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

10. Refugia in Western Australia (continued)

10.20. Reference number WA20

Refuge area: Aneen Lake

Biogeographic region: Murchison

Type of refuge: Wetlands

Lat./Long. 26°48’ - 27°00’S / 118°10’ - 118°25’E

Quality of refuge: Significant (2)

Area (km²): <1,000

Chief refuge value

Breeding areas for terns.

General description

A large (12,000 ha) salt lake south south-west of Meekatharra with numerous islands and peninsulas, comprising a seasonal, intermittent saline or brackish lake and marsh. Some parts of the Lake are likely to hold shallow water in most years; the whole system fills every 5-10 years from summer-autumn rain3.

ANZECC-listed species

None identified.

Regional endemics

None identified.

Relict species

None identified.

Other significant species

Of 18 species of waterbird recorded, 3 are listed under treaties3. The Lake is a regular and major breeding area for gull-billed tern Gelochelidon nilotica and whiskered tern Chlidonias hybrida. The former species uses islets that remain just above high-water when the Lake fills; the latter breed on islets and on the tops of flooded samphire (Halosarcia sp.)3. The Lake supports several thousand waterbirds when full (mostly black swan Cygnus atratus, banded stilt Cladorhynchus leucocephalus, Australian shelduck Tadorna tadornoides, gull-billed tern and whiskered tern)3.

Key threats

Grazing of sheep and gold mining within catchment.3

Land tenure

Pastoral and mining leases3.

Key references

1. Fuller (1963)

2. Storr (1985)

3. Jaensch and Lane (1993)