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)

10.27. Reference number WA27

Refuge area: Tunnel Creek

Biogeographic region: Dampierland

Type of refuge: Gorge/wetland

Lat./Long. 17°37’S / 125°09’E

Quality of refuge: Significant (2)

Area (km²): <100

Chief refuge value

Habitat for ANZECC-listed species.

General description

Tunnel Creek passes under the Napier Range via a cave. The cave is 500 m long. Cave pools are permanent (up to 2 m deep in the dry season), although the Creek is seasonal3.

ANZECC-listed species

One of the most important roost sites in the Kimberley for the ghost bat Macroderma gigas (V)3.

Regional endemics

None identified.

Relict species

None identified.

Key threats

Possibly excessive tourism.

Other significant species

The orange horseshoe-bat Rhinonicterus aurantius and another bat Eptesicus douglasi, which is endemic to the north-west Kimberley, roost in the cave system.

An undescribed Rainbow Fish Melanotaenia sp. occurs. See also Williams for freshwater fauna of the area4.

Land tenure

Tunnel Creek National Park.

Key references

1. Australian Heritage Commission (1989)

2. Burbidge et al. (1991)

3. Jaensch and Lane (1993)

4. Williams (1979)