Nature conservation

Threatened species

Acacia melvillei Shrubland in the Riverina and Murray-Darling Depression bioregions - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Acacia melvillei Shrubland in the Riverina and Murray-Darling Depression bioregions
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered Ecological Community
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Gazetted date: 04 Jul 2008
Profile last updated: 18 Oct 2022


Acacia melvillei Shrubland in the Riverina and Murray-Darling Depression bioregions is the name given to the ecological community that is dominated by Acacia melvillei (Yarran). Acacia melvillei Shrubland typically has an open canopy of shrubs or small trees, sometimes with scattered mid-stratum shrubs, and with a sometimes sparse, but highly variable ground layer dominated by grasses, chenopods and herbs. The structure and species composition of the community varies depending on disturbance history and temporal variability in rainfall. The open stratum of large shrubs or small trees may be reduced to isolated individuals or may be absent as a result of past clearing. The shrub/tree layer is dominated by Acacia melvillei, either in pure stands or with a range of other less abundant trees or tall shrubs. These may include Nelia (Acacia loderi), Western Rosewood (Alectryon oleifolius subsp. canescens), Belah (Casuarina pauper) and Sugarwood (Myoporum platycarpum).

Acacia melvillei Shrubland shares a number of species with Acacia loderi Shrublands, another endangered ecological community. These two ecological communities inhabit similar soils and landforms and have some overlap in their distributions, but Acacia loderi Shrublands are more common in the northern part of the Riverina and Murray-Darling Depression bioregions and extend further north into several other bioregions. They may be distinguished on the basis of the relative abundance of their tree species (with A. melvillei generally uncommon within A. loderi shrublands) and differences in composition of their understories.

Acacia melvillei occurs widely in NSW, including the Cobar Peneplain and NSW South Western Slopes Bioregions. It also intergrades extensively with the very similar Acacia homalophylla (also called Yarran) across its distribution in NSW. Currently, these populations outside the Riverina and Murray-Darling Depression Bioregions do not comprise part of the listed Endangered Ecological Community.


Acacia melvillei Shrubland is currently recorded from south-western portion of NSW in the Riverina and Murray-Darling Depression bioregions in the local government areas of Balranald, Carrathool, Central Darling, Conargo, Wakool and Wentworth and may occur in other local government areas within these bioregions. This community is not considered to occur outside of NSW, though small stands of Acacia melvillei are known to occur in north western Victoria (such as near Merbein). Acacia melvillei Shrubland is scattered over a relatively large distribution, with an estimated extent of occurrence in the order of 50000 km2. However, throughout this distribution, Acacia melvillei Shrubland occurs in relatively small patches.

This community has been recorded in a number of conservation reserves, with the largest area in Paroo-Darling National Park (565 hectares).  Other reserves with smaller areas include Yanga State Conservation Area, Yanga National Park, Mungo National Park, Kajuligah Nature Reserve and Willandra National Park.

Habitat and ecology

  • In south western NSW Acacia melvillei typically occurs on sandhills and undulating sand plains.
  • The community occurs on red-brown, sandy loam soils as scattered patches grading into surrounding woodlands dominated by Belah and Western Rosewood, White Cypress Pine (Callitris glaucophylla) or sandplain mallee.

Regional distribution and habitat

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Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Murray Darling DepressionDarling Depression Known None
Murray Darling DepressionSouth Olary Plain Known None
RiverinaLachlan Known None
RiverinaMurray Fans Known None
RiverinaMurrumbidgee Known None
RiverinaRobinvale Plains Predicted None