AUSTRALIAN
Desert Shrublands & Grasslands
(Mulga & Spinifex)

The vast arid lands of Australia...

Damon Ramsey in desertthe author made to feel small in the expansive salt flats

The 'deserts' of Australia are not just the rolling sand dunes people have in their mind when they think of that word. It includes the grasslands, shrublands and woodlands of the arid regions, where the erratic rainfall is less than the evaporation rates of that water, resulting in a deficit of moisture. As the world's driest continent, Australia obviously has a large portion of it's country defined as arid 'desert' ecosystems.  

desert lake full of waterDesert lake full of water, South Australia

Unlike many other arid areas in the world, in Australia the rainfall is not always received in annual cycles, but often follows longer term non-annual events. There is a boom-and-bust pattern that occurs over many years, and can be unpredictable, with little rain for many years, and then a huge amount at once with subsequent flooding.  

red sand of desertthat red sand gets everywhere. Just ask Anakin.

Much of the arid land of Australia is dominated by bunches of prickly grass called 'Spinifex'. Over long periods of time, weathering and oxidisation has resulted in distinctive bright orange-red soils...

For the page of the plants of Australian desert

sturt's desert peaSturt's Desert Pea, (Coober Pedy, SA)

There is a surprising range of beautiful flowers that can add a splash of colour to the arid habitats across Australia.

For the page on invertebrates of Australian arid habitats

For the page on frogs of Australian arid habitats

For the page on reptiles of Australian arid habitats

For the page of the birds of Australian desert shrublands & grasslands

The drier areas of Australia are home to some of our most colourful birds!

(Crimson Chat, north of Cober Pedy)

For the page on mammals of Australian arid gasslands & shrublands

It can be difficult to find mammals in the drier ecosystems of Australia. Unfortunately, many mammals of the Australian arid regions have been reduced in number or even become extinct.

euro(Western Wallaroo, Alice Springs Olive Pink Botanical Gardens)

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