Priority Bio-landscapes were identified across the region in the 2009 Biodiversity Sub-strategy. A 5 km by 5 km grid was placed across the region and those landscapes that had the highest concentrations of biodiversity value within the region were identified. Those landscapes that were identified as having a combination of high rarity for flora/fauna/communities and vegetation associations were classified as Highest Priority bio-landscapes. Those that were identified as having high rarity for flora/fauna/communities but the vegetation associations within them were not rare were classified as Second Priority Bio-landscapes. The full report can be read here: 2009 Biodiversity Sub-Strategy
The Walpole bio-landscape is found surrounding the Walpole township, in the Shire of Manjimup and on the eastern edge of the Warren catchment.
Most of the bio-landscape is located within the Walpole-Nornalup National Park, the Mount Frankland South National Park and the Walpole-Nornalup Inlets Marine Park. The Deep River, Walpole River, and Frankland Rivers flow into the Nornalup Inlet within this bio-landscape.
There is one threatened ecological community found within the bio-landscape, in a number of locations which is the Reedia Swamps – Warren Region TEC. The full title of this Priority 1 TEC is “Reedia spathacea – Empodisma gracillimum – Schoenus multiglumis dominated peat paluslopes and sandy mud floodplains of the Warren Biogeographical Region”.
There are 11 DRF and 16 priority flora populations identified including species such as Chamelaucium sp. Nornalup, Leucopogon alternifolius, Diuris drummondii, Boronia virgata, Actinotus sp. Walpole, Chamaexeros longicaulis and Calymperastrum latifolium.
24 endangered and 4 priority fauna populations have also been identified including species such as the Walpole burrowing crayfish, Western Mud Minnow, Walpole frog, brush-tailed phascogale, baudin’s cockatoo, forest red-tail black cockatoo, Carnaby’s cockatoo, tingle trapdoor spider, Wambenger or brush-tailed Phascogale, quokka and the hooded plover. A number of migratory birds, protected under International Agreements, have been identified in the area including the Common sandpiper, Eastern Great Egret and White-bellied Sea-Eagle.
Walpole bio-landscape and Climate Change
Projected level of risk due to:
Best case to
- where Best Case = MIROC5 and Worst case = CanESM2 at 2090 and RCP8.5; see more here
- Decreasing rainfall = annual rainfall change as % of initial
- Where Very High = greater than 25% reduction; High = 20-25% reduction; Moderate = 15-20% (Note: no where in the region is there projected to be less than 15% reduction in rainfall).
- Increasing temperature = change in maximum summer temperature
- Where Very High = greater than 4 degree increase (maximum projected being 4.7 degrees within the Region); High = 3-4 degree increase; Moderate = 2.5 – 3 degree increase; Low = 2 – 2.5 degree increase (Note: no where in the region is there projected to be less than a 2 degree increase which although lower than the very high 4 degree increase, will still have significant impacts on the environment).
This analysis is a simplistic way of looking at the potential risk of an asset to projected changes in rainfall and temperature. Assets may respond to climatic changes differently and species may be able to adapt in ways we don’t yet fully understand.
SWCC Strategic Priority
The Walpole bio-landscape is identified as a second order priority asset within SWCC’s NRM Strategy under the Terrestrial Biodiversity theme.
- 2009 Biodiversity Sub-Strategy for the South West Catchments Council Prepared for the South West Catchments Council by Ecosystem Solutions Pty Ltd 2009.
Header and thumbnail images supplied by Damien Postma.