Shire of Carnamah
|Area||~2,870 square kilometres, located ~310 km north of Perth.|
|Towns||Carnamah and Eneabba|
|Temperature||Mean daily maximum temperature over 30 years 1990 – 2019
Coastal: 30.7°C (Jan) and 19.7°C (Jul); Inland: 36.6°C (Jan) and 18.5°C (Jul).
|Annual Rainfall||Average annual rainfall over 30 years 1990 – 2019
Coastal: 571 mm; Inland: 327 mm (BoM 2020).
|ABS Profile||Carnamah ABS profile|
|Shire Website||Shire of Carnamah|
Around 540 people live in the Shire of Carnamah, with the majority of those people (~400) living in the town of Carnamah itself (ABS 2016).
The population in the Shire of Carnamah remained stable between the last census in 2011 and the most recent census in 2016, but is projected to decrease by 27% by 2031 (DPLH 2016).
Approximately 14% of residents of the Shire of Carnamah were born overseas and approximately 3.5% are of Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander descent.
Estimates of the resident populations as at 30 June are released annually for Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Australia by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The estimates are generally revised 12 months later and final estimates are available after the following census. Visit the ABS website for further details.
The economy of the Shire of Carnamah depends primarily on agriculture and services. Local farming includes the production of cereal crops (wheat, canola, lupins, oats) and livestock (sheep and cattle). Wildflower farming is also a growing industry in the region. Local mineral sands mines once produced 80% of the world’s rutile supply but the mineral extraction industry has declined in recent years (MWDC 2013).
The main land uses in the Shire of Carnamah are agriculture and nature conservation.
Yarra Yarra Lake Conservation Park and Nature Reserve
The Yarra Yarra Lake Conservation Park covers ~14 315 ha and the adjacent Yarra Yarra Lakes Nature Reserve covers an additional ~1 847 ha. Both reserves protect the extensive Yarra Yarra salt lakes system and surrounding vegetation. The reserves form part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
White Gums Nature Reserve
The White Gums Nature Reserve covers ~213 ha and is located north east of Eneabba. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Tathra National Park
The Tathra National Park was established in 1971 and covers ~ 5 760 ha and is located between Eneabba and Carnamah. The national park is characterised by low heath on rolling sandplains known for their incredible diversity of endemic wildflowers. This open sandy country is called the ‘kwongan’. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Stockyard Gully National Park
The Stockyard Gully National Park covers ~1 850 and is located primarily in the Shire of Coorow. The park has a several subterranean limestone caves which drain into an underground river system. The park also has abundant native wildflowers. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Lake Logue Nature Reserve
The Lake Logue Nature Reserve covers ~6 732 ha of Lesueur Sandplain and forms part of the Logue-Indoon System, a wetland of national importance in Australia. The reserve was established for the purpose of conserving flora and fauna and supports a population of Priority 4 Heath-like Eremophila Eremophila microtheca. Around 130 invertebrate species and nearly 50 waterbird species have been recorded within the reserve.
Depot Hill Nature Reserve
The Depot Hill Nature Reserve covers ~84 ha and is located north east of Eneabba. , along the Three Springs – Eneabba Road. The reserve was created for the protection of flora and fauna.
Beekeepers Nature Reserve
Beekeepers Nature Reserve extends from Jurien Bay to just south of Dongara, covering ~88 000 ha. A great variety of wildflowers can be seen in the reserve during the season.
Beagle Islands Nature Reserve
The Beagle Islands Nature Reserve was gazetted in 1991 and covers ~45 hectares. The Beagle Islands are a small group of islands located ~15 km from Leeman. They are at the northern end of the Turquoise Coast islands nature reserve group and home to the largest population of Australian Sea Lions in Western Australia.
Much of the coastline in the Shire of Carnamah is comprised of deep sandy calcareous sands forming part of the complex dune system and some gravelly soils overlying limestone outcrops. The flat terrain along the coast comprises of saline and salt lake soils. To east of the salt lakes exists seasonal wet plains which are characterised by red calcareous clayey soils. The eastern portion of the shire is dominated by lake systems comprising of saline and salt lake soils. Much of the areas surrounding the lake system is a plain with low dunes and depressions consisting of deep sandy and sandy earth soils.
Please go to the below link for more information on soil and geology in the region
Priority Fauna Species
Lesueur Sandplains (Geraldton Sandplains 2)
The Geraldton Hills is located in the LGAs in the middle portion of the region. This subregion is characterised by Proteaceous scrub heath dominates the undulating sandplain lying over the Permian and Cretaceous strata. Outwash plains associated with the drainage lines are dominated by York Gum and Jam woodlands. The lateritic mesas, sandplains, coastal sandplains and limestone are rich in shrub-heaths (Desmond and Chant, 2001c).
