About the Grazing Lands

Over 90% of our region’s land area is covered by grazing lands. These extend over the Gulf plains, up into the Einasleigh Uplands, along the Gulf coast and up into the Palmer river catchment at the bottom of Cape York. There are approximately 160 grazing properties, covering an area of roughly 17m ha. These enterprises rely principally on native pastures to turn off about 200,000 cattle per year.

Grazing lands are mostly open woodland dominated by Eucalyptus and Corymbia species with a grassy understorey, but paperbark woodlands, lancewood open woodlands and bluegrass communities can also be found on open grasslands. This reflects the region’s diversity of landforms, geology, soil types, climatic variation and fire history. The grazing lands generally support native vegetation from pre-European times; however, these have been altered by weeds and feral animals, altered fire regimes and grazing pressure. Consequently the understory and grass layer cannot support the wildlife it once did, with small mammals and birds which rely on grass seeds being the most effected.

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