Defined by the catchments of the Serpentine, Harvey and Murray Rivers, the catchment is host to extensive agricultural areas, residential populations, state forests, mining and an array of ecosystems across three distinct bioregions. The catchment encompasses all of the Peel Region and parts of the Perth Metropolitan Region and Wheatbelt Region.
Ramsar Wetlands, Coastal and Nearshore
The Ramsar Wetlands, Coastal and Near-shore Subsystem is the lifestyle and residential hub of the Region. Many people enjoy the natural wonders of the Peel-Harvey Estuary, Murray River, Yalgorup National Park and beaches of the Indian Ocean. The Peel Inlet and Harvey Estuary is the largest and most diverse estuarine system in the south-west of Western Australia and is part of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar System.
Key NRM Issues:
Management and buffering of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar System
Improvement of riverine and estuarine health
Recreational pressures and management
The Plain has been significantly cleared, drained and modified, but retains much of its natural and rural character. Waterways dissect the Plain, such as the Serpentine and Murray rivers, but most meander into broad, flat wetlands after leaving the Darling Scarp before being directed into man-made drains
Arterial drainage system management
Management of nutrient export from agricultural land use
Protection of natural assets through land-use change processes
Forest & Scarp
This subsystem is characterised by multiple and overlapping land uses. Eighty-eight percent (88%) is vegetated, mostly in native forests, and used for a variety of purposes. Significant land uses, by area, are public water supply catchment, forestry, recreation and tourism, conservation and mining. Small areas of freehold lands in the forests are used for orchards, grazing and rural retreats.
Impact of multiple uses on forest health, including mining
Climate change impacts on biodiversity, water supply
Together, the catchments form the highest and geologically oldest part of the Region. They are characterised by rolling hills, steepest close to the jarrah forest, and becoming more gentle to flat towards the top of the catchments. Small areas of lateritic remnants with breakaways also occur.
Small areas are used for mining, including the Newmont Boddington Goldmine and BHP Billiton’s Worsely Alumina operations at Marradong.
Around 33% of the subregion is vegetated, with the largest areas of native vegetation being Dryandra Woodland and areas of forest in the west.