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)

11.2. Reference number SA2

Refuge area: Lake Eyre mound springs

Biogeographic region: Stony Plains

Type of refuge: Mound springs

Lat./Long. ca. 28°00’ - 29°31’S / 136°00’ - 138°00’E

Quality of refuge: Highly significant (6)

Area (km²): <100 but scattered

Chief refuge value

Highly restricted habitat for species confined for long periods of time to tiny and isolated pockets.

General description

Artesian springs of the Great Artesian Basin scattered over an area between Marree and Oodnadatta1.

ANZECC-listed species

The plant Eriocaulon carsonii (E)1.

Regional endemics

Endemics include the isopod Phreatomerus latipes, the ostracod Ngarawa dirga, further undescribed ostracods, a phreatic amphipod Phreatochiltonia anophthalma, further species of the amphipod genus Austrochiltonia, possibly endemic copepods, and a macrostomid flatworm. More than 20 taxa of snails (Hydrobiidae) have recently been found in artesian springs associated with the Great Artesian Basin in South Australia and parts of Queensland. Ten taxa are recognised in two endemic genera – Fonscochlea and Trochidrobia – from springs between Marree and Oodnadatta2, 3, 5.

Relict species

The species noted above are evolutionary relicts.

Other significant species

A suite of spring-associated flora4.

Key threats

Water drawdown, pressure from visitors, and trampling by stock and feral animals.

Land tenure

Mostly pastoral leases.

Key references

1. Harris (1992)

2. Ponder (1986)

3. Zeidler and Ponder (1989)

4. Lange and Fatchen (1990)

5. Ponder et al. (1989)