Territory Stories

Bioregions of the nt



Bioregions of the nt


Kerle, J. A.


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Technical Report LRD94100 Viewed at 07:02:32 on 18/02/2010 Page 20 of 275. common eucalypt. Coolibahs grow along many watercourses and also form extensive areas of open woodland on the floodplains. Gidyea (Acacia cambagei) and miniritchie (A. cyperophylla) are also present on many of the minor watercourses, especially near the N.T. border. Lignum (Muehlenbeckia spp), other Acacias and saltbush (Atriplex nummularia) also occur on the floodplains. . The vegetation around the mound springs contains a number of rare and relict species. These include the rare salt pipewort (Eriocaulon carsonii) and'the relict species salt couch (Sporobolus virginicus) and creeping brookweed (Samolus repens). Fauna The region contains a diverse and interesting arid zone fauna. Like the plants, all three groups of vertebrates contain species strongly associated with each of the primary land forms. Birds: Some 230 species have been recorded from the region with 201 of these associated with watercourses and floodplains, 68 on the gibber plain and 170 species around the boredrain swamps and mound springs. The gibber bird, orange chat, thick-billed grasswren and inland dotterel are notable gibber plain species and the mound springs are especially important for migratory waders. Mammals: Forty one species - 21 native terrestrial mammals, 11 bats and rune introduced mammals have been recorded from this bioregion. Of these, 15 medium sized native species appear to have become extinct and 11 are rare. Others such as the plains mouse (Pseudomys australia), dusky. hopping-mouse (Notomys foscus) and long-haired rat (Rattus villossimus) periodically undergo rapid and spectacular population explosions. The smallest terrestrial mammals are the Planigales (Planigale gilesi and P. tenuirostris) which live in the cracking clays of creek beds and floodplains. Reptiles and frogs: '. Of the approximately 85 species recorded from the region, there are no records of any' species having become extinct but several may have become reduced in their distribution and abundance. For example the painted dragon (Ctenophorus pictus) and the skink Egermia stokesi have not recently been found in the Northern Territory portion of the bioregion. The smooth earless dragon (Tympanocryptis lineata) prefers the exposed, barren gibber plains. Frogs include the burrowing species, the water-holding frog (Cyclorana platycephalus) and trilling frog (Neobatrachus centralis), and the desert tree frog (Litoria rubella). Landuse The whole region has had a long history of extensive grazing which, in association with the impact of rabbits, has had a significant impact on the plant communities. None of this Bioregion has been reserved in the Northern Territory. References Badman, F.J., Amold, B.K. and Bell S.L. (1991) A natural history of the Lake Eyre Region. A visitors guide. SANPWS Adelaide. Bioregions of the NTDRAFTVersion 3 17 Printed:March 25, 1996

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