Brigalow forrest

Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla) is a hardy species of wattle tree that grows to 25 meters high. At the time of European settlement, dense brigalow land stretched across a 6.5 million hectare belt from Charters Towers to northern NSW. The Brigalow Belt ecological community includes many other tree species including Belah, Gidgee, and Lancewood. Today more than 90% of the Brigalow Belt has been cleared for agriculture and development.

Clearing allowed invasive weeds like prickly pear to spread. By the 1930s prickly pear was controlled effectively by the introduced moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, but other effects of clearing such as salinity and erosion now affect the landscape. The clearing of Brigalow also destroys habitat of many plants, animals and birds within the Basin.

The government has set aside two large areas of brigalow as flora and fauna reserves at Lonesome and Dipperu National Parks. Farmers and graziers are encouraged to protect patches of Brigalow on their property especially for biodiversity corridors, strips for shade, shelter and windbreaks.

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