About Charles Darwin Reserve


Land uses over time
The Darwin connection


Reliable water is critical if any form of land occupation or settlement is to succeed in these arid areas. The region in which Charles Darwin Reserve lies has highly variable and unreliable rainfall. The reserve is on the northern edge of the wet winter–dry summer Mediterranean-type climate of Western Australia’s South West. Some of the north-westerly low-pressure frontal systems, which sweep across the south-west corner bringing storms and rain mainly between April and September, also brush the Mongers Lake to Lake Moore area.

The annual average rainfall for the area is calculated at about 250 mm (10 inches in the old measure), but quite often, as in 2000 to 2002 and 2005 and 2006, the winter rains failed. At such times the vegetation and wildlife retreat into the stillness of drought as the soil remains dry and surface waters evaporate. In 'a good winter' as little as 150 mm of rain over a number of weeks can bring a dramatic flush of wildflowers and a return of both south-western and desert birds to the region. It will also fill the rock holes. In some years summer rains come with the remnants of tropical cyclones from the north, or with thunderstorms from northern low pressure troughs.


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