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 (continued)
12.2. Reference number NT2
Refuge area: Lake Woods
Biogeographic region: Mitchell Grass Downs
Type of refuge: Wetland
Lat./Long. 17°50’S / 133°30’E
Quality of refuge: Significant (2)
Area (km²): <1,000
Chief refuge value
A major wetland providing one of the most important breeding and migratory stop-over locations for waterfowl in the sub-tropical inland of the Northern Territory.
An intermittent wetland of 50,000 ha fed principally by Newcastle Creek. The Creek flows in most years, and many of the waterbodies (such as Longreach Waterhole) are probably permanent. The Lake proper is surrounded by shrubland of lignum Muehlenbeckia cunninghamii, and woodland of river red gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis, coolibah E. microtheca, and gutta-percha Excoecaria parviflora1, 2.
Bilbies Macrotis lagotis (V) have been recorded at Lake Woods1.
Other significant species
The Lake supports large numbers (in tens of thousands) of breeding waterbirds, notably magpie geese Anseranas semipalmata, ducks, cormorants, and herons1, 2. It also acts as a major stop-over point for waders on migratory paths between Australia and the northern hemisphere2. Significant waterbirds recorded include freckled duck Stictonetta naevosa and painted snipe Rostratula benghalensis2 .
Grazing pressure causing land degradation; recreational boating on waterholes may affect waterbirds.
1. Fleming et al. (1983)
2. Fleming (1993)12.3. Reference Number NT3