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

4. Foci of biological diversity in Western Australia

4.1. Central Kimberley


76,907 km².

Primary land-use

Extensive cattle grazing, tourism.

National Parks and Nature Reserves

Drysdale River National Park, Prince Regent Nature Reserve; there are plans to add a central part of King Leopold Ranges to the conservation estate following purchase of Mount Hart pastoral lease (McKenzie et al. 1992).

Management problems

Land degradation due to over-grazing (Wilcox and Cunningham 1994).

ANZECC-listed species

No information.

Species that are regionally endemic

Reptiles: The blind snakes Ramphotyphlops troglodytes and R. micromma are endemic to the Region (Cogger 1992)

Plants: A cycad Cycas furfuracea and the mistletoe Decaisninia biangulata are endemic to north-west Kimberley (McKenzie et al. 1992).

Relict populations

There may be relict species in the limestone massif (Keighery and Gibson 1993).

Other significant populations

Rock ringtail possum Pseudocheirus dahli and red goshawk Erythrotriorchis radiatus at King Leopold Ranges (McKenzie et al. 1992).

Wetland sites

Some parts of the King Leopold Ranges – Bell Gorge and Lennard River Gorge – contain permanent pools (McKenzie et al. 1992).


None identified.