Biodiversity publications archive

Refugia for biological diversity in arid and semi-arid Australia

Biodiversity Series, Paper No. 4
S.R. Morton, J. Short and R.D. Barker, with an Appendix by G.F. Griffin and G. Pearce
Biodiversity Unit
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1995

10. Refugia in Western Australia (continued)

10.16. Reference number WA16

Refuge area: Lake McLeod

Biogeographic region: Carnarvon

Type of refuge: Wetland

Lat./Long. 23°36’ - 24°38’S / 113°30’ - 113°55’E

Quality of refuge: Significant (1)

Area (km²): <10,000

Chief refuge value

The Lake has a rich avifauna2, 3, is a major migration stop-over and drought refuge for shorebirds, and is one of the most important non-tidal stop-over sites in Australia4.

General description

A major coastal lake episodically inundated by fresh water; includes permanent saline wetlands and inland mangrove swamps that are maintained by subterranean waterways from the Indian Ocean4.

ANZECC-listed species

None identified.

Regional endemics


Relict species

None identifed

Other significant species

Waterbirds: 58 species, 26 listed under treaty4.

Key threats

None identified; possibly expansion of salt evaporation ponds and open-cut extraction of gypsum4.

Land tenure

Mining lease (Dampier Salt) on lake bed; pastoral leases on surrounding land. The site is included on the Register of the National Estate.

Key references

1. Storr and Harold (1984)

2. Smith and Johnstone (1985)

3. Jaensch and Vervest (1990)

4. Jaensch and Lane (1993)