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)
10.4. Reference number WA4
Refuge area: Barrow Island group
Biogeographic region: Pilbara
Type of refuge: Islands
Lat./Long. 20°46’S / 115°24’E; 20°03’S / 115°51’E
Quality of refuge: Extremely significant (7)
Area (km²): <1,000
Chief refuge value
ANZECC-listed species; refuge for mammals from exotic species.
Barrow is a large, arid island of 230 km², 60 km off coast of WA. It is both a nature reserve and an oilfield. Middle and Boodie Islands are smaller islands off the southern coast of Barrow. The dominant vegetation on Barrow Island is hummock grassland (Triodia wiseana, T. angusta, and T. pungens).
Mammals: Burrowing bettong Bettongia lesueur (E) (Barrow Island; occurred on Boodie Island until 1985 and reintroduced in 19934), golden bandicoot Isoodon auratus (E) on Barrow and Middle Islands1, 4, Barrow Island euro Macropus robustus isabellinus4 (V), black-footed rock-wallaby Petrogale lateralis1 (V).
Birds: Barrow Island fairy-wren Malurus leucopterus edouardi2 (V).
Reptiles: Very significant rookery for green turtles Chelonia mydas (V) along west coast of Barrow, Middle and Boodie Islands6. Hawksbill turtles Eretmochelys imbricata (V) nest occasionally on Barrow Island6. Nest in significant numbers on adjacent Lowendal Islands (20° 39' S / 115° 34' E)7.
Birds: Barrow Island fairy-wren Malurus leucopterus edouardi2.
Reptiles: Ctenotus pantherinus acripes7.
Mammals: Golden bandicoot Isoodon auratus barrowensis, spectacled hare-wallaby Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus4, Barrow Island euro Macropus robustus isabellinus7.
Many of the ANZECC-listed species have become extinct on the mainland, and constitute relict populations.
Other significant species
Northern brushtail possum Trichosurus vulpecula arnhemensis1, 4, water rat Hydromys chrysogaster7. Large rookery (> 300) of flatback turtles Chelonia depressa on east coast of Barrow Island7.
Introduction of exotic species such as Rattus rattus and fox or cat; some disturbance due to oil-drilling.
1. Butler (1970, 1975)
2. Schodde (1982)
3. Buckley (1983)
4. Short and Turner (1991, 1993, 1994)
5. Burbidge and Main (1971)
6. R.I.T. Prince (pers. comm.)
7. Burbidge (1989)