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
13. Refugia in Queensland (continued)
13.5. Reference number QLD5
Refuge area: Lawn Hill Gorge
Biogeographic region: Gulf Fall and Uplands
Type of refuge: Gorge
Lat./Long. 18°42’S / 138°29’E
Quality of refuge: Highly significant (5)
Area (km²): <100
Chief refuge value
A moist gorge with deep permanent water and supporting dense fringing habitats with relict species.
The Gorge has vertical cliffs, the base of which carries dense vegetation dominated by Pandanus aquaticus, Livistona sp., Nauclea orientalis, and Melaleuca sp. There are deep pools with waterlilies in the lower Gorge, and emergent and fringing wetlands dominated by sedges, rushes, grasses and ferns. The permanent moisture associated with the Gorge allows survival of ferns, mosses, algae, palms and a diverse riverine flora. The permanent deep water and fringing habitats in a semi-arid environment provide refugia for a diverse and locally distinct biota, probably a rainforest remnant1.
Although not specified, many plants appear endemic1.
Many species – particularly plants – are probably relicts with a rainforest origin1.
Other significant species
Notable fauna includes the rock ringtail possum Pseudocheirus dahli, and a range of freshwater fish, crustaceans and molluscs. Freshwater crocodiles Crocodylus johnstoni occur in the Creek1.
Disturbance by pigs.
Lawn Hill National Park.
1. Blackman et al. (1993)