Pilbara, spinifex, fire management, rangelands, pastoralism
Spinifex dominated plant communities are a major natural pasture resource in the Pilbara. Spinifex is noted for its ridged, hard and generally sharp pointed leaf blades, although individual species vary in this respect. Triodia pungens and T. schinzii are often referred to as soft spinifex. Soft spinifex is useful as stock feed in its own right, whereas 'hard' spinifex species are rarely grazed by stock. Soft spinifex dominated pastures are relatively uncommon in eastern parts but important on the western coastal plains of the Pilbara (Figure 1). Information on spinifex management options available to the pastoralist or station manager is hard to come by. This Bulletin seeks to give a brief account of practical field research that has been carried out in the region and promotes the need for a cautious and planned approach to the use of fire. Geography, season and plant community interrelate to make any particular piece of country unique.
Stretch, J. (1996), Fire management of spinifex pastures in the coastal and West Pilbara. Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia. Report 23/96.
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