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

12. Refugia in the Northern Territory (continued)

12.4. Reference number NT4

Refuge area: Lake Surprise

Biogeographic region: Tanami

Type of refuge: Wetland

Lat./Long. 20°15’S / 131°50’E

Quality of refuge: Significant (2)

Area (km²): <100

Chief refuge value

A large freshwater lake forming a major refuge in a vast area without alternative surface water.

General description

Lake Surprise (Yinapaka) is the terminus of the Lander River; it covers about 800 ha. It fills intermittently, perhaps on average every 10 years, but then retains water for two to three years1. It is surrounded by shrubland of Melaleuca glomerata and woodland primarily of coolibah Eucalyptus microtheca1, and by a massive dunefield containing several rare plants: Acacia jensenii, Pimelea ammocharis, Sauropus hunti, Olax spartea, Comesperma ?pallidum, Atriplex sp., and Eucalyptus aff. setosa2 . The Lake is unaffected by stock, feral animals or weeds3.

ANZECC-listed species

None identified.

Regional endemics

None identified.

Relict species

None identified.

Other significant species

More than 30 species of waterbirds have been recorded, but there have been no systematic counts3.

Key threats

None identified.

Land tenure

Aboriginal land.

Key references

1. Fleming (1993)

2. Latz (1988)

3. Gibson (1986)