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

11. Refugia in South Australia (continued)

11.13. Reference number SA13

Refuge area: Gawler Ranges

Biogeographic region: Gawler

Type of refuge: Mountain ranges

Lat./Long. 32°30’S / 135°30’E

Quality of refuge: Highly significant (6)

Area (km²): <10,000

Chief refuge value

Habitat for ANZECC-listed species and for endemic and relict species.

General description

Hills of volcanic rock with low relief covered with diverse woodland and shrubland. The primary ecological significance of the area is the fact that it represents a transitional area between the arid biota to the north and the more mesic organisms to the south1.

ANZECC-listed species

The malleefowl Leipoa ocellata1.

Regional endemics

Three plant taxa are endemic to the Gawler Ranges: crimson mallee Eucalyptus lansdowneana ssp. lansdowneana, Grevillea parallelinervis, and the Gawler Range greenhood Pterostylis ovata1.

Relict species

The Gawler ranges subspecies of the thick-billed grasswren Amytornis textilis myall is locally conspicuous1.

Other significant species

There are four populations of yellow-footed rock wallabies Petrogale xanthopus at the western limit of this species in Australia. Birds regarded as of conservation significance are the slender-billed thornbill Acanthiza iredalei, the calamanthus Sericornis campestris and the redthroat Sericornis brunneus, all having declined substantially over this century. Five plant species are of significance because they are endemic to South Australia: Acacia tarculensis, Anthocercis anisantha collina, Grevillea aspera, Melaleuca oxyphylla, and Prostanthera florifera1.

Key threats

Grazing by sheep, goats and rabbits.

Land tenure

Pastoral leases.

Key references

1. Robinson et al. (1988)