Department of the Environment

About us | Contact us | Publications

header imagesheader imagesheader images

Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Areas of Conservation Significance on Cape York Peninsula

Cape York Peninsula Land Use Strategy
Abrahams, H., Mulvaney, M., Glasco, D., & Bugg, A.
Office of the Co-ordinator General of Queensland
Australian Heritage Commission, March 1995

Areas of Conservation Significance on Cape York Peninsula

7.0 Areas of Terrestrial Fauna Richness

McFarland (1993) as part of CYPLUS NRAP project NR03, provided an analysis of faunal diversity across Cape York Peninsula. The number of faunal records for each of the 514 ten minute grid cells were compared within the CYPLUS study area. Grid cells containing greater than 320 vertebrate species included cells in the Iron Range, the Coen - McIlwraith Range area and Cooktown south to the CYPLUS boundary. As noted by McFarland, the major problem in interpreting the results is the variable search effort across the region. To try and account for this McFarland applied a modifier to create an index that combined total number of species recorded in a grid cell by the search effort for that cell.

The indices derived by McFarland provide a coarse guide to faunal species richness at various localities. McFarland identified 18 grid cells that had a high species diversity index (greater than six on his scale). These include cells at Somerset, Port Musgrave, Iron Range, Coen - McIlwraith Range, Aurukun, Edward River, the mouth of the Mitchell River, the base of Prince Charlotte Bay, Cooktown and the Wet Tropics area (see Figure 7.1).

It is worth noting that all but three of these cells occur in areas of high vegetation diversity as identified in Figures 5.1 and 5.2 and as discussed in Section 5 of this volume. These three high fauna rich grid cells are in the south-west of the Peninsula, and interestingly two are in areas of wetland diversity as identified by Driscoll in NRO9 (Driscoll 1994b).

McFarland (1993) also provides individual plots of frog, reptile, bird and mammal richness indices. Winter and Lethbridge (1994) identify the McIlwraith Range area as a core area of mammal and bird diversity on Cape York Peninsula.

At a local scale, the strips of forest along rivers provide a more lush environment than the surrounding dry woodlands, and usually contain both rainforest and sclerophyll trees of the open forests and woodlands. As a result, the faunal assemblages of the riparian strips are more diverse than the woodlands that they cross (Winter & Lethbridge 1994).