Coocumbac Island Nature Reserve

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Coocumbac Island Nature Reserve
Coocumbac Island Manning River.jpg
Coocumbac Island, photographed from Taree
Coocumbac Island Nature Reserve is located in New South Wales
Coocumbac Island Nature Reserve
Coocumbac Island Nature Reserve
State New South Wales
Nearest town or city Taree
Coordinates 31°55′12″S 152°27′18″E / 31.92000°S 152.45500°E / -31.92000; 152.45500Coordinates: 31°55′12″S 152°27′18″E / 31.92000°S 152.45500°E / -31.92000; 152.45500
Area 0.06 km2 (0.0 sq mi)[1]
Established September 1981 (1981-09)[1]
Managing authorities NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Website Coocumbac Island Nature Reserve
See also Protected areas of
New South Wales

The Coocumbac Island Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve located in the mid–north coast region of New South Wales, Australia. The 6-hectare (15-acre) reserve, situated on the Manning River near Taree, is a rare example of a subtropical lowland rainforest.[2]

Much of Australia's lowland sub tropical rainforest was cleared for housing and agriculture, leaving only small patches remaining, such as at Coocumbac Island. The soils are derived from the Manning River. These alluvial soils are enriched from basaltic deposits upstream at Barrington Tops and the Comboyne and Bulga plateaux. The average annual rainfall in nearby Taree is 1,176 millimetres (46.3 in).

Features[edit]

Fauna[edit]

The most obvious mammal species on the island is the Grey-headed Flying Fox, whose numbers may reach five thousand at certain times of the year. Noteworthy birds occurring here include the Osprey and Wompoo Fruit-dove.[3]

Flora[edit]

The ecological community on the island is known as the ‘large fig - giant stinger tree association.[4] The genus ficus is well represented, with all the strangler figs of this latitude present. Particularly prominent are the large Moreton Bay Figs. Other figs are Deciduous Fig, Strangler Fig, Small leaf fig and Watery Fig. The meaning of the name of the town Taree, is another of the local figs, Sandpaper Fig.

Other tree species include Stinging Tree and the Native Olive. The Native Elm grows on the island, here at its southernmost point of natural distribution. A large Native Hackberry occurs on the island, 30 metres (98 ft) tall and with a trunk diameter of 1.2 metres (3 ft 11 in). Less common trees include White Walnut and the Australian Rose Mahogany.

Rainforest regeneration programs have been put in place to encourage local rainforest species and suppress the problem of invasive weeds.[4]

Mangroves[edit]

Surrounding the island is an impressive community of two species of mangroves; Grey mangrove and River mangrove.

Etymology[edit]

Coocumbac means "meeting place" in the local indigenous Biripi language.[3] Australian indigenous people regularly visited the rainforest for the collection of food, medicinal purposes, the collection of fibres for making bags and nets and social gatherings. The rainforest has spiritual significance to the traditional indigenous custodians.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Coocumbac Island Nature Reserve". Office of Environment and Heritage. Government of New South Wales. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Lowland rainforest on floodplain in the NSW North Coast Bioregion - endangered ecological community listing". Office of Environment and Heritage. Government of New South Wales. 3 July 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Coocumbac Island Nature Reserve: Plan of Management". NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (PDF). Government of New South Wales. September 2003. ISBN 0-7313-6573-9. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Floyd, A. G.. Australian Rainforests of New South Wales 2. p. 18. ISBN 0-949324-32-9.