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

6. Foci of biological diversity in the Northern Territory (continued)

6.8. Central Ranges


99,258 km².

Primary land-use

Aboriginal use, cattle grazing.

National Parks and Nature Reserves


Management problems

Rabbit and fox control (Copley et al. 1989; Pearson 1992).

ANZECC-listed species

Mammals: The black-footed rock-wallaby Petrogale lateralis (V) is known from the Region but continues to decline (Copley et al. 1989; Eldridge et al. 1992; Pearson 1992).

Plants: Ricinocarpos gloria-medii (V) (Leigh et al. 1984, p. 199).

Species that are regionally endemic

The agamid lizard Ctenophorus rufescens and the skink Lerista speciosa (Cogger 1992).

Solem (1993) noted the presence of an extensive radiation of camaenid land-snails on the rocky ranges throughout the Region. The following species appear endemic: Pleuroxia everardensis (on the Everard Ranges), P. carmeena (Everard Ranges), P. radiata (Mann Ranges), Sinumelon hullanum (only from Lasseter's Cave, Petermann Ranges), S. musgravei (Musgrave Ranges), S. amatensis (Musgrave Ranges), S. pumilio (Everard Ranges), Basedowena cognata (Petermann Ranges and Schwerin Mural Crescent), B. cottoni (Mann Ranges), B. gigantea (Mann Ranges), B. vulgata (Tomkinson Ranges), B. katjawarana (Mann Ranges), B. papulankutjana (Blackstone Range), Minimelon colmani (widespread), Tatemelon musgum (Musgrave Ranges), T. herberti (Musgrave Ranges), T. inexpectatum (Musgrave Ranges), T. everardensis (Everard Ranges), Eximiorhagada asperrima (Mann Ranges), Montanomelon angatjana (Mann Ranges), Semotrachia minuta (Everard Ranges), S. illbilleeana (Everard Ranges), S. basedowi (Musgrave Ranges), S. mannennsis (Mann Ranges), S. discoidea (Musgrave Ranges), S. plana (Musgrave Ranges), Dirutrachia mersa (Musgrave Ranges), and D. ponderi (Everard Ranges).

Relict populations

One population of brushtail possums Trichosurus vulpecula is known from Irving Creek in the Petermann Ranges (Kerle et al. 1992).

Other significant populations

Many birds use the gullies of the ranges, but none of the species appears confined to the Region (Shurcliff 1980).

Wetland sites

No information.


Although there is evidence that land-snails have speciated to a considerable extent on the isolated outcrops of the Central Ranges, the lack of clear evidence from other taxa (especially plants) causes us not to list any refugia pending further investigation.