Mount Monster Conservation Park

Where is it?:  Mount Monster Conservation Park lies approximately 12 kilometres south of Keith on the western side of the Riddoch Highway along Mount Monster Road.

Owner: Department of the Environment, Water and Natural Resources.

History: Ninety-two hectares were dedicated as a Conservation Park on 30 September 1976 as a gift from three surrounding land owners.  On 18 February 2010 and additional 34 hectares were added to the park.

Property summary: Total area 126 hectares. Hundred of Stirling – Sections 478, 499 and Allotment 11.

Habitat: The park is dominated by steep rocky outcrops separated by narrow, deep gullies, producing a wide range of gradients and a number of sheer cliff faces. The rocky outcrops are dominated by an unusual granite (found in only one other location in South Australia) and some small outcroppings of tertiary limestone. Eight different vegetation associations have been identified:

  • Broombush (Melaleuca uncinata) / honey myrtle (Melaleuca brevifolia) / dryland tea-tree (Melaleuca lanceolata) Association is widespread throughout the park, but the mix of these three species varies considerably throughout the park, depending mostly on soil type.
  • Hedge wattle (Acacia paradoxa) / broombush (Melaleuca uncinata) / honey myrtle (Melaleuca brevifolia) / dryland tea-tree (Melaleuca lanceolata) Association only occurs on the rocky porphoritic outcrops, this association is also dominated by spoon-leaved spyridium (Spyridium spathulatum) andisolated individuals of Drooping sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillata).
  • Pink gum (Eucalyptus fasciculosa) / desert banksia (Banksia marginata) Association is very restricted, occurring only along the edge of the unsealed road on the northern boundary. It has the most diverse understorey of all the      associations in Mount Monster, and includes beaked hakea (Hakea rostrata), heath tea-tree (Leptospermum myrsinoides), prickly tea-tree (Leptospermum continentale), and austral grasstree (Xanthorrhoea australis).
  • Yellow mallee (Eucalyptus incrassata) / honey myrtle (Melaleuca brevifolia) / dryland tea-tree (Melaleuca lanceolata) Association occurs away from the porphoritic outcrops over shallow soils. It has a reasonably diverse and dense understorey, including species such as Beaked hakea (Hakea rostrata), broom ballart (Exocarpus sparteus), drooping sheoak (Allocasuarina verticillata), and austral grasstree (Xanthorrhoea australis).
  • Pink gum (Eucalyptus fasciculosa)/ golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha) / honey myrtle (Melaleuca brevifolia) / dryland tea-tree (Melaleuca lanceolata) Association is found on the deep alluvial soils, this association has a dense and diverse understorey including Beaked hakea (Hakea rostrata), broom ballart (Exocarpos sparteus), drooping sheoak (AIIocasuarina verticillata), and austral grasstree (Xanthorrhoea australis).
  • Peppermint box (Eucalyptus odorata) / white mallee (Eucalyptus gracilis)  Association with emergent pink gum (Eucalyptus fasciculosa) and golden wattle (Acacia pycnantha). It is the most wide-spread association in the park, and consequently the species mix varies greatly. It has a very limited, sparse understorey.
  • Peppermint box (Eucalyptus odorata) / South Australian coastal mallee                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               (Eucalyptus diversifolia) Association is only found along the south-eastern boundary of the park. The understorey is very limiteand very sparse consisting mostly of austral grasstree (Xanthorrhoea australis) and honey myrtle (Melaleuca brevifolia). South Australian coastal mallee also occurs in isolated pockets throughout the park, but not often enough to warrant a separate association.
  • South Australian blue gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon) / peppermint box (Eucalyptus odorata) Association occurs in the deep alluvial soils between the porphoritic outcrops. The trees are mature, well spaced and have no understorey or juvenile trees.

More information: DEWNR

Total Species Recorded to Date: 103 (non-passerines 38, passerines 65)

Common Species: Galah, Red-rumped Parrot, Eastern Rosella, Superb Fairywren, New Holland Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, Southern Scrub Robin, Tree Martin

Less Common Species: Australian Owlet-Nightjar, Sacred Kingfisher, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Black-faced Honeyeater, Grey Butcherbird, Restless Flycatcher

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