The Great Western Woodlands is an internationally significant area of great biological richness. It is the largest remaining area of intact Mediterranean climate woodland left on Earth – comparable to Africa’s Serengeti. Covering almost 16 million hectares – about the same size as England – it is a continuous band of woodlands and heathlands interspersed with salt lakes, granite outcrops and in the north-west, banded ironstone formations ranges. It stretches from the edge of the Wheatbelt to the Eastern Goldfields and pastoral rangelands to the north, the inland deserts to the north-east and the Nullarbor Plain to the east. It connects the south-west corner of Australia to the inland deserts.
More than 20% of Australia’s native plant species and 20% of Australia’s eucalyptus species exist here.
A community of animal species threatened elsewhere in Australia find a unique haven in the Great Western Woodland. These woodlands provide a refuge for many threatened wildlife species found nowhere else on the planet.
The Great Western Woodlands provides a home for numerous bird communities that have been in decline in many parts of Australia as a direct result of habitat destruction and fragmentation. It is home to 33% of WA’s birds and 18% of Australia’s birds. Birdlife Australia conducted a survey of the Woodlands’ bird from 2012 to 2014. The Report and details of the survey may be accessed here.
The Great Western Woodlands is a largely intact ecosystem predominantly located on public lands. Poor fire management, feral animals, weed encroachment, and human activities including road construction and mining, are all threats to to the Woodlands.