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
10. Refugia in Western Australia (continued)
10.14. Reference number WA14
Refuge area: Dragon Tree Soak
Biogeographic region: Great Sandy Desert
Type of refuge: Wetland
Lat./Long. 19°40’S / 123°22’E
Quality of refuge: Significant (1)
Area (km²): <100
Chief refuge value
Habitat and drought refuge for birds.
Dragon Tree Soak is a swamp with bullrush Typha domingensis and dragon tree Sesbania formosa. It includes a freshwater spring, a permanent freshwater marsh and peatland4. It has an area of 5 ha (main water area: 1 ha). It forms an oasis supporting plants and animals that are absent or scarce elsewhere in the desert.
Typha domingensis (bullrush) and Sesbania formosa (dragon tree).
Other significant species
Birds that are not otherwise present in desert are Australian crake Porzana fluminea, clamorous reed-warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus, and pheasant coucal Centropus phasianinus ; a frog Cyclorana australis; the lesser long-eared bat Nyctophilus geoffroyi and the flying fox Pteropus scapulatus4.
Camels are damaging wetland areas; possibly too-frequent fires4.
Dragon Tree Soak Nature Reserve. A larger reserve of 290,000 ha has been proposed, which will include the Soak and the nearby McLarty Hills5.
1. Burbidge and McKenzie (1983)
2. Start and Fuller (in Burbidge and McKenzie 1983)
3. Lane and McComb (1988)
4. Jaensch and Lane (1993)
5. Burbidge et al. (1991)