Ancient Drainage subregion (Avon Wheatbelt 1)
The Ancient Drainage subregion occurs in the eastern LGAs of the NAR. This subregion is characterised by Proteaceous scrub occupies much of the lateritic hills and outcrops. The alluvial plains associated with the drainage lines is dominated by eucalypts, Casuarinas, York Gum and Jam wattle woodlands (Beecham, 2001a).
Threatened Ecological Communities
Assemblages of Organic Mound Springs of the Three Springs Area
The Mound Springs (Three Springs Area) community is State listed as Endangered, and occurs within the Geraldton Sandplains IBRA Bioregion. The habitat of this community is described in Interim Recovery Plan No. 196 (pg 2) as being characterised by the continuous discharge of groundwater in raised areas of peat – providing a stable, permanently moist series of microhabitats, supporting a rich and healthy fauna, including invertebrate insects. Moisture loving species of flora are supported, including an overstorey of Melaleuca preissiana, Eucaluptus camaldulensis and/or E. rudis, a shrub layer of Hypocalymma angustifolium and Acacia saligna over Baumea vaginalis and other sedges.
The maintenance of hydrological processes (quality and quantity of water) is essential in supporting this community, and the mounds have been threatened by disturbance due to clearing and conversion to farm water points among other processes.
Priority Ecological Communities
One priority marine area occurs in the Shire of Carnamah and this is the Turquoise Coast Islands Nature Reserve. The Turquoise Coast island nature reserves are a chain of approximately 40 islands, islets and rocks. The islands range in size from less than 0.1 ha to approximately 31.5 ha and extend to low water mark, which includes the surrounding intertidal areas.
Primary and Secondary Coastal Dunes
Primary dunes (from low water mark) and secondary dunes. Valued for recreational, aesthetic and cultural reasons, along with the services provided for storm protection and habitat.
Seagrasses are flowering plants that complete their life cycle submerged in seawater. Western Australia has the world’s highest diversity of seagrasses, with 27 species occurring in shallow waters off the coast. Seagrasses form a vital component of marine ecosystems through their services as primary biomass producers, sources of habitat (including breeding and nursery areas) and dissolved oxygen, sediment traps, and nutrient cycling. Seagrass distribution is determined by a combination of shelter, sediment, turbidity, nutrient, temperature, current and tidal influences.
Extensive seagrass meadows occur in protected near-shore areas of the NAR, where clear water, low nutrients and sandy sea floors prevail, and are dominated by the long strap-like Ribbonweed or Strapweed (Posidonia spp) and the thin-stemmed Wireweed (Amphibolis spp).
Seagrass habitats are fragile and susceptible to damage and can take many years to recover from disturbance, such as physical damage/removal and shading due to algal blooms (as a result of increased nutrients), and sedimentation (due to dredging activities and erosion in catchment areas).
More information on seagrasses in Western Australia can be found in the following publications: Flowers of the Ocean: WA’s Expansive Seagrass Meadows; The Wonders of Weed Information Sheet; Fisheries Fact Sheet: Seagrasses; Establishing Reference and Monitoring Sites to Assess a Key Indicator of Ecosystem Health (Seagrass Health) on the central west Coast of Western Australia (see references).
Gascoyne Groundwater Area
The Gascoyne Groundwater Area extends north to Kalbarri and bounds the Arrowsmith Groundwater Area east to pastoral country. The largest groundwater aquifer occurs in the Yarragadee Formation, which has an estimated yield of 22.5 million m³/year (NACC, 2005). Groundwater from fractured rock aquifers in the eastern, inland part of the region is predominantly saline and poor yielding. This region of the Gascoyne Groundwater Area falls under the Carnarvon Artesian Basin Allocation Plan.
Arrowsmith Groundwater Area
The Arrowsmith Groundwater Area spans approximately 10,300 km2 of land and currently has a total groundwater availability of around 151 million m3/year. The largest groundwater aquifers occur in the Yarragadee and Parmelia formations that together receive over 80 per cent of the total direct rainfall recharge, although the quality is variable. The Superﬁcial formation is an important resource near the coast, and similarly to the deeper aquifers, the quality and quantity of the groundwater is variable.
For information on the allocation plan click here.
Drainage Basin Length (km) Catchment Area (km2) Average Stream Salinity (mg/L) Key Characteristics Moore-Hill 288 13,450 3000-35000 The Moore River’s eastern reaches (Moore River East) which originates near Dalwallinu, and northern reaches (Moore River North) commences east of Coorow. The major tributaries are the Coonderoo River and Gingin Brook. The Moore River enters the ocean at Guilderton and the estuary is only open to the ocean for a few weeks each year.
Lake Logue/ Indoon System
A good example of a suite of linked seasonal freshwater/brackish basins that occur in the bioregion. The System acts as a major feeding stop-over, staging area for dispersal and a drought refuge for waterbirds. A population of the declared vulnerable plant Eremophila microtheca (Nv, Sr) occurs on seasonally waterlogged ﬂats.