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)
13.6. Reference number QLD6
Refuge area: Selwyn Range
Biogeographic region: Mount Isa Inlier
Type of refuge: Mountain range
Lat./Long. 20°30’S / 139°E to 21°45’S / 141°E
Quality of refuge: Highly significant (5)
Area (km²): <10,000
Chief refuge value
A mountain range potentially providing habitat for many endemic or relict species.
Rugged hilly country of varied geology but with predominantly skeletal soils and eucalypt woodland over spinifex. Systematic studies seem to be lacking, but the position of the Range within Nix’s1 interzone between the Torresian and Eyrean biotas of Australia, together with the indications mentioned below of endemic or relict species, together suggest that the Selwyn Ranges may shelter many interesting species.
Black-footed rock wallabies Petrogale lateralis (V) occur in the Mount Isa area2. The plant species Ptilotus maconochiei (V) has been recorded from the Mount Isa highlands3.
A gecko Gehyra robusta and a skink Ctenotus striaticeps are endemic to the Ranges4. An undescribed plant species of the genus Heliotropium is apparently confined to the Mount Isa highlands3.
The following rare plants have been collected from the Mount Isa highlands, although it is not certain that they constitute relicts3, 5: Goodenia angustifolia, Acacia strongylophylla, Brachychiton collinus, Amaranthus pallidiflorus, Ptilotus royceanus, Ipomoea antonschmidii, Fimbristylis distincta and Croton tomentellus.
Other significant species
Land degradation through over-grazing and feral animals, especially along drainage lines.
1. Nix (1982)
2. Eldridge et al. (1993)
3. Neldner (1991)
4. Cogger (1992)
5. Thomas and McDonald (1989)