Toorale National Park
The Toorale National Park is a protected national park that is located in the Far West region of New South Wales, in eastern Australia. The 30,866-hectare (76,270-acre) national park is located approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi) southwest of Bourke, at the junction of the Darling and Warrego rivers. The national park is located adjacent to both the Darling River and the Gundabooka National Park, located to the south-east of the park, and the Toorale State Conservation Area, located to the north-west of the park. The park is jointly managed by the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service and the local indigenous Kurnu-Baakandji people.
The Toorale National Park consists of land that was previously part of Toorale Station, used for irrigated cropping and grazing. Toorale has a broadly flat landscape with extensive floodplains, and smaller areas of low ridges, riparian strips, and two notable peaks. Small ephemeral lakes (gilgais) occur in depressions and swamps., whilst historic water management practices have created a vast wetland ecosystem on the park.
Toorale has diverse vegetation with 27 vegetation communities described and mapped. Of these inland floodplain shrublands are the dominant community, consisting of lignum shrublands, confined swamps dominated by cane grass, eurah shrublands, riverine chenopod shrublands and low chenopod shrublands. Low chenopod shrubland is the most extensive vegetation community on Toorale, covering over 40 per cent of the park and is a highly variable community.
The banks and internal river bends of the Darling River are lined by a tall open forest of river red gum. Outer bends of the Darling and Warrego rivers and tributaries are lined by Coolibah open woodland, which extends onto the surrounding alluvial floodplains. Floodplain woodlands also include those characterised by black box.
Areas associated with semi-permanent water support shallow freshwater sedgelands. Bimble box grows in periodically flooded depressions on sandplains and alluvial plains. On dryland areas there are extensive woodlands of belah, black oak, western rosewood and leopardwood. A relatively large expanse of Whitewood – Western Rosewood low woodland occurs on the stony tablelands. There are small patches of supplejack dominated woodland and Western Peneplain woodlands dominated by coolibah and beefwood or . Gidgee and occasionally Whitewood tall shrublands, mulga (Acacia spp.) communities and Aeolian dunefields comprising patches of gum coolibah woodland also occur.
Within the combined area of Toorale NP and the Toorale State Conservation Area, at least 28 species of mammal have been recorded. The terrestrial species include the red kangaroo, western grey kangaroo and eastern grey kangaroo, as well as the common dunnart and short-beaked echidna. Several bat species have been recorded, including Gould's wattled bat, the lesser long-eared bat, Western broad-nosed bat, little broad-nosed bat, yellow-bellied sheath-tailed bat and little pied bat.
Reptiles and amphibians
At least 57 species of reptile have been recorded within the combined area of Toorale NP and the Toorale State Conservation Area. These include the Murray River turtle, Interior blind snake, Leopard Ctenotus, Ringed brown snake, Sand goanna, Bynoe's gecko and Central bearded dragon.
- "Toorale National Park: Park management". Office of Environment & Heritage. Government of New South Wales. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "Toorale National Park and Toorale State Conservation Area: Draft plan of management" (PDF). NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (PDF). Government of New South Wales. January 2018. ISBN 978-1-76039-999-3. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- "Toorale National Park and Toorale State Conservation Area: Statement of management intent" (PDF). NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (PDF). Government of New South Wales. June 2014. ISBN 978-1-74359-546-6. Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Toorale National Park and Toorale State Conservation Area NSW Supplement" (PDF). Bush Blitz (PDF). Government of Australia. March 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- "Toorale National Park and Toorale State Conservation Area: Statement of management intent" (PDF). NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (PDF). Government of New South Wales. June 2014. ISBN 978-1-74359-546-6.