Shire of Moora
|Area||~3,767 square kilometres, located ~180 km north of Perth.|
|Towns||Miling, Moora and Watheroo|
|Average Temperature||Mean daily maximum temperature over 30 years 1990 – 2019
34.4°C (Jan) and 17.5°C (Jul).
|Annual Rainfall||Average annual rainfall over 30 years 1990 – 2019 419 mm (BoM 2020).|
|ABS Profile||Moora ABS profile|
|Shire Website||Shire of Moora|
Around 2,480 people live in the Shire of Moora, about 70% of whom (1,772 people) live in the town of Moora itself (ABS 2016).
The population in the Shire of Moora decreased by a little over 3% between the last census in 2011 and the most recent census in 2016, and is projected to decrease by a further 7.5% by 2031 (DPLH 2016).
Approximately 11% of residents of the Shire of Moora were born overseas and approximately 11% 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 Moora depends primarily on broad acre agriculture and the services that support farming in the area. Local farming includes the production of cereal crops (wheat, canola, lupins, oats), horticultural crops, and livestock (primarily sheep). Proximity to interesting nature reserves such as New Norcia and Pinnacles make the region a popular tourist destination and tourism is a small but growing area of the economy in Moora.
The main land uses in the Shire of Moora are agriculture and nature conservation.
Watheroo National Park
The Watheroo National Park covers ~ 59 786 ha and at the boundary between the Shires of Coorow, Moora and Dandaragan. The national park contains Jingemia Cave, borders on Pinjarrega Nature Reserve and extends to the banks of the Moore River. Vegetation in the park is characterised by low sandplain heath and Banksia and Mallee thicket, and produces abundant displays of wildflowers in spring.
Namban Nature Reserve
The Namban Nature Reserve covers ~394 ha of salt lake habitat located north of Coomberdale.
Merewana Nature Reserve
The Merewana Nature Reserve covers ~54 ha and is located east of Watheroo.
Martinjinni Nature Reserve
The Martinjinni Nature Reserve covers ~338 ha and is located north of Miling and west of Dalwallinu.
Long Pool Nature Reserve
The Long Pool Nature Reserve covers ~92 ha and is located north east of Moora.
Karamarra Nature Reserve
The Karamarra Nature Reserve covers ~60 ha and is located near Lake Dalaroo just outside of Moora.
Jocks Well Nature Reserve
The Jocks Well Nature Reserve covers ~54 ha and is located east of Watheroo.
Gunyidi Nature Reserve
The Gunyidi Nature Reserve covers ~177 ha and is located between Gunyidi and Watheroo.
Doutha Soak Nature Reserve
The Doutha Soak Nature Reserve covers ~22 ha and is located east of Canna. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
The bedrock geology underlying the western portion of the Shire of Moora is the Coolyena group, which comprises of chalk interspersed with greensand, glauconitic, siltstone, sandstone and marl. The group includes the Poison Hill Greensand, Gingin Chalk , Molecap Greensand and Molecap formations. The Coomberdale subgroup was formed during the Mezoproterozoic era from sedimentary and volcanic rocks. The Coomberdale subgroup comprises of sandstone, siltstone, dolomite rock, stromatolitic dolomite rock and silicified dolomite rock. The underlying geology of the eastern portion of shire is the south west terrain of the Yilgarn Craton. The area comprises of igneous and metamorphic rocks formed during the archean period. The minerals includes granitic rock, granulitic and migmatite rock and gneiss.
The soils underlying the western portion of the Shire are described as deep sandy siliceous soils yellow to brown often with gravelly soils. These soil types overlies a number of a complex landscape features from alluvial plains associated with the Moore river catchment and ancient lake systems, to a low dune systems. Rising from the landscapes are hill slopes with emergent subdued breakaways. The soil type in the eastern portion of the shire is described as non-alkaline subsoils of sandy and loamy duplexes. This soil type overlies undulating rises to undulating low hills of magmatite rock and granite rock outcrops. This portion of the shire also comprises of alluvial plains and valleys associated with the Moore river catchment.
Please go to the below link for more information on soil and geology in the region
Priority Fauna Species
Re-juvenated Drainage subregion (Avon Wheatbelt 2)
The Re-juvenated Drainage subregion occurs in the eastern LGAs of the NAR. The Rejuvenate drainage subregion is characterised by undulating rises and low hills with low areas associated with the watercourses in area. The vegetation consists of woodlands of Wandoo, York Gum and trees of Salmon Gum over shrublands of jam and casuarinas (Beecham, 2001b).
