Biodiversity Series, Paper No. 4
S.R. Morton, J. Short and R.D. Barker, with an Appendix by G.F. Griffin and G. Pearce
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1995
10. Refugia in Western Australia (continued)
10.11. Reference number WA11
Refuge area: Caves of the Oscar and Napier Ranges
Biogeographic region: Dampierland
Type of refuge: Cave system
Lat./Long. 17°07’ - 18°10’S / 124°35’ - 125°45’E
Quality of refuge: Highly significant (6)
Area (km²): Scattered over <10,000
Chief refuge value
ANZECC-listed species in gorge sites; endemic land snails and cave-dwelling invertebrates.
Region of massive limestone features. "These limestone ramparts formed a barrier reef about 350 million years ago; today they are a treasure-house of endemic species and fossil deposits"2. The ranges "include some of the most beautiful and striking scenery to be found in Western Australia"2. The ranges include Geikie Gorge, Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek (included elsewhere).
Regional endemics and relict species
The Ranges support a large number of endemic land snails and cave-dwelling invertebrates. Twenty-one species of camaenid land snails are endemic to the ranges (genera Amplirhagada, Westraltrachia, Rhagada, Kimboraga, Kendrickia, Mouldinigia and Quisrachia); also one species of pupillid land snail Gyliotrachela napierana4.
Other significant species
See Williams for freshwater fauna of the area3.
Pastoral leases; there is a recommendation that Brooking Gorge (north-west of Fitzroy Crossing) and environs be declared a Class A reserve, and part of Oscar Range be declared as the Devonian Reef National Park (Class A reserve)2.
1. Keighery and Gibson (1993)
2. Kenneally and McKenzie (1991)
3. Williams (1979)
4. Solem (1981, 1984)