Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable as Kumonga exleyi
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Lasionectes exleyi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008xw) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, included on the Not Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument] as Lasionectes exleyi.
 
Amendment to the list of threatened species under section 178, 181 and 183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (160) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2014h) [Legislative Instrument] as Kumonga exleyi.
 
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Critically Endangered (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list) as Kumonga exleyi
Scientific name Kumonga exleyi [86875]
Family Kumongidae:Nectiopoda:Remipedia:Arthropoda:Animalia
Species author (Yager & Humphreys, 1996)
Infraspecies author  
Reference Hoenemann, M., Neiber, M.T., Humphreys, W.F., Iliffe, T.M. Li, D., Schram, F.R. & Koenemann, S. 2013. Phylogenetic analysis and systematic revision of Remipedia. Journal of Crustacean Biology 33(5): 603-619
Other names Lasionectes exleyi [64467]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

The Cape Range Remipede is a free-swimming, cave-dwelling, remipede crustacean. It is characterised by a short head and long trunk. The trunk is composed of 21-24 segments, each with a pair of paddle-like swimming appendages. This species grows to 1-1.5 cm long (Clark & Spier-Ashcroft 2003; Yager & Humphreys 1996).

Larvae are yet to be described but they may resemble the adults (Yager & Humphreys 1996).

The species was first described in 1996 from samples collected during 1993 to 1995 (Yager & Humphreys 1996).

This species is known only from a single remote anchialine (submerged) cave on the Cape Range Peninsula of Western Australia, located on a coastal plain, 1.7 km inland from the Indian Ocean (Black et al. 2001; Yager & Humphreys 1996). The cave is registered in the Australian Karst Index as Bundera Sinkhole. It is the only known remipede habitat in the Southern Hemisphere (Yager & Humphreys 1996).

The genus is highly disjunct, with the other members occurring in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean Sea (Yager & Humphreys 1996).

The Bundera Sinkhole lies just outside a conservation reserve (Cape Range National Park) (Yager & Humphreys 1996).  It is found on Commonwealth land utilised as a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) bombing range while parts of it are grazed (Humpreys n.d. pers. comm. cited in Clark & Spier-Ashcroft 2003). 

The Bundera Sinkhole is one of a larger karst system of sinkholes and caves that have been carved out of the limestone over millions of years, and is partially fed from an underground aquifer. Below the caves, the aquifer contains a range of unique subterranean aquatic animals such as the Cape Range Remipede (Sutton 2000).

There is a single entrance to the sinkhole which is about 20 m wide, below which bacterial colonies grow. The surface of the sinkhole is eutrophic (abundant in nutrients supporting dense algae) allowing very little light penetration. Its maximum depth is 33 m (Clark & Spier-Ashcroft 2003).  The Cape Range Remipede is found at a depth of approximately 30 m (Yager & Humphreys 1996 in Clark & Spier-Ashcroft 2003).

The vegetation on the coastal plain, where the sinkhole and caves occur, comprises hummock grasslands with scattered sparse shrubs in a dry, harsh environment with temperatures greater than 35 degrees.

Little is known about the life cycle, reproduction and biology of this species, except that it is a hermaphrodite (having reproductive organs of both sexes) (Clark & Spier-Ashcroft 2003).

Cave environments are uniquely sensitive to environmental changes and contamination because there is little filtration into the system from above and, in the case of Cape Range, there is little flushing out of the system (Humphreys et al. 1999 in Clarke & Spier-Ashcroft 2003). Activities that may pose a threat to the Cape Range Remipede include mining, grazing and military activities such as RAAF bombing for training purposes (Clark & Spier-Ashcroft 2003).

Other threats to the species include: the continued extraction of water from the aquifer system to supply urban, industrial and tourism activities (Sutton 2000); and diving, due to the disruption of the water layers in the sinkhole which, in turn, change the temperature and chemical composition of each layer (Clark & Spier-Ashcroft 2003).

