Dakalanta

Dakalanta

Overview

Covering 13,600 hectares, Dakalanta occupies a strategically important location on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.  It is bounded to the north by Cocata Conservation Park, with other protected areas nearby forming part of the WildEyre Biolink program.

Dakalanta supports a range of vegetation communities including mixed Mallee and Callitris woodlands and Drooping She-oak grassy woodlands.  It is home to a large population of the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat as well as a number of declining and regionally significant bird species.  

Key vitals

Size/area:
13,607 hectares
Mammals:
26
Bioregion:
Eyre Yorke Block
Birds:
118
Ecosystems:
5
Reptiles:
74
Plants:
~250
Amphibians:
3
Threatened wildlife:
6

Wildlife

Dakalanta Sanctuary protects a number of important species including a large population of the Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat, which is in decline across much of its range.  Other notable mammals include the Western Pygmy Possum and the Little Long-tailed Dunnart.

Over 118 species of birds are confirmed or likely to occur on the property including the Peregrine Falcon, Scarlet-chested Parrot, Purple-gaped Honeyeater, Shy Heathwren and Restless Flycatcher.   There is good habitat for Malleefowl, which occurs in the region. 

Click below to view the list of wildlife species at Dakalanta:
Mammals List  |  Birds List  |  Reptiles List  |  Amphibians List  |  Threatened List

Measures of success: Ecological Health

Yellow Throated Miners - P. Hammond
Yellow Throated Miners - P. Hammond

AWC is the only conservation organisation to measure, in a robust scientific manner, the ecological health of a network of sanctuaries in Australia. At Dakalanta, we are establishing a suite of ecological health indicators each year to measure:

  • The diversity and abundance of key faunal groups such as birds and ground-dwelling reptiles.
  • The significance of threats such as feral animal activity and weed occupancy.

Our performance against these indicators will provide rigorous scientific data which enables us to track the ecological health of Dakalanta.

Field programs

The full range of field programs for Dakalanta is being developed.  Current programs include:

  • Biological surveys for the purposes of biological inventory and measuring ecological health. 
  • Revegetation of areas that were previously affected by stock grazing and fire.
  • Targeted feral animal control programs. 

General description

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

Dakalanta is located in the Polda Basin which has a shallow ground water aquifer on the Eyre Peninsula that recharges from local rainfall percolating down through the overlying limestone. The property has a typical Mediterranean type climate with cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers which are somewhat modified by the maritime influence of the nearby ocean.

The southern portion of the property consists of low rises and flats of calcrete with very shallow soils, areas of which have been cleared of the original Drooping She-oak grassy woodlands.  The central and northern portion of the property supports more intact vegetation on low sand ridges or shallow calcareous loam flats both on the underlying calcrete sheet rock. 

Ecosystems and plants

Approximately 250 species of plant are estimated on the sanctuary, including a stunning array of mallee species and around 10 species of small ground orchids.

Ecosystems include:

  • Open grasslands in the southern portion of the property: part of this has been cleared although areas of Drooping She-oak grassland remain and regeneration is occurring.
  • Mallee Box woodlands found in patches and strips on slightly deeper brown sandy soils along the edge of the grasslands.
  • Native Pine woodlands including with mixed mallee species such as the Southern Cypress Pine which is increasing on the property due to reduced grazing pressure and fire suppression.
  • Low mallee woodlands with a variety of understory including spinifex and shrublands.

In addition to the above major vegetation, there are several small pockets of different communities such as the hollow-rich Redgum woodlands and nectar-rich Swamp Paperbark shrublands.

The sanctuary has a significant revegetation program, funded by the local Natural Resource Management Board. This work has been carried out using local seed source and is focussed on restoring the threatened Drooping She-oak grassy woodland in the open degraded areas in the south of the property, which were affected by stock grazing and fire.

Staff at Dakalanta