The Dryandra Woodland is a nature conservation area in Western Australia within the Shires of Cuballing, Williams and Wandering, about 164 kilometres (102 mi) south-east of Perth and 22 kilometres (14 mi) north-west of the town of Narrogin. It is a complex of 17 distinct blocks managed by the Western Australian managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife and spread over approximately 50 kilometres (30 mi) separated by areas of agricultural land. The area is considered to be one of the state's major conservation areas, and although it is far from pristine due to its history of logging operations, a number of species of threatened fauna are rebuilding populations through the removal of introduced predators such as foxes and feral cats.
The combined area of the woodland is 28,066 hectares (108.36 mi2), with individual blocks ranging in size from 87 hectares (0.34 mi2) to 12,283 hectares (47.43 mi2). Part of Dryandra Woodland is listed on the Register of the National Estate by the Australian Heritage Council.
In addition to the area's use as a wildlife refuge, it has anthropological significance with the indigenous Noongar people having strong cultural links there.
The Dryandra Woodland is found within the south-western province of the Yilgarn craton, "an ancient plateau composed mainly of granite, with intrusions of dolerite and capped with laterite. Past weathering of the plateau in the Dryandra area has produced a gently undulating countryside".
The woodland lies close to the boundary between the Mallee and Avon Wheatbelt biogeographic regions of the Southwest Botanical Province. It is situated on the western edge of the state's wheatbelt region: the area is a rare remnant of the open eucalypt woodlands which covered much of the wheatbelt prior to land clearing which started from the 1890s. Dryandra's flora is transitional between that of the moister jarrah forest (generally to the south) and the semi-arid wheatbelt (to the east). It is known particularly for its extensive stands of wandoo (Eucalyptus wandoo), powderbark wandoo (E. accedens) and salmon white gum (E. lane-poolei), and provides a haven for native flora and fauna while much of the surrounding country is badly affected by salinity. Stands of jarrah (E. marginata) and marri (Corymbia calophylla) provide additional top cover, and the understorey contains rock sheoak (Allocasuarina huegeliana) and extensive areas of Banksia ser. Dryandra. Until early 2007 this latter shrub was classified as a separate genus Dyrandra after which the woodland is named. Species include golden dryandra (Banksia nobilis) and prickly dryandra (B. armata). An arboretum on Tomingley Road holds a range of Australian native plants.
The 17 lots are surrounded by a largely cleared and agricultural landscape. In some cases, road reserves and other linking corridors of uncleared vegetation remain between the woodland islands. Some neighbouring landowners have revegetated areas of previously cleared private land to form additional corridors between these remnants. For certain animals, movement between blocks is necessary on a daily, seasonal or intermittent basis, to provide access to food, shelter, breeding sites and partners.
Threatened fauna receive extra protection within the 'Barna Mia' animal sanctuary, which is open to visitors by appointment for nocturnal tours on alternate evenings.Native marsupial fauna include the woylie (Bettongia penicillata), bilby (Macrotis lagotis), mala (Lagorchestes hirsutus), boodie (Bettongia lesueur), and marl (or western barred bandicoot: Perameles bougainville). The quenda (or southern brown bandicoot: Isoodon obesulus) is locally extinct but may be reintroduced.
The woodland's position on the transition zone between the wheatbelt and the jarrah forest determines amphibian populations, with several species existing at the eastern or western limits of their range. Herpetofauna includes the western marsh frog (or golden flecked burrowing frog, Heleioporus barycragus) which is generally restricted to the western Darling Range. There are at least 98 species of bird in the woodland, including the almost flightless malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata).
Major populations of three nationally endangered species exist in the woodlands: the woylie, the red tailed phascogale, and over 50 percent of the total known population of numbat.
Over 800 native flora have been identified within the Dryandra Woodland, including 15 that have been declared priority species under the Department of Environment and Conservation's Declared Rare and Priority Flora List. The conservation codes of P2 thru P4 are for flora that are considered rare but have some populations in areas where they are thought not be under immediate threat; higher numbers denote a lower threat level.
Climatically, Dryandra is described as semi-arid, with a warm, dry, Mediterranean climate. It has seven to eight dry months each year with an annual average rainfall of about 500 millimetres (20 in). Seasonal changes in temperature, rainfall and wind direction are marked and more extreme than coastal areas of the south-west. The wettest months are May through September when about 70% of the annual rainfall occurs. Meaning daily maximum temperatures are 30.9 °C (87.6 °F) in January and the mean daily minimum of 5.6 °C (42.1 °F) is in August