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Arafura Jungles, Mirrngadja, NT, Australia

Photographs None
List Register of the National Estate (Non-statutory archive)
Class Natural
Legal Status Registered (27/03/2001)
Place ID 100806
Place File No 7/04/003/0006
Nominator's Statement of Significance
It is possible that cultural values, both indigenous and non-indigenous, of National Estate significance may exist in this place. As yet, the Australian Heritage Commission has not identified, documented or assessed these values.
The Arafura Jungles support four plants of conservation significance in high abundance. These are the ferns ANGIOPTERIS EVECTA and ADIANTIUM AETHIOPICUM considered rare in the Northern Territory, the vine FREYCINETTIA PERCOSTATA that is considered rare in Australia and the orchid DIDYMOPLEXUS PALLENS that is poorly known in Australia.
Official Values Not Available
The Arafura Jungles nomination incorporates twelve patches of monsoon vine forest that represent four distinct floristic types. Nine patches are relatively small (1.5ha to 6ha) spring fed wet jungles (Floristic Types Four and Six) that occupy sheltered locations within sandstone gorges. One patch comprises a long, narrow of wet jungle covering some 2ha along a creekline within a gorge (Floristic Type Seven). The remaining two patches are dry vine thickets (Floristic Type Nine) occupying more exposed locations on sandstone bluffs and scree slopes. One patch is large, covering some 50ha, the other is small and immediately upslope of a patch of wet jungle.
The wet jungles typically contain tall evergreen trees such as the banyan fig (FICUS VIRENS), the weeping fig (F. BENJAMINA), the black wattle (ACACIA AURICULIFORMES), TERMINALIA MICROCARPA, HORSEFIELDIA AUSTRALIANA, CALLOPHYLUM OPPOSITIFOLIUM and feather palms (HYDRIASTELE WENDLANDIANA). Ferns such as the climbing maidenhair fern (LYGODIUM MICROPHYLLUM), the tassel fern (LYCOPODIUM CERNUUM ), the climbing fern (STENOCHLAENA PALUSTRIS), DICRANOPTERIS LINEARIS and Nephrolepsis ssp., and tree orchids such as DENDROBIUM AFFINE are also common. Canopy height ranges from 20m-25m. Larger patches are typically more diverse containing up to eighty three rainforest species, whereas the smaller patches contain about fifty species.
The dry jungles only receive water during the wet season and support plants that are more tolerant of these dry conditions. However, species diversity is high (fifty three of the same species) and comparable to the wet jungles but canopy height is less ranging from 5m-10m. Typical trees include CELTIS PHILLIPPINENSIS, CRYPTOCARYA CUNNINGHAMII, POLYALTHIA AUSTRALIS and the peanut tree (STERCULIA QUADRIFA).
History Not Available
Condition and Integrity
Overall condition of the jungles are excellent. All are free of exotic plants and feral livestock and minor fire damage is limited to the boundaries.
About 5000ha, in the sandstone escarpment on the eastern edge of Arafura Swamp, 12km north of Mirrngadja, comprising the area bounded by straight lines joining the following AMG points consecutively: 5972-'Mirrngadja'-240127, 258170, 5973-'Howard'-170185, 5972-138175, 147143 and the commencement point.
CCNT 1993 Monsoon Vine Forest Database

Leach, G.J., Dunlop,C.R., Barritt, M.J., Latz, P.K. and Sammy, N. (1992) Northern Territory plant species of conservation significance. Northern Territory Botanical Bulletin No. 13, (Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory, Darwin).

Liddle, D.T., Russell-Smith, J., Brock, J., Leach, G. and Connors G.T. (1994)
Atlas of Vascular Rainforest Plants in the Top End of the Northern Territory, Australia. (Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory, in press)

Russell-Smith, J. (1991) Classification, species richness, and environmental relations of monsoon rainforest in northern Australia. Journal of Vegetation Science 2:259-278.

Russell-Smith, J. and Bowman, D.M.J.S. (1992) Conservation of monsoon rainforest isolates in the Northern Territory, Australia. Biological Conservation 59:51-63.

Report Produced  Thu Jul 31 08:47:28 2014