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Belah woodland

Belah woodland

Casurina woodland with the understory intact is very rare in Victoria; only a handful of sites remain. The overstory here is mostly Belah (Casuarina pauper) which is found in the dryer, usually more northerley areas. Further south, Belah is replaced by Bulloak (Allocasuarina leuhmannii).

Vast areas through the Wimmera and Mallee were cleared for agriclture, and most of the remaining areas were heavily grazed introducing pasture grasses and other weeds and killing off the natural understory. This site was used for timber production until the late 20th Century when it was set aside for conservation: counter-intuitively, logging has caused much less damage than grazing or ploughing would have done, and although it will be many years before the trees regrow fully, the understory is rich with many different plants and is home to several threatened bird species.