Directory of Important Wetlands

Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia - Information sheet

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Anneen Lake (Lake Nannine) - WA056

Level of importance: National - Directory
Location: 26 degrees 48'-27 degrees 00' S, 118 degrees 10'-118 degrees 25' E; 42 km south south-west of Meekatharra; 3 km east of Annean Homestead.
Biogeographic region: Murchison
Shire: Meekatharra.
Area: 12 000 ha; includes 6300 ha in east part.
Elevation: c. 440 m.
Other listed wetlands in same aggregation: None.
Wetland type: B12, B8
Criteria for inclusion: 1, 2, 3,
Site description:
The site is Anneen Lake, to the maximum high water mark; the lake is bisected by a low ridge along which the Great Northern Highway runs. Nearby wetlands: Wooleen Lake (WA061) is 190 km west south-west.
Physical features:
Landform: Megascale irregular sumpland, with numerous microscale-macroscale elongate islands and peninsulas; a natural peninsula (ridge) almost separates the wetland into two lakes. Geological setting: Situated in the Yilgarn Craton, in alluvial/lacustrine valley-fill deposits, surrounded by undulating country and hills (Murrouli Range). Climate: Median and mean annual rainfall at Anneen is 186 mm and 194 mm respectively, with least rain in spring; annual evaporation is c. 3900 mm.
Hydrological features:
Water supply: An anastomosing creek system enters the north-east corner of the lake; this catchment extends 30 km north to near Meekatharra. Minor creeks flow into the west and north sides of the lake. All catchment is moderately disturbed. From its north-west end the lake drains northwards via Hope River into the Murchison River. Inundation: Some parts of the lake probably hold shallow water in most years; the whole lake fills from episodic flooding (probably every five to ten years) caused by summer-autumn rain events of tropical origin. Water depth: The most often inundated part, east of the highway, is at least 1 m deep when full. Water salinity: Thought to be subhaline or hyposaline, poikilohaline. Water colour: None.
Ecological features:
Ecological role: A regular, major breeding area for Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica and Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida; one of the most important breeding sites for these species in WA. Plant structural formations: Low shrubland (samphire) occurs at margins, in patches and on low islets, i.e. paniform distribution. Surrounding vegetation is low shrubland and open-shrubland.
A good example of a seasonal/intermittent saline/brackish lake and marsh system.
Notable flora:
Threatened Species: None. Composition: The samphires probably include Halosarcia spp.
Notable fauna:
Threatened Species: None. Composition: 18 species recorded, three listed under treaties. Vagrant shorebirds recorded include Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres and Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (September 1986). Breeding: Five species found breeding. Up to several hundred Gull-billed Terns breed on some of the lake's numerous islets (east of the highway) that remain just above the high water mark when the lake fills. Similar numbers of Whiskered Terns occur and smaller numbers have been found breeding atop inundated samphire. Hoary-headed Grebe Poliocephalus poliocephalus, Black Swan Cygnus atratus and Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus also breed at the lake in flooded samphire and/or on islets. Several other species (Grey Teal Anas gibberifrons, Red-capped Plover Charadrius ruficapillus, Red-kneed Dotterel Erythrogonys cinctus) have been observed when conditions were suitable for breeding. Numbers: There have been no systematic surveys but the lake apparently supports several thousand waterbirds when full. The most abundant species are Black Swan (up to 1500), Banded Stilt Cladorhynchus leucocephalus (1000 plus), Australian Shelduck Tadorna tadornoides (500) and Gull-billed Tern and Whiskered Tern (200-300 each). Few other sites in WA support hundreds of Gull-billed Terns (Fuller 1963; Storr 1985a; West. Aust. Bird Notes).
Other Fauna:
Social and Cultural values:
Education: Being beside the Great Northern Highway, the site is potentially suitable for education of tourists on ecology of inland lakes, e.g. through interpretive signboards. Recreation: Some recreational use (e.g. sail-board riding) by residents of nearby towns and mining camps. Aesthetics: Good views of the lake may be enjoyed from the deflation ridge beside the highway.
Land tenure:
Pastoral lease (Annean, Polelle) and mining tenements. Surrounding area: Pastoral lease.
Current land use:
Pastoral grazing of sheep. Surrounding area: Pastoral grazing of sheep, gold mining (in catchment) and low human population.
Disturbance or threat:
Past/present: Pastoral grazing, wildflower picking and highway.

Potential: Pollution of inflow waters from gold mining/ore processing.
Conservation measures taken:
No information.
Management authority and jurisdiction:
WA Department of Land Administration and pastoral leaseholder.
See Western Australia Reference List
Compiler & date:
Roger P. Jaensch in 1992. Minor revision by Romeny J. Lynch and WADCALM staff in 1995.
AWRC Division: Indian Ocean
AWRC Region:
AWRC Basin: