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Cape York Peninsula tropical savanna
Coleman river 1 (14914507522).jpg
Ecoregion AA0703.svg
Map of the Cape York Peninsula tropical savanna ecoregion.
Realm Australasian
Biome tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
Borders Carpentaria tropical savanna, Einasleigh Uplands savanna, and Queensland tropical rain forests
Area 121,160 km2 (46,780 sq mi)
Country Australia
States Queensland and Torres Strait Regional Authority
Conservation status Relatively stable/intact
Protected 35,713 km² (29%)
Cape York Peninsula
IBRA 6.1 Cape York Peninsula.png
The interim Australian bioregions,
with Cape York Peninsula in red
Area 122,564.57 km2 (47,322.4 sq mi)
Localities around Cape York Peninsula:
Gulf of Carpentaria Torres Strait Pacific Ocean
Gulf of Carpentaria Cape York Peninsula Pacific Ocean
Gulf Plains Einasleigh Uplands Wet Tropics

The Cape York Peninsula tropical savanna is a tropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands ecoregion in northern Australia. It occupies the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, mainland Australia's northernmost point. It is coterminous with the Cape York Peninsula (code CYP), an interim Australian bioregion.


The ecoregion covers the northern portion of the Cape York Peninsula, along with the adjacent Torres Strait Islands. It is bounded by the Carpentaria tropical savanna ecoregion to the southwest, Einasleigh Uplands savanna to the south, and Queensland tropical rain forests to the southeast.

The west of the region is dominated in the south by an extensive Tertiary sand sheet dissected by the drainage systems of the Holroyd Plain, the Tertiary laterite of the Weipa Plateau, and the low rises of Mesozoic sandstones, while the northern section consists of the Weipa Plateau together with extensive coastal plains along the Gulf of Carpentaria. To the east lie aeolian dunefields. Along the eastern margin, the geology of the Coen-Yambo Inlier is complex, with volcanic, metamorphic and acid intrusive rocks. The subregion of the Battle Camp Sandstones, formed from deeply dissected plateaus, lies in the south of the region, with the Laura Lowlands, composed of sands and silts, and colluvial and alluvial clays, lying adjacent.


The climate is tropical, humid or maritime, with rainfall varying from 1000 mm to 1600 mm, including some high-rainfall areas at high altitudes.


The vegetation mainly consists of woodlands, heathlands, sedgelands, vine forests (including both semi-deciduous vine forests on the eastern ranges and deciduous vine thickets on western slopes). Mangrove forests are found in the north east and along the estuaries on the coasts.


In the IBRA system, Cape York Peninsula (CYP) has nine sub-regions:

IBRA regions and subregions: IBRA7
IBRA subregion IBRA
ha acres
Coen-Yambo Inlier CYP01 2,312,126 5,713,390
Starke Coastal Lowlands CYP02 512,498 1,266,410
Cape York-Torres Strait CYP03 94,367 233,190
Jardine-Pascoe Sandstones CYP04 1,444,223 3,568,750
Battle Camp Sandstones CYP05 504,409 1,246,420
Laura Lowlands CYP06 1,791,228 4,426,220
Weipa Plateau CYP07 2,848,753 7,039,420
Northern Holroyd Plain CYP08 2,464,074 6,088,860
Coastal Plains CYP09 284,780 703,700

Protected areas

Protected areas in the ecoregion include Alwal National Park, Binirr National Park, Cape Melville National Park, Jack River National Park, Jardine River National Park, Kulla National Park, Lakefield National Park, Olkola National Park, Oyala Thumotang National Park, and Wuthathi (Shelburne Bay) National Park.

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