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 (continued)

13.4. Reference number QLD4

Refuge area: Lakes Numalla, Wyara and Bindegolly

Biogeographic region: Mulga Lands

Type of refuge: Wetlands

Lat./Long. 28°45’S / 145°19’E, 28°42’S / 144°14’E, and 28°01’S / 144°12’E

Quality of refuge: Significant (2)

Area (km²): <1,000

Chief refuge value

Wetlands of great significance to waterbirds of arid Australia.

General description

Lake Numalla is a permanent, freshwater to brackish waterbody northwest of Hungerford, and Lake Wyara is a large permanent saline lake adjacent to it. Lake Numalla may occasionally connect with the Paroo River, but Lake Wyara may have completely internal drainage. There are large areas of open water habitat, fringing areas of low open samphire shrubland, woodlands of black box, and claypans. The Lake is an important freshwater body in an arid area, a major habitat for waterbirds (including migratory waders), and an important drought refuge area1, 2.

Lakes Bindegolly lies east of Thargomindah. It contains slightly saline, permanent waterbodies as well as surrounding areas that flood in wet years. There are open water habitats, seasonally-flooded areas with samphire and woodland, and ephemerally-flooded areas with claypans. The lake is a major breeding habitat and drought refuge for water and other birds typical of southern arid Queensland1.

ANZECC-listed species

None identified.

Regional endemics

None identified.

Relict species

None identified.

Other significant species

The dunes surrounding Lake Bindegolly support the rare plant species Acacia ammophila1.

Key threats

Minor disturbance by feral pigs, and overgrazing in catchments outside the National Parks.

Land tenure

Currawinya Lakes National Park (Lakes Numalla and Wyara), Lake Bindegolly National Park and a pastoral holding (Lake Bindegolly).

Key references

1. Blackman et al. (1993)

2. Kingsford and Porter (1994)