and shrubs lists *151–165 Trig Point Hill *187 Tritter Track *187 Twelve Mile Patch 138, 141, *188 Twelve Mile Patch Track 107, 141, 144, *188 Twiggy Guinea-flower 124, *156 Twining Fringe Lily 54, *152 Tyakil Nature Walk 119, 129, *186 Umbrella Wattle 51, 67, *157 Variable Groundsel 48, 49, 60, 87, 124, *154 vegetation types and classes list (appendix 7) *166 Velvet Tobacco 48, *159 Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) 26, 33 visitor facilities and information 36, 113–117 North Wyperfeld (Pine Plains) and Casuarina campground 131–136 South Wyperfeld and Wonga camp ground 118– 130 West Wyperfeld and Murrrayville Track 137– 144 Wagon Flat 138, 140, *188 walks 46, 116 day walks, North Wyperfeld 98, 136 day walks, South Wyperfeld 105, 119, 127–130 Intentions Book 116, 127 overnight walks 106, 111, 116, 127, 144 Wallaby see Black Wallaby Wallach Clearing 132, *188 Wallowa *157, *164 water sources 93, 95, 108 groundwater 9, 71, 85, 109 see also droughts; floods; rainfall water supply 71, 72, 73, 80–81, 95–96, 109 Wathe Flora and Fauna Reserve 2, 36, 99 wattles see Acacia species Wedge-tailed Eagle 65, 68, 97–98, *170 weeds 11, 36, 37, 38, 48, 60, 85–87, 98, 99, 101 Weedy Lake 118, 188 Weeping Pittosporum 67, 122, 123, *158, *162 Wergaia (Aboriginal People) 109 West Australian Blind Snake 64, *168 West Hopetoun Baptist Church 22, 22 West Wyperfeld 2, 106–110, 137–144 map 107, 138 Western Blue-tongued Lizard 64, *167 Western Grey Kangaroo 45, 66, 74, 77, 78, 97, *175 Western Lookout Dune 118, 129, *188 Western Pygmy-possum 66, *175 Wheel-fruit 43, 54, *157 Whistling Kite 65, *170 White-bellied Sea-Eagle 66, *170 White-browed Treecreeper 97, 97, *172

White-browed Woodswallow 50 , 97, *174 White Springs, Big Desert State Forest 144 White-striped Freetail Bat 76, *175 White-winged Chough 65, 88, *174 Wilderness Special Investigation, LCC 34 Wilderness Zones 34, 107, 137 definition *150 see also Chinaman Flat, North Wyperfeld and South Wyperfeld Wilderness Zones wildflowers see flowering plants Willie Wagtail 88, *174 Wimmera-Mallee Domestic and Stock Water Supply System 80 Wimmera River 17, 56, 85 Wimmera River-Outlet Creek system 17, 34, 56,79, 79–82, 85, 90 see also Outlet Creek Windmill Tank 132, *188 Wirrengren Plain 11, 12–13, 17, 48, 81, 85, 91–92, 135, *151, *188 archaeological site 13 Wolf Spider 45, 62–63, 63 Wonga Basin 26–27 Wonga camp ground 2, 11, 71–76, 73, 119–130 map 73 Wonga Dune 74, 75 Wonga Hut 69, 71, 72, 122, *188–189 Wonga Lake 23, 81, 130, *188–189 archaeological site 13 Wonga Lake Station 17, 19, 93, 94, *147, *180, *188– 189 Wonga Well 31, 74, 90 woodswallows 50, 51, *174 see also White-browed Woodswallow Wool Track 132, 136, *189 Woorinen soils 7, 20, 99 Wotjobaluk (Aboriginal People) 12–16, 104 Wyperfeld Committee of Management 26, 29–30, 32–33, 33, 53, 71, 73, 74, *149, *183 Wyperfeld Development Plan 71 Wyperfeld National Park brief description 1–2, 56 general visitor information 113–117 growth 34, *148 map 4–5 maps, list of 114 origin of name 1, 29, *189 proclamation as park 27–29 see also entries for park sectors: East Wyperfeld; North Wyperfeld (Pine Plains); South Wyperfeld; West Wyperfeld Wyperfeld National Park Advisory Committee 33, 36, *149 Yallum Dune 100, *189 Yanac *189 Yellow-billed Spoonbill 66, 88, *170 Yellow Gum 75, 101, 105, 143, *158, *160 Yellow Mallee 105, *161 Yellow-plumed Honeyeater 47, 103, *173 Yorrel *157, *161


WYPERFELD NATIONAL PARK, in the Big Desert area of the northwest Victorian Mallee, had its genesis in 1909 as a 9,600 acre natural reserve. Since then its area has been increased almost a hundredfold. It was the abundance and diversity of birdlife which initially caused enthusiastic naturalists to press for reservation. However, the area also has a remarkable richness of other forms of life, including more than 650 species of plants, all forming intriguing relationships with its subtly varied landscape. This book opens its Wyperfeld story with the origins of the Mallee landforms, traces something of the Aboriginal occupation and of colonial settlement of the Mallee, and then details the development of Wyperfeld itself. It has descriptions and illustrations of the great range of interesting experiences and observations which await any visitor, giving up-to-date details on camping and accommodation options as well as the many available tracks for walking, cycling or driving. Wyperfeld is published by the Friends of Wyperfeld National Park, a voluntary support group formed in 1976. The author, Geoff Durham, has been an active member of this group since its formation, president of the Victorian National Parks Association and a member of the National Parks Advisory Council. In this book, he has brought together input from Friends and park staff, as well as from numerous scientific and historic specialists and sources. With 178 photographs, 54 maps and other illustrations, and a thoroughly researched and easy-to-read text, this book will be an indispensable companion for any Wyperfeld visitor.

Profile for Victorian National Parks Association

Wyperfeld-Australia's First Mallee National Park  

Wyperfeld - Australia's First Mallee National Park

Wyperfeld-Australia's First Mallee National Park  

Wyperfeld - Australia's First Mallee National Park

Profile for vnpa
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