Bukkulla has been gazetted as a Regional Park under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act, with the Wildlife Land Fund as its sole trustee.
Conservation Values of Bukkulla
Bukkulla Park includes semi-evergreen vine thickets, open forests and woodlands.
Currently, there is little disturbance within the semi-evergreen vine thickets. Selective but minor clearing and logging have taken place. There is a mining lease on the Reserve and some quarrying material has been removed. Cattle graze grassy areas. However, they do not have access to the semi-evergreen vine thicket and the stocking rate is low.
Bukkulla Reserve offers excellent opportunities for scientific research. Little is known about the characteristic of the land systems, the taxonomy and the ecology of many of the plant and animal species. Thus there is a possibility to develop monitoring techniques, evaluate human impact, and the sustainability of cattle grazing, and develop appropriate means to manage and conserve some of central Queensland’s remnant bushland.
Bukkulla Regional Park is managed to care for and conserve rare and threatened regional ecosystems and species.
The Wildlife Land Fund is currently reviewing existing management arrangements and resourcing with the Department of Queensland Department of Environment to deliver the desired conservation outcomes. The Wildlife Land Fund also continues to explore opportunities with other parties to advance on-ground activities, including flora and fauna monitoring.
Bukkulla reserve is regionally important as it contains significant areas of semi-evergreen vine thicket, woodland, open forest and representation of the poorly conserved central Queensland serpentinite landscape.
The semi-evergreen vine thicket includes endangered and ‘of concern’ regional ecosystems as well as rare and or threatened plants and animals.
Vegetation associated with the serpentinite landscape is poorly conserved and has a number of rare, poorly known or threatened plant species, the majority of which are endemics. This landscape has an interim listing on the Register of the National Estate (Australian Heritage Commission).
The Park is part of a larger area of conservation interest centred on Pine Mountain, which includes two State Timber Reserves. These are considered to have high intrinsic conservation values as they contain araucarian vine forest and gum-topped blood wood (Corymbia erythrophloia) woodland which merges into lowland semi-evergreen vine thicket, gum-topped bloodwood open woodland with semi-evergreen vine thicket understorey, rosewood (Acacia rhodoxylon) woodland with semi-evergreen vine thicket on the low hills and gum-topped box (Eucalyptus moluccana) woodland with semi-evergreen vine thicket understorey on the footslopes.
The Park has viable linkages to an adjacent tract of remnant vegetation on leasehold and freehold land and to the State Forest on Pine Mountain. It is an important area for conservation in a district where little is protected in reserves.
The average rainfall is highly variable with an annual mean of approximately 900mm. More than 80% of the rain falls in the summer months. Droughts occur frequently. The mean temperature ranges from 35o C in January to 18o C in July.
The geology is complex and made up of acid to intermediate volcanics, conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone and limestone.
The Land Systems
Six land systems (each with their own characteristic soil types) occur in the Reserve and all are reasonably intact.
The Daunia land system is made up of gently undulating rises and plains on sedimentary rocks. Soils are typically black and brown cracking clays; bleached loamy and clay loamy surface, brown and grey, mottled massive gradational loams and clay loams. The original vegetation was mainly brigalow and semi-evergreen vine thickets.
The Moore land system is steep to rolling hills and rises on sedimentary rock. Soils are shallow, stony, brown, red and dark structured gradational clay loams and uniform clays. The original vegetation is mainly semi-evergreen vine thicket.
The artillery land system is made up of undulating low hills, rises and fans with finely grained sedimentary rocks. Soils are typically brown and grey alkaline sodic duplex soils with a bleached sandy and loamy surface. The vegetation is mainly eucalypt open woodland.
The Berserker land system comprises steep mountains and escarpments on acid and intermediate volcanic rocks and minor intrusions. Soils are typically shallow, stony brown and black massive loams and clay loams; structured uniform clays and gradational clay loams. Most vegetation is eucalypt woodland with semi-evergreen thicket.
The Glassford land system comprises steep to rolling hills on granite with eucalypt open woodland.
The Marlborough land system is serpentinite on steep mountains with eucalypt open woodland characterised by the serpentinite iron bark.
Sixteen regional ecosystems potentially occur at ‘Lorna Vale’; four of which are regarded as endangered and two are of concern. Endangered ecosystems include:
- semi-evergreen thicket and semi-deciduous notophyll vine forest on alluvials;
- semi-evergreen vine thicket +/- belah (Casuarina cristata) on Tertiary clay;
- brigalow (Acacia harpophylla) shrubby open forest on Palaeozoic sedimentary and metamorphic rocks on lowlands;
- belah and semi-evergreen vine thicket species are sometimes present and semi-evergreen vine thicket on Palaeozoic sedimentary and metamorphic rocks on lowlands.
The regional ecosystems of concern include complex vegetation on a serpentinite landscape comprising:
- woodlands of ironbarks (Eucalyptus fibrosa subsp Glen Geddes (M.I. Booker 10230));
- bloodwoods (Corymbia xanthope + Corymbia dallachiana);
- vine thicket;
- local riparian vegetation and tall woodland or open forest of blue gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) on alluvials.
The Park is quite diverse floristically and supports a range of vertebrate species including the squatter pigeon (Petrophassa scripta) which is scheduled as Vulnerable under the Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulations 1994.