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
12. Refugia in the Northern Territory
12.1. Reference number NT1
Refuge area: Pellew Islands
Biogeographic region: Gulf Coastal
Type of refuge: Islands
Lat./Long. 15°40’S / 136°50’E
Quality of refuge: Highly significant (4)
Area (km²): <10,000
Chief refuge value
Insular refuge for endemic and rare species of plants and animals.
A group of sub-tropical islands, the largest of which is Vanderlin Island, characterised by remnant vine thickets and surrounded by mangrove stands and seagrass beds. The Islands are largely unaffected by European settlement1.
An undescribed skink Ctenotus sp. is known only from the Pellews. The plant Corchorus rostricephalus is found only on Vanderlin Island1.
The vine thickets scattered along the coast of the Pellews probably contain relict species1.
Other significant species
The pale field-rat Rattus tunneyi and a fat-tailed antechinus Pseudantechinus mimulus occur, and a rare plant Tephrosia subpectinata1. The Port McArthur tidal wetlands system is regarded as nationally significant for migratory waders and for dugongs Dugong dugon1, 2.
Barranyi National Park, Aboriginal land.
1. Northern Territory Department of Lands and Housing (1991)
2. Fleming (1993)