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Central Ranges xeric scrub facts for kids

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Central Ranges xeric scrub
Finke Gorge NP.jpg
Realm Australasian
Biome deserts and xeric shrublands
Area 287,406 km2 (110,968 sq mi)
Country Australia
States Northern Territory, South Australia, and Western Australia
Conservation status Vulnerable
Protected 71,805 km² (25%)
IBRA 6.1 Central Ranges
The IBRA regions, with Central Ranges in red

The Central Ranges xeric scrub is a deserts and xeric shrublands ecoregion of Australia.

Location and description

The region consists of sandy plains with some areas of rocky highland. These plains have a dry climate but do get some rain in both summer and winter. This area contains the remote city of Alice Springs while the grasslands are home to a number of Indigenous Australian communities or are used for cattle grazing.

This ecoregion contains four Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia (IBRA) bioregions – Burt Plain, Central Ranges, Finke, and MacDonnell Ranges.


This ecoregion includes the Central Australian Mountain Ranges Centre of Plant Diversity. The habitats consists of thick, tough spinifex grassland with some wooded areas of myall and desert oak (Acacia coriacea). The region and the MacDonnell Ranges in particular are home to a number of specialised endemic plant species including the cabbage palms of Palm Valley in Finke Gorge National Park.


Birds include the red-tailed black cockatoo and the spinifexbird while animals include the black-flanked rock-wallaby population of the MacDonnell Ranges and the green tree frog.

Conservation and threats

Overgrazing by cattle and introduced animals including horses, donkeys and rabbits are a threat to habitats.

Protected areas

Protected areas include Finke Gorge National Park, Watarrka National Park, and West MacDonnell National Park.

  • Thackway, R and I D Cresswell (1995) An interim biogeographic regionalisation for Australia : a framework for setting priorities in the National Reserves System Cooperative Program Version 4.0 Canberra : Australian Nature Conservation Agency, Reserve Systems Unit, 1995. ISBN: 0-642-21371-2
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