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Croajingolong Biosphere Reserve, Australia

The Croajingolong Biosphere Reserve, located in southeast Australia, protects some of the most spectacular coastal environments of the province of Victoria. The topography is particularly variable along the coast with outcropping of rocks in cliff faces breaking the long stretches of sandy beaches, often reaching higher than 15 m. Almost 1,000 native plant species, 90 species of orchids and 315 animal species have been recorded within the biosphere reserve.

Mallacoota township and smaller settlements (Tamboon South, Peachtree and Furnell Landing) are entirely surrounded by the National Park. With 1,249 inhabitants (2003) the township is a popular domestic destination generating the majority of its income from tourism and commercial fishing. The main economic activities adjoining the biosphere reserve are native forest timber harvesting, tourism, pastoral activities and commercial fishing.

Designation date: 1977


Regional network: SeaBRnet

Ecosystem-based network: Coastal, Marine and Island Areas




    Surface : 108,171 ha

    • Core area(s): 87,500 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): N/A
    • Transition zone(s): N/A

    Location: 37°37′04″S – 149°28′26″E

    Administrative Authorities

    Gail Sands
    Friends of Mallacoota Inc.
    P.O. Box 179
    3892 Mallacoota VIC

    Tel.: +03 51580219

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    Ecological Characteristics

    Two major landform types are found in the area: coastal tablelands that include hinterland foothills, and a coastal dune complex that incorporate ocean beaches, foredunes and associated complexes inland. The tidal, brackish inlets of larger rivers add scenic and habitat diversity. Numerous freshwater lakes and swamps, which have formed behind coastal dunes and associated islands, add another dimension to the diversity.

    Large stands of warm temperate rainforest are present in the eastern part of Croajingolong. Coastal heathland and species diversity is comparable to that of South African Heaths, which are regarded as among the richest vegetation communities in the world outside of lowland tropical rainforests.

    Almost 1,000 native plant species, 90 species of orchids and 315 animal species have been recorded within the biosphere reserve. Of the 52 recorded mammal species, arboreal mammals and bats are particularly well represented. In addition, 243 species of birds including 21 that are threatened have been recorded, representing approximately one-quarter of Australia’s total bird species.

    Seven endangered species have been observed within the biosphere reserve including the wandering albatross (Diomedea eculans), the southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) and the golden bell frog (Litoria aurea). Other species include the glossy back cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus lathami), the ground parrot (Pezoporus wallicus), the tiger quoll (Dasyrus maculatus) and the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus).


    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    The townships of Mallacoota, Tamboon South, Peachtree and Furnell Landing are entirely surrounded by Croajingolong National Park. Mallacoota, the largest township, is surrounded by the core area and has a population of approximately 1,249 (2003). The town generates most of its income from tourism and commercial fishing.

    Croajingolong Biosphere Reserve is of major significance and importance for the conservation of Aboriginal cultural heritage and European cultural heritage in Victoria. The abundance of artefacts and middens within the biosphere reserve indicates a history of occupation by reasonably large populations of indigenous communities, who probably concentrated around the inlets, estuaries and wetlands.



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    Last updated: August 2019