Northern Jarrah Forest subregion (Jarrah Forest 1)
The Northern Jarrah Forrest is located in the southern LGAs. This subregion is characterised by Jarrah- Marri Forest over lateritic gravel. Woodlands of Wandoo – Marri forest over clayey soils in the east. In areas of Mesozoic sediment exists Jarrah forests occurring with a variety of other flora species (Williams and Mitchell, 2001).
Dandaragan Plateau subregion (Swan Coastal Plain 1)
The Dandaragan plateau is located in the southern LGAs of the NAR. This subregion is characterised by low woodlands of Banksia, Jarrah-Marri woodlands and scrub heath on laterite pavement and on gravelly sandplain (Desmond, 2001).
Threatened Ecological Communities
Herbaceous plant assemblages on bentonite lake beds (Vegetation Types 1,2,3&7) and margins (Vegetation Types 4,5&6) of the Watheroo-Marchagee region
This TEC occurs within the Geraldton Sandplains IBRA Region. The following description is from the Herbaceous plant assemblages on bentonite lake beds (Vegetation Types 1,2,3&7) and margins (Vegetation Types 4,5&6) of the Watheroo-Marchagee region Interim recovery plan no. 108 (pg 2):
The plant community comprises herbaceous plant assemblages dominated by a combination of Triglochin mucronata, Trichanthodium exile, Asteridea athrixioides and Puccinellia stricta (Vegetation types 1,2,3&7) on the lake beds, and a combination of Podolepis capillaris, Angianthus tomentosus and Pogonolepis stricta (Vegetation types 4,5&6) on the lake margins, of bentonite lakes in the Watheroo-Marchagee region. These herbaceous plant assemblages are characterised by a dependence on a bentonite (saponite) substrate – naturally restricted to the lake beds and margins of perched, ephemeral freshwater playa lakes and claypans of the Watheroo-Marchagee region. Whilst most lakes comprise only herbaceous species, there are a number with varying densities of Casuarina obesa trees, and shrubs of Melaleuca lateriflora subspp. lateriflora and Acacia ligustrina.
Current Status: WA listed as Endangered.
Heath dominated by one or more of Regelia megacephala, Kunzea praestans and Allocasuarina campestris on ridges and slopes of the chert hills of the Coomberdale Floristic Region
This TEC is located within the Avon Wheatbelt IBRA region, the following description from the Heath dominated by one or more of Regelia megacephala, Kunzea praestans and Allocasuarina campestris on ridges and slopes of the chert hills of the Coomberdale Floristic Region Interim recovery plan no. 65 (pg 3):
This community consists of tall, dense heath dominated by either Regelia megacephala or Allocasuarina campestris on exposed chert ridges; tall, dense heath or open low woodland over dense to mid-dense heath dominated by Kunzea praestans or Allocasuarina campestris on shallow loamy rocky soil over chert on the slopes and ridges of chert hills. The suite of plant species associated with the dominant species named above includes one or more of Dryandra fraseri var. fraseri, Dryandra sessilis, Hibbertia subvaginata, Xanthorrhoea drummondii, Melaleuca sp., Calothamnus quadrifidus and Calytrix leschenaultii.
Current Status: WA listed as Endangered.
Banksia Woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain: a nationally protected ecological community
The Banksia Woodlands ecological community only occurs on or adjacent to the Swan Coastal Plain of Western Australia, which stretches to the north and south of Perth. The broader region—Southwest Australia—is recognised as one of only two global biodiversity hotspots in Australia.
The ecological community provides habitat for many native plants and animals that rely on Banksia Woodlands for their homes and food. Remaining patches of the ecological community provide important wildlife corridors and refuges in a mostly fragmented landscape.
The ecological community was listed as endangered under Australia’s national environment law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), on 16 September.
For more information about this ecological community visit the Department of Environment website.
Priority Ecological Communities
Jurien Groundwater Area
The Jurien Groundwater Area spans over 5,000 km2 of land and has a total groundwater availability of around 84 million m3/year. Groundwater usage is low, with 21 per cent of resources allocated. There are also signiﬁcant amounts of groundwater available in the Parmelia/Leederville formations. The superﬁcial formation contains important resources near the coast, although the quality and quantity of groundwater is variable (DoW, 2010).
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.