Opr rail Development Public Environmental Review



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Species 
Conservation 
Significance 
Comment 
gutturali
Suitable habitat available within Study Area, including variety of 
habitats presenting a shrub layer (e.g. acacia scrubs, eucalypt, 
casuarina woodlands, saltbush and heath shrubland). 
Crested Bellbirds were recorded from low eucalypt mallee and 
moderately dense low mulga. 
Rufous Fieldwren 
(western subspecies) 
(Calamanthus 
campestris 
montanellus
DEC Priority 4 
Species possibly recorded from OPR-F (Figure  5‐24); however, 
conservation significant subspecies is very difficult to discriminate 
from other subspecies in the field.   
This subspecies is endemic to the south-west of the WA wheatbelt 
and in lower densities, in some coastal heathlands (Blakers et al. 
1984).  
 
Suitable habitat available in Moresby Range. Prefers heath and low 
shrublands (including halophytic vegetation) on sandplains and 
lateritic ridges  
Recorded in the Study Area from two habitat types; (i) low eucalypt 
mallee over moderately dense sedges and shrubs, and (ii) open 
eucalypt woodland over moderately dense shrubs and sedges.  
Other suitable habitat was noted during the survey of this section 
(OPR-F), particularly the heath associated with the Moresby Range 
and areas of halophytic vegetation surveyed.  
 
Single record from 35 km south-east of Weld Range (NatureMap) 
Reptiles 
Western Spiny-tailed 
Skink (Egernia stokesii 
badia
EPBC Act 
Endangered, WC 
Act Schedule 1 
Black form of