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

12. Refugia in the Northern Territory (continued)

12.5. Reference number NT5

Refuge area: Lake Amadeus and the Karinga Creek system

Biogeographic region: Great Sandy Desert and Finke

Type of refuge: Ecological refuge

Lat./Long. 24°S / 131°E to 25°S / 134°E

Quality of refuge: Significant (1)

Area (km²): <10,000

Chief refuge value

A drainage system providing a complex mixture of habitats characterised by dependable supplies of moisture to plants, and thereby potentially providing important resources for consumers.

General description

Lake Amadeus is a major area for discharge of the central Australian groundwater system; there is consistent groundwater seepage around most of the Lake1. The Karinga Creek palaeodrainage system lies 60 km to the east south-east; it comprises a series of smaller saline through brackish to freshwater pans with springs and seepages emanating from the same groundwater basin as that discharging into Lake Amadeus1. The vegetation varies from highly localised halophytic plants through to widely represented taxa. The possibility of such systems providing dependable resources to consumers through regular plant growth is still to be investigated2, 3.

ANZECC-listed species

None identified.

Regional endemics

None identified.

Relict species

None identified.

Other significant species

None identified.

Key threats

Infestations of rabbits, and land degradation due to over-grazing.

Land tenure

Aboriginal land, and pastoral leases.

Key references

1. Fleming (1993)

2. Yeatman (1992)

3. J.N. Foulkes (unpublished)