The dominant plant  over most of the Reserve is Grey box, Eucalyptus microcarpa, and together with understorey plants it determines the main vegetation type of the Reserve – ‘Grey Box Grassy Woodland’, a nationally threatened plant community.

Diuris behrii

The reserve supports a remnant patch of Diuris behrii, once a very common native orchid species in grassy woodland communities of this State but now listed as Vulnerable.

Woodland vegetation is defined by trees with large canopies relative to their height that are spaced far enough apart so as to not overlap one another. ‘Box’ is a term for a type of rough bark comprising short, interlaced fibrous strands which extends up the trunk and major branches.  It is characteristic of a group of Eucalypts that prefer heavy clay or loam soils. In favourable conditions Grey box can reach 25m in height.

More than 213 species (202 confirmed) of native plants have been recorded in Waite Conservation Reserve and six of these are listed as rare or threatened in South Australia. Despite a history of extensive grazing, the Reserve’s flora still includes 22 native orchid species, mostly from the more intact areas.

Download a complete plant list prepared by Dr Peter Lang, Senior Botanist, State Herbarium of SA, Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium, Department for Environment and Water. This plant list was last updated on 29 Feb 2020.


Biological Survey

In November 2008, a nine-day intensive survey of mammals, birds, reptiles and frogs was conducted in the Reserve.

The survey was designed to sample each of the 14 vegetation communities. The combined labour of 44 Friends and others resulted in 2,800 trap/nights and 170 hours of targeted searches.

View the results of the 2008 Biological Survey, or see additional surveys and past surveys.


Download the Mammal checklist.


82 species of birds have been recorded in the Waite Conservation Reserve. Download the Bird checklist.

Are you a keen birdwatcher? You can participate in our Bird monitoring project.

Download the survey form and map of survey sites.


Reptiles and Frogs

Download the Herpetology checklist.



Two colour forms of Melobasis semisuturalis that can be found in WCR on Golden Wattle.

Two colour forms of Melobasis semisuturalis found on Golden Wattle.


Download the Butterflies checklist.

Download the Jewel beetle checklist.

See article on Jewel beetles of the reserve.

Flora and Fauna

images of fauna

more images