Dry Tropics Biodiversity Group Inc.

(inform, educate, enthuse, implement)

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Wild Plant "Hot Spots": Alligator Ck | Town Common and Bald Rock |
Mt. Stuart summit | Paluma "H Trail" | Running River | Quarantine Station | Rangeview Ranch | Saunder's Beach closed forest


Mount Stuart tableland:
Mt. Stuart tableland gen. info. | remove Balloon Cotton Bush weeds on summit visits | map
about the data & symbols & references | top


Lists of plant species at "Mt. Stuart Hot Spots": at summit Rotary Lookout, on way in to lookout | at summit Rotary Lookout, under Ficus platypoda | at summit Rotary Lookout, first clearing | below first TV tower at rockclimbing cliffs

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Map of the Mount Stuart tableland 


General information about the Mount Stuart tableland

Our lists show this to be one of the four most species rich "Plant Hot Spot areas", along with Alligator Creek, Paluma Rainforest and Running River. Mt. Stuart is in more of a rainshadow than are many other local slopes, so woodland extends right to the top where elsewhere there would usually be forest. Most of the summit vegetation type is "Eucalyptus paedoglauca (locally endemic, rare and threatened classification "vulnerable"), Eucalyptus exserta mid-high open woodland". Below spectacular cliffs is another wonderful asset that is almost in the suburbs... the largest continuous area of closed forest around Townsville: "mid-high to tall dry closed forest with deciduous emergents". This occurs despite the rainshadow derived dryness, because fire is kept out by boulder strewn rocky slopes. Especially the foothills region has less diversity that is characteristic of the dryer closed forests that occur well west of the Range, and contains species that are also common out there. Rubber vine typically most seriously affects the dryer country south of Mt. Elliot, and west of The Range, so in accord with the dryness here it is not surprising that serious damage has already been inflicted upon this patch of scrub by Rubber Vine. Potentially serious damage is likely from the a species that was almost certainly dumped over cliffs as TV Tower building garden refuse. I think it will be impossible to stop.... Mother-of-millions. The first sighting in the area of a common Southern Queensland weed was observed by members preparing this list.. "Balloon Cotton Bush" was probably introduced by vehicles, or from the dumping of the interesting capsules.


The oldest rock (380 M years or so) in the area is limestone built up from coral reefs and marine life skeletons laid down under the sea about the time life colonised the land. This is mined on Hervey Range that is visible in the distance. The very early seashore was more inland. All visible mountains and ranges formed from under the sea only after life emerged from the sea onto land. Mt. Stuart was formed similarly to Mt. Elliot (Julago granitics). However the top of Mt. Stuart was part of the durable flat inland plain, and a small residual plateau is at the same height as both the larger Pinnacles plateau and the top of Hervey Range to the west. A few old sea front stranded dune lines formed in the last several thousand years can perhaps be seen from the lookout towards the bay. Look for the lines of woodlands. The saltpans are extensive around Townsville. Cape Cleveland is part of the Bowling Green Bay National Park that includes Mt. Elliot's peaks as well as a huge coastal belt to the south.

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