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)

10.22. Reference number WA22

Refuge area: Wooleen Lake

Biogeographic region: Murchison

Type of refuge: Wetlands

Lat./Long. 27°04’S / 116°11’E

Quality of refuge: Significant (2)

Area (km²): <100

Chief refuge value

Habitat for waterbird, particularly terns.

General description

A floodplain lake and associated marshes on Roderick River, which outflows to the Murchison River six km downstream. It experiences some inundation in most years, and the whole lake and surrounding marshes fill once every 5-10 years. The Lake may be several metres deep when full. There is samphire (Halosarcia sp.) within the Lake, and lignum (Muehlenbaeckia cunninghamii) and low open woodland (Eucalyptus camuldulensis) around the margins1.

ANZECC-listed species

None identified.

Regional endemics

None identified.

Relict species

None identified.

Other significant species

The Lake is a major breeding area for gull-billed terns Gelochelidon nilotica (5,000 reported breeding). Black swans Cygnus atratus and pink-eared ducks Malacorhynchus membranaceus breed at the Lake; freckled ducks Stictonetta naevosa are recorded1,2.

Key threats

Possibly overgrazing in the catchment1.

Land tenure

Pastoral leases.

Key references

1. Jaensch and Lane (1993)

2. Storr (1985)