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)
12.6. Reference number NT6
Refuge area: Carpentarian sandstone
Biogeographic region: Gulf Fall and Uplands
Type of refuge: Gorges/mountain ranges
Lat./Long. Centred on 17°S / 137°E
Quality of refuge: Extremely significant (7)
Area (km²): <10,000
Chief refuge value
A range of endemic and rare species confined to sandstone escarpments and rainforest remnants or vine thickets.
An extensive area of highly dissected sandstone country with a sub-tropical climate. Relatively dependable seasonal rainfall allows the persistence of rainforest remnants and thickets in gorges within the complex, and many sandstone-specialists occur on the drier sandstone substrates1.
The ghost bat Macroderma gigas (V) occurs, as do the Carpentarian grasswren Amytornis dorotheae (V) and the Gouldian finch Erythrura gouldiae1,2.
The Carpentarian rock-rat Zyzomys palatalis and an undescribed species of pebble-mound mouse Pseudomys sp. appear confined to the area1,3,4. In addition, a gecko Gehyra borroloola and the plants Astartea intratropica, Calytrix mimiana, Melaleuca aff. symphyocarpa and Trachymene glandulosa are probably endemic1.
The vine thickets scattered along the rivers through the sandstone country probably contain relict species, including undescribed species of ferns1.
Other significant species
The plants Fimbristylis clavata, F. dolera, Tiliacora australiana, Brachychiton collinus, Livistona rigida, Arenga australasica and Heterodendrum tropica occur among sandstone1.
Poor pastoral management and feral animals; fire management.
Pastoral leases, Aboriginal land.
1. Northern Territory Department of Lands and Housing (1991)
2. McKean and Martin (1989)
3. Kitchener (1989)
4. Menkhorst and Woinarski (1992)