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)
10.17. Reference number WA17
Refuge area: Lower Murchison River
Biogeographic region: Geraldton Sandplain
Type of refuge: Wetlands/gorge
Lat./Long. 27°43’S / 114°10’E to 27°52’S / 114°32’E
Quality of refuge: Significant (3)
Area (km²): <1,000
Chief refuge value
A wetland and gorge system providing habitat for moisture-dependent plants and animals in an otherwise dry environment.
A length of river 125 km from 42 km south-east of Kalbarri to the mouth at Kalbarri. Includes estuarine waters, permanent river, and seasonal river. There are permanent river pools with fringing vegetation of Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Casuarina obesa. Permanent pools include Bully Pool and Woonana Pool1.
Tammar wallaby Macropus eugenii has a population in Kalbarri National Park and in nearby private land near Northampton3.
The gorge of Murchison is the only known locality in the area for the primitive fern Psilotum nudum1.
Other significant species
Murchison River hardyhead Craterocephalus cuneiceps occurs in both estuarine and inland sections1.
Fox and possibly cat predation1,2. Siltation of river pools may occur because of overgrazing in the catchment, water pollution in the estuary (from town of Kalbarri), and excessive human disturbance from large numbers of tourists at gorge pools1.
Kalbarri National Park, Murchison House pastoral lease.
1. Jaensch and Lane (1993)
2. Australian Heritage Commission (1989)
3. Kennedy (1992)
4. Allen (1982)