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

7. Foci of biological diversity in Queensland (continued)

7.3. Mount Isa Inlier


66,422 km².

Primary land-use

Cattle grazing, mining.

National Parks and Nature Reserves

Lawn Hill National Park (part), Camooweal Caves National Park.

Management problems

Land degradation through over-grazing, particularly of riparian vegetation (Neldner 1991; Cummings et al. 1993; Wilcox and Cunningham 1994).

ANZECC-listed species

Black-footed rock wallabies Petrogale lateralis (V) occur in the Mount Isa area (Eldridge et al. 1993).

Neldner (1991) recorded the plant species Ptilotus maconochiei (V) from the Mount Isa highlands.

Species that are regionally endemic

A gecko Gehyra robusta and a skink Ctenotus striaticeps (Cogger 1992).

Neldner (1991) reported an undescribed species of Heliotropium apparently confined to the Mount Isa highlands.

Relict populations

Neldner (1991) recorded the following rare plants from the Mount Isa highlands: Goodenia angustifolia, Acacia strongylophylla, and Brachychiton collinus.

Other significant populations

The spectacled hare-wallaby Lagorchestes conspicillatus occurs uncommonly across the Region (Johnson and Lyon 1985).

Thomas and McDonald (1989) listed Amaranthus pallidiflorus, Ptilotus royceanus, Ipomoea antonschmidii, Fimbristylis distincta and Croton tomentellus as rare or threatened.


No information.


Although the data are limited, it seems highly likely that the Selwyn Range functions as a refuge (see section 13.6).