Dry Tropics Biodiversity Group Inc.
(inform, educate, enthuse, implement)
to Hot Spots main page
Wild Plant "Hot Spots":Alligator Ck | Town Common and Bald Rock |
Many Peaks RangeBald Rock walking track and the Town Common
Lists of plant species at "Hot Spots":bird hide turnoff on Bald Rock walking track | walking track at Bald Rock | Town Common main bird hide carpark
Map of the Many Peaks RangeBald Rock walking track and the Town Common
to top | Town Common and Bald Rock main page
Bald rock from dam wall
General information about the Many Peaks Range, Bald Rock track
To "Hot Spots" plant lists: bird hide turnoff on Bald Rock walking track | walking track at Bald Rock |
Vegetation types here are: 1. "Mid-high to tall small leaf closed forest" is common in protected gullies and rocky slopes that are protected from fire; many of the species here are very common in this vegetation type. 2. "seasonally freshwater inundated and drying tall open sedgeland" is a common vegetation type locally. It is difficult to visit and appreciate despite this wetland habitat's international appeal. Then there are those crocodiles..... 3. "Mangroves" 4. "low samphire shrubland" is flooded by spring tides. 5. vegetation devoid supersaline "saltpans"
A long term history of the Many Peaks Range: Long after life first colonised land, but well before the dinosaurs, forest like vegetation consisted of: tree ferns, Horsetails, Ginkgo trees and the very early ancestors of conifers and cycads.This was the time of amphibian reptiles and the first winged insects.. about 280 M years ago.... and also a time when extensive mountain building took place in North Queensland. This mountain building process was called the Julago Volcanics, and gave birth to the Many Peaks Range. Over several million years the rocks that formed the Range were probably at various times buried kilometres deep, then much less, in between explosive volcanic mountain range building and massive bouts of erosion. To put the timing more in perspective... several million years after the volcanics settled down a series of massive extinctions took place worldwide, for example in total they removed fully half of all the animal families, especially the larger animals. The subsequent imbalance left ecological niches that are thought to have led to the evolution of many new species, including the Dinosaur. Far more recently Many Peaks Range remained buried shallowly under a very durable plateau that still exists west of the Range. Finally (only!!! about 10 M years ago) Many Peaks Range was exposed as the steep slopes forming the Paluma and Hervey Ranges were eroded back to their present position by higher sea levels and by continual subsequent slow erosion.
General information about the Townsville Town Common lowlands To "Hot Spots" plant lists: Town Common main bird hide carpark | to top | Town Common and Bald Rock main page
The Town Common has been inhabited by man and grazing animals for the longest period, and unfortunately has the greatest diversity in the weed population. Vegetation types include: 1. "old dune Eucalyptus tessellaris and Melaleuca dealbata tall woodland". Especially Eucalyptus tessellaris is common in this environment in the Townsville Region. 2. "seasonally freshwater inundated and drying tall open sedgeland".
The formation of the Town Common: During the last several thousand years, sediments emerging from the huge Burdekin River and other smaller local creeks and rivers have bridged the gap between Many Peaks Range and the mainland. With retreating sea levels, a few old sea front stranded dune lines formed. These older dunes tend to support open woodlands making them more visible. The Ross River Valley around Townsville drops only shallowly so tides flood large areas that have become mangrove edged saltpans. Typically at and just beyond the high tide level the Townsville coastline contains many internationally valued marshes and lagoons; most obvious is their birdlife. Paragrass has decimated many lagoon ecosystems and grasses imported for use in ponded pastures are present and are potentially an even more serious threat.