Bukkulla Regional Park

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 has 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 of the characteristic of the land systems, the taxonomy and ecology of many of the plant and animal species. Thus there is a possibiltiy to develop monitoring techniques, evaluate human impact, the sustainability of cattle grazing and develop appropriate means to manage and conserve some of central Queensland’s remnant bushland.

Management Intents

Bukkulla Regional Park is managed to care for and conserve rare and threatened regional ecosystems and species.

In time these Management Intents will become the Bukkulla Park Management Plan.

The Wildlife Land Fund, assisted by the Director WPSQ, a part-time site manager, Bukkulla Nature Reserve Management Committee and Scientific Committee, will implement the management plan.

Assistance will be sought from State government agencies, local government and local community groups. Volunteers will undertake much of the work with some specific tasks such as fencing, pest control and evaluation of progress will be undertaken by consultants.

The proposed Management Plan will ensure that:

  • significant plant species, animal species and regional ecosystems are protected;
  • long term programs of scientific research and environmental monitoring are undertaken;
  • fire, feral animal and weed management strategies are developed to maintain the natural species diversity;
  • the Livingstone Shire, government agencies, local organisations and community members are consulted;
  • volunteers and selected public groups visit the Reserve safely without compromising its natural integrity;
  • volunteers will be involved in:
    – management projects;
    – monitoring and evaluating;
    – developing training programs;
    – preparing educational material and activities for selected public visitors;
    – seeking funds to support management programs.

Management strategies

Bukkulla Regional Park is divided for management purposes into two zones.

Zone 1 is a small area (close to the point of access) set aside for:

  • vehicle and cattle access;
  • volunteer and visitor vehicle parking;
  • equipment and plant storage;
  • plant nursery;
  • volunteer and visitor accommodation.

This zone provides basic facilities for the management of the Reserve. The major priority in this zone is protecting conservation values, but modification of the natural environment for volunteer and visitor use will occur.

The facilities in Zone 1 (which will be fenced off from the rest of the Reserve i.e. Zone 2) will include:

  • volunteer and visitor car park
  • lock-up storage shed
  • covered area for campers
  • water tanks and toilet
  • nursery site
  • gates into main part of the Reserve.

The Zone 1 Management Plan includes:

  • an access policy nominating the optimum number of day visitors or camp at any one time;
  • plans for monitoring and identifying impacts;
  • recommendations and priorities for rehabilitation activities;
  • plans for the maintenance and future developments of facilities within Zone 1;
  • a program of prescribed burns; fencing, control of feral plants and animals and rehabilitation.

Zone 2 takes in all areas of the Reserve lying outside Zone 1 and is managed to protect and maintain natural values.

The Bukkulla Park Management Plan includes policies, guidelines and actions for the conservation of regional ecosystems and plant and animal species.

Regional Importance

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 is has 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 Climate

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. Mean temperature ranges from 35o C in January to 18o C in July.
The Geology

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 mainly semi-evergreen vine thicket.

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 bleached sandy and loamy surface. The vegetation is mainly eucalypt open woodland.

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.

Glassford land system comprises steep to rolling hills on granite with eucalypt open woodland.

Marlborough land system is serpentinite on steep mountains with eucalypt open woodland characterised by the serpentinite iron bark.

The Vegetation

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 sometimes present and semi-evergreen vine thicket on Palaeozoic sedimentary and metamorphic rocks on lowlands.

The regional ecosystems of concern include: Complex vegetation on serpentinite landscape comprising woodlands of ironbarks (Eucalyptus fibrosa subsp Glen Geddes (M.I. Booker 10230)), bloodwoods (Corymbia xanthope + Corymbia dallachiana), shrubland, vine thicket and 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.