Australian Heritage Database Places for Decision



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Condition:
 
The Porongurup National Park is the largest inland remnant between the Albany coastline and the Stirling Range. The overall condition and integrity of the Porongurup Range is relatively good, despite selective logging which began in the late nineteenth century and only ended in the 1960s. Most of the area surrounding the park has been extensively cleared for agriculture.
 
Fire has devastated areas of the Porongurup Range a number of times in the last century (CALM 1999). A severe fire spread into the park in March 1966, seriously damaging many mature karri trees. The karri forest and the granite outcrop communities, where most endemic species grow, are particularly sensitive to fire, having evolved without the presence of frequent fire (CALM 1999). Young karri trees need to be over 20 metres tall before being able to sustain even low intensity fires. An integrated approach to fire management has been introduced to reduce fuel in the jarrah-marri forest but maintain the karri forest as a ‘no burn’ block. In February 2007 approximately 2500 hectares of the National Park were burnt in a bushfire, resulting in a significant loss of habitat for many species including the ringtail possum, quenda, Moggridgea (trapdoor spider) and other invertebrates. However, there has been widespread regeneration, and good recovery of flora species that can germinate from the seed bank in the soil (Naturebase 2007).
 
Weeds present a significant challenge for park management with 113 species documented in the National Park (Keighery 1999). The incorporation of farmland into the park boundary, good soils, and clearing have all hastened the spread and distribution of weed species (CALM 1999). Dieback disease, caused by the soil-born fungus Phytophthora cinnamomi, is present in the Jarrah forest/woodland community on the lower slopes of the range, however, it is less widespread than Armillaria luteobubalina, a native fungus (CALM 1999).
 
Feral foxes, feral cats, and the domestic dog have adversely affected native fauna populations, and are thought to have contributed directly to the decline of numerous species including the numbat, tammar wallaby and ringtail possum (CALM 1999). The European rabbit, house mouse, black rat, and feral bees are also present in the park (CALM 1999). Unconfirmed reports also indicate that feral goats and pigs live within the park boundary.
 
The Porongurup National Park offers a wide range of facilities including walking tracks and roads, carparks and picnic areas. The park is actively managed by a park ranger based on site.
 
This condition statement is taken primarily from the Stirling Range and Porongurup National Parks Management Plan (CALM 1999).
 




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