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

8. Foci of biological diversity in New South Wales (continued)

8.2. Cobar Peneplain

Area

73,501 km².

Primary land-use

Sheep grazing, copper mining.

National Parks and Nature Reserves

Weddin Mountains National Park.

Management problems

Land degradation through over-grazing (Benson 1991; Pickard 1991; Pickard and Norris 1994; Wilcox and Cunningham 1994; Lunney 1994). Clearing for agriculture in marginal lands continues to be a problem (Benson 1991; Cambell 1994). Control of vertebrate pests is an overwhelming issue (Freudenberger 1993; Newsome 1994).

ANZECC-listed species

Bowen and Pressey (1993) recorded Lepidium monoplocoides (E) and Bertya "opponens" and Acacia curranii (both V) from the Region.

Species that are regionally endemic

Plants: Pterostylis cobarensis (Bowen and Pressey 1993)

Relict populations

No information.

Other significant populations

Mammals: The kultarr, Antechinomys laniger (a dasyurid) has declined in the south-east of its range, and now occurs patchily west of the Bogan River (Dickman et al. 1993; Dickman 1994). Dickman et al. (1993) considered the greater long-eared bat Nyctophilus timoriensis and the yellow-bellied sheath-tail bat Saccolaimus flaviventris to be sparse and at risk because their tree-roosting behaviour exposed them to loss of habitat and predation by cats.

Birds: Populations of striated grasswrens Amytornis striatus striatus occur in mallee remnants throughout the Region (Garnett 1992, pp.119-20). Smith et al. (1994) considered that the shining bronze-cuckoo Chrysococcyx lucidus and the speckled warbler Sericornis sagittatus were declining.

Plants: Lomandra patens, Bothriochloa biloba, Rhodanthe citrina, Monotaxis macrophylla, Goodenia occidentalis, Kunzea aff. ambigua, Phebalium obcordatum, and Elacholoma hornii are all rare plants recorded from the Region (Bowen and Pressey 1993).

The pockets of mallee vegetation scattered throughout the Region are of high conservation significance. Noble et al. (1990) noted that virtually all mallee is now residual, because perhaps as much as 90% of mallee vegetation has already been cleared. Populations of many species are now too small or too isolated to remain viable; Noble et al. (1990) consider that now all remnants should be considered part of the conservation network.

Wetlands

No information.

Refugia

The mallee remnants in this and other Regions are listed as refugia (see section 14.9).