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)
10.21. Reference number WA21
Refuge area: De Grey River
Biogeographic region: Pilbara
Type of refuge: Wetlands
Lat./Long. 19°58’ - 20°42’S / 119°10’ - 120°35’E
Quality of refuge: Significant (2)
Area (km²): <1,000
Chief refuge value
Permanent pools provide a significant drought refuge for freshwater fish and waterbirds in the north of the Pilbara.
A length of river (160 km) typically 500 m wide with more than 30 river pools (Coolenar-Triangle Pools, Coogeenariner Pool, Mulyie Pool, Coolcoolinnarriner Pool and Ngumberamuring Pool); also 4,500 ha of tidal wetlands (mudflats, mangroves, coastal flats, and c. 22 km of tidal reaches of river and estuary. Many of the river pools are permanent. Flow occurs in the river every few years, with a major flood every 5-10 years1.
Other significant species
Permanent pools support 20 species of waterbirds (mostly darters, cormorants, and herons). Includes black-necked stork Xenorhynchus asiaticus, generally uncommon in the the north-west of Western Australia.
Overgrazing may lead to silting of river pools1.
1. Jaensch and Lane (1993)
2. Allen (1982)
3. Storr (1984)