What are grassy woodlands?

Grassy woodland is a threatened ecological community in the ACT. These are woodlands on the fertile lowlands below 1000 metres, with eucalypt species and an understorey of shrubs, herbs and grasses. Yellow Box and Blakelys Red Gum woodlands predominate in the Canberra area, with Red Box and other species like Apple Box. Lowland woodlands grade into native grasslands in valleys below 650 metres, for example, the Majura and Jerrabomberra Valleys. A healthy patch of woodland will include large old trees, saplings of various heights, an understorey with native plants or grasses and fallen timber and leaves.

Grassy Woodland at Mulligan’s Flat Nature Reserve, with Kangaroo Grass (Themeda) understorey

Photo courtesy Jenny Bounds

There are three main corridors of substantial woodland habitat left in the ACT. The most important of these for birds is the corridor from Hall, through Mulligan’s Flat and Goorooyarroo Nature Reserves, Mt Majura/Mt Ainslie reserves, Majura Field Range to the woodlands at the Newline Quarry near the Molonglo River. Another woodland complex is in central Canberra through the Red Hill, Callum Brae and Mugga Mugga reserves, the Jerrabomberra Valley to Tuggeranong Hill reserve. A third corridor is to the west of Canberra from south and west of Belconnen, along the Murrumbidgee River corridor, to the Naas Valley.

The ACT Government’s Lowland Woodland Conservation Strategy, provides a framework for the protection and management of remaining lowland grassy woodlands in the ACT, and includes Action Plans for several woodland birds listed as threatened .

Environment ACT