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
5. Foci of biological diversity in South Australia (continued)
5.5. Flinders and Olary Ranges
Grazing for sheep, tourism.
National Parks and Nature Reserves
Flinders Ranges National Park, Gammon Ranges National Park, Mt Remarkable National Park, Telowie Gorge Conservation Park, Lake Torrens Regional Reserve.
Goats and rabbits within the Flinders Range may have an impact on yellow-footed rock-wallabies Petrogale xanthopus (Lim et al. 1987); foxes may also have contributed to the decline of this species. Water quality of streams in the Ranges may be declining because of increased human visitation.
Land degradation due to rabbits and over-grazing. Several species of woody plants are likely to disappear because of lack of recruitment (Lange and Purdie 1976; Crisp 1978; Lange and Graham 1983; Woodell 1990). Birds of the chenopod shrublands appear to be particularly at risk of decline (Reid and Fleming 1992).
Leigh et al. (1984) reported the plants Senecio megaglossus (p. 168), Acacia araneosa (pp. 249-50; see also Whibley and Dashorst 1985) and Acacia menzelii (pp. 250-1), all (V).
Species that are regionally endemic
A pygopodid lizard Aprasia pseudopulchella (Cogger et al. 1993, pp. 47-9), and an agamid Ctenophorus vadnappa (Cogger 1992).
A fish, the Flinders Ranges gudgeon Mogurnda sp., is restricted to waterways in the Gammon Ranges National Park (Wager and Jackson 1993).
The yellow-footed rock-wallaby was formerly "the most abundant of animals" in the Flinders Ranges at the time of European settlement (Lim et al. 1987). It has greatly declined, but is still known from 180 sites. Population size is estimated at 10,000-20,000; the animals are widespread throughout the region and in some areas are locally common. Habitat does not appear to be seriously threatened.
Other significant populations
The plants Senecio georgianus (Leigh et al. 1984, p. 167) and Myoporum refractum (Leigh et al. 1984, p. 259). Greenwood et al. (1989, pp. 81-90) recorded the following rare or significant plants: Acacia iteaphylla, Sclerolaena bicuspis, Calostemma luteum, Galium binifolium, Grevillea huegelii, Enneapogon intermedius, Maireana eriantha, Tephrosia sphaerospora, Gypsophila australis, Olearia calcarea, Asplenium flabellifolium, Doodia caudata, Pteris tremula, and Nicotiana occidentalis obliqua. They noted that many significant plant species persist in the northern Ranges because of slightly elevated rainfall brought about by the interception of moisture-bearing clouds, and also because of retention of moisture in gorges. In addition, the presence of rare plants at many locations throughout the Ranges provides evidence of the ecological diversity of the Ranges and their conservation significance (Greenwood et al. 1989).
The following information is abstracted from Morelli and Drewien (1993).
Lake Torrens: A large saline playa supporting large breeding colonies of banded stilts Cladorhynchus leucocephalus.
Flinders Ranges Creeks: Bunyeroo, Brachina, Wilpena, Parachilna and Oratunga Creeks run through gorges out from the ranges. As sources of freshwater they are important in the surrounding semi-arid country, and harbour the Flinders Ranges gudgeon.