The Blackwood River Basin is the largest sub-region within the wider South West NRM Region, covering an area of 23,500 km2 that stretches from Augusta in the south to Darkan in the north.
A large portion of the Blackwood Basin (78%) is devoted to agriculture, however the area has many significant water resources. The Blackwood catchment is home to over 1,000 wetlands and of course, the Blackwood River, one of the longest rivers in the south west stretching 280 km.
Toolibin Lake is of great significance, as one of the largest remaining freshwater lakes in south-western Australia. It is recognised internationally as a Ramsar-listed wetland of international importance, and contains some of the richest habitat within the region, providing a home for a variety of plants and animals including threatened and rare species.
Almost all of the Basin’s waterways are affected by salinity, particularly those in the middle and upper reaches of the catchment.
The Blackwood Basin supports an estimated 8,000 species of flora, and boasts 3 Threatened Ecological Communities (TEC’s).
A total of 143 rare and priority flora species and 42 rare and priority vertebrate fauna species reside within the Blackwood River catchment. These are all under threat from sailinisation, fragmentation, loss and degradation of habitat and the introduction of exotic pest plant and animal species.
Information derived from the Blackwood Basin Group (2004), Strategic Action Plan & Investment Programme.