Searching for Eyrean Grasswrens in NSW.

To: <>, <>
Subject: Searching for Eyrean Grasswrens in NSW.
From: "Alan Leishman" <>
Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 09:15:03 +1000

There are four specimens of Zygochloa paradoxa in the National Herbarium, RBG 
from the NFWP region.

(a) Yandama Station ( 40 km W of Milparinka)  1906

(b) Broken Hill  1936

(c) Near bore 9.3 km NNW of Border Downs, 185 km NNW of Broken Hill    1971

(d) 8 km W of Yandama Homestead, 40 km W of Milparinka  1973

There are about 40 specimens of  Zygochloa paradoxa from different locations in 
the SFWP region of NSW.


Alan Leishman,
Plant Sciences,
Royal Botanic Gardens,
Mrs Macquaries Road,
Sydney, NSW 2565
Tel: (02) 9231 8166
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>>> "Peter Ewin" <> 09/28/01 05:21pm >>>
Flora of NSW says Zygochloa is found on both the NFWP and SFWP Botanic
Divisions in NSW on both dunes and around lake margins. The RBG must have
specimens for these areas, but doesn't specify any locations. I have not
seen it NSW, though next time I go to Tibooburra I will keep an eye out now
I know what it looks like.
We only stopped at one dune on the Andado road in NT and found Eyrean
Grasswrens relatively common, though one of the harder GWs to see in July

>From: Ian May <>
>To: "" <>
>Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] Searching for Eyrean Grasswrens in NSW.
>Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 09:29:57 +0930
>G'Day again
>On our recent trip to the Stzelecki desert (see earlier report), Pat and
>I spent three days searching for Eyrean Grasswrens in far north western
>New South Wales, from Cameron Corner to Fort Grey and south to Lake
>Stewart and to Hawker Gate, however we could not find any suitable
>habitat with Sand-hill Canegrass (Zygochloa paradoxa) in the area and no
>grasswrens were located.
>There are some sand dunes with apparent potential near Cameron Cnr
>(triodia immediately east of the gate), and to the south, others with
>reasonable drifts near White Catch? Gate House and others on the Fort
>Grey road and also near Lake Stewart but Zygochloa paradoxa which may be
>a prerequisite for Eyrean Grasswren habitat appears to be absent on the
>NSW side of the border.
>This canegrass is a conspicuous perennial plant with a distinctive
>glaucous and bushy appearance normally growing near large sand drifts.
>According to J.M. Black (Flora of SA) it occurs in all mainland states
>except WA.   So what has happened to sand-hill canegrass in this
>area?     Does it occur in far north western NSW?   Its possible that we
>missed it as vehicle access is restricted and walking in these vast
>areas limits how much can be covered.   However we did have a reasonably
>good look anyway, investigating sites we could see with most potential.
>It occurs close by in SA and the geomorphology east of the border looks
>Sand-hill Canegrass is a hardy species that remains even in heavily
>grazed areas with a history of  rabbits, sheep, cattle and drought.   In
>SA, it is widespread where sheep and kangaroos are common but
>interestingly, Eyrean Grasswrens are rarely recorded inside the dog
>fence.  There are a few sites north of Maree on Muloorina station where
>Grasswrens occur inside the fence but they are hard to find there.
>Is it possible that canegrass could be affected by heavy grazing
>pressure from Kangaroos?  I'm not sure if they eat canegrass but I think
>they probably would graze on regenerating and juvenile plants.  At
>present there is an exceptionally large Kangaroo population east of the
>dog fence and the total ground surface in the area shows signs of
>disturbance from them.
>Travelling south from Cameron Corner, the Kangaroo population must be
>seen to be believed.   They tend to move into the prevailing wind and
>are massing up against the border fence in numbers difficult to
>describe.   There are many thousands of Red Kangaroos, possibly tens of
>thousands, and also many Emu on the eastern side of the fence.   The
>landscape is literally moving with them but is contrasted by few animals
>on the western side where these animals are naturally controlled by
>dingoes.   Because such large numbers of animals are present, it is
>probable that we will witness an extremely severe ecological crash in
>the area when the next drought sets in.
>Ian May
>PO Box 666
>Enfield Plaza SA 5085
>Tel: 0409 474 575
>(08) 8380 9553
>Birding-Aus is on the Web at
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