Dry Tropics Biodiversity Group Inc.

(inform, educate, enthuse, implement)

to Hot Spots main page

Wild Plant "Hot Spots": Alligator Ck | Town Common and Bald Rock |
Mt. Stuart summit | Paluma "H Trail" | Running River | Quarantine Station | Rangeview Ranch | Saunder's Beach closed forest

 

Paluma granite hills/Running River area main page:
Running river general info | map | to Hot Spots main page |
about the data & symbols & references | top

Lists of plant species at "Hot Spots": SW of track/creek junction | 150m down creek | 200m E of ck/track junction |

 

Map of the Paluma granite hills/Running River area 

 

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General information about the Paluma granite hills/Running River area, 20km from the environment centre

Site carpark, road goes down steeply on left towards hotel turnoff, more or less flat road off on right for a few hundred metres. Site hard to locate, km's can vary depending on the car. Note 4wd track into bush just to right of the car.

Our lists demonstrate this as one of the four most species rich of the "Plant Hot Spot Areas" in this publication, along with Paluma rainforest, Alligator Creek, and Mt. Stuart summit. The vegetation type here is "Eucalyptus crebra, Eucalyptus leichhardtii, Eucalyptus abergiania mid-high to tall open woodland". Throughout Australia many different species tend to inhabit infertile granite or sandstone derived sandy soil country. Species here always interest Townsville's Australian plants club members, although this type of area in the Tropics is not as spectacular as in southern states. 65% of species listed here are not seen at any other "Plant Hot Spot Area". Cooler air temperatures still prevail at this elevation.

 During the drive northwards towards Paluma from Townsville, Paluma Range lies to the west. The formation of the Paluma (and Hervey Ranges) is presented here. Another notable set of extinctions occurred about 60 M years ago during which the dinosaurs finally vanished. This was long after the Conifers ceased to dominate, and occurred when the most recent flowering plant families like the daisies and grasses were first appearing in the landscape. A new set of animal species then evolved that included mammals, and early horses and other grass eaters. At this time Australia was part of a larger continent called Gondwana (ref1, ref2). Townsville was part of a very old and durable flat plateau hundreds of kilometres from the sea. Mt. Elliot emerged above the plain. As New Zealand and Papua New Guinea were separating from Australia during the disintegration of Gondwana, a rift opened and a huge part of this flat plain eastwards of the present Barrier Reef sank under the sea. From the new edge of the continental shelf at the reef the sea then eroded the exposed edge of the elevated plateau back many kilometres during times of high sea level. This edge now forms "The Range" that extends from Mackay to Cairns. West of "The Range" the elevated plateau continues as before. Townsville area's Hervey and Paluma Ranges are part of this escarpment. The more erosion resistant granite monoliths like Magnetic Island, the Palm Islands (visible on the drive up the range), Mt. Stuart, Castle Hill etc, have not yet been reduced to the new lower coastal plain level.

A description of the vegetation types up the range can be found under the Paluma Rainforest "Plant Hot Spot".

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