High levels of nutrients in the sinkhole may be due to the Feral Goat's (Capra hircus) use of the adjacent area. This form of use, if continued, could represent a threatening process (Yager & Humphreys 1996).  

Clark & Spier-Ashcroft (2003) suggest the establishment of a monitoring program to identify and assess the impacts of any environmental changes on the species, community and site.

The Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) and the North West Cape Karst Advisory Committee (2006) have suggested recovery actions for this species' habitat which include: a people and vehicle management plan; a permit system for divers to avoid unnecessary interference; feral fish control; and the declaration of a Commonwealth Reserve to protect the Bundera Sinkhole.

Management documents for the Cape Range Remipede can be found at the start of the profile. In addition, The Cape Range Remipede Community (Bundera Sinkhole) and Cape Range Remipede Recovery Plan 2000-2003 - Interim Recovery Plan No. 75 (Black et al. 2001) provides information on recovery actions for the species and the Cape Range Remipede community to which the species belongs. 

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Lasionectes exleyi in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006mp) [Internet].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Lasionectes exleyi in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006mp) [Internet].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities Lasionectes exleyi in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006mp) [Internet].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human induced disturbance due to unspecified activities Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Lasionectes exleyi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008xw) [Conservation Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Recreational use of marine environment Lasionectes exleyi in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006mp) [Internet].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:War, Civil Unrest and Military Exercises:Disturbance throught military operations Lasionectes exleyi in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006mp) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation by fish Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Lasionectes exleyi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008xw) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Capra hircus (Goat) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Lasionectes exleyi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008xw) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition, predation and/or habitat degradation by kangaroos and wallabies Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Lasionectes exleyi (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008xw) [Conservation Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Extraction of ground water Lasionectes exleyi in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006mp) [Internet].
Pollution:Pollution:Habitat degradation and loss of water quality due to salinity, siltaton, nutrification and/or pollution Lasionectes exleyi in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006mp) [Internet].
Protected status:Protected status:Lack of secure conservation land tenure Lasionectes exleyi in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006mp) [Internet].

Black, S., A.A. Burbidge, D. Brooks, P. Green, W.F. Humphreys, P. Kendrick, D. Myers, R. Shepherd & J. Wann (2001). Cape Range remipede community (Bundera Sinkhole) and Cape Range remipede interim recovery plan. Interim Recovery Plan No. 75. WA CALM.

CALM & North West Cape Karst Advisory Committee (2006). Cape Range Remipede Community. [Online]. Available from: http://www.naturebase.net/plants_animals/watscu/pdf/tec/caperange.pdf.

Clarke, G. & F. Spier-Ashcroft (2003). A Review of the Conservation Status of Selected Australian Non-Marine Invertebrates. [Online]. Environment Australia, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/action/non-marine-invertebrates/index.html.

Humphreys, W.F. (1999a). Physico-chemical profile and energy fixation in Bundera Sinkhole, an anchialine remiped habitat in north-western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia. 82:89-98.

Humphreys, W.F. (1999b). Relict stygofaunas living in seal salt, karst and calcrete habitats in arid northwestern Australia contain many ancient lineages. In: Ponder, W. & D. Lunney, eds. The Other 99%: The Conservation and Biodiversity of Invertebrates. Page(s) 219-227. The Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman.

Humphreys, W.F. (2003). Letter from Dr W.F. Humphreys to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage. Annual Progress Report for EPBC Act Permit E20010004.

Sutton, D. (2000). The Treasures of Cape Range. Habitat Australia.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2008xw). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Lasionectes exleyi. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/64467-conservation-advice.pdf.

Yager, J. & W.F. Humphreys (1996). Lasionectes exleyi, sp. nov., the first remipede crustacean recorded from Australia and the Indian Ocean, with a key to the world species. Invertebrate Taxonomy. 10:171-87.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Kumonga exleyi in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:41:53 +1000.