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

13. Refugia in Queensland

13.1. Reference number QLD1

Refuge area: Elizabeth Springs and Edgbaston Springs

Biogeographic region: Channel Country and Mitchell Grass Downs

Type of refuge: Mound springs

Lat./Long. 23°21’S / 140°35’E and 22°44’S / 145°25’E

Quality of refuge: Significant (2)

Area (km²): <100

Chief refuge value

Mound springs containing endemic species.

General description

Neither spring appears to have been well studied, but both are part of the mound springs of the Great Artesian Basin1, and both harbour rare or threatened species. The Elizabeth Springs complex is north of Springvale Station in the west of the State; the Edgbaston spring complex is near Aramac in central Queensland.

ANZECC-listed species

None identified.

Local endemic and relict species

In Elizabeth Springs, the Elizabeth Springs goby Chlamydogobius sp. appears to be endemic2. It is at considered to be at risk.

In Edgbaston Springs, another fish, the red-finned blue-eye Scaturiginichthys vermeilipinnis, is known only from four springs in the complex. It has recently disappeared from two of the springs2.

The snails of the Queensland springs are notably diverse3.

Other significant species

None identified.

Key threats

Reductions in water tables due to artificial bores; habitat destruction due to trampling by domestic stock; competition from introduced fish Gambusia holbrooki; and perhaps also over-collection2.

Land tenure

Pastoral leases.

Key references

1. Harris (1992)

2. Wager and Jackson (1993)

3. Ponder and Clark (1990), Wilson (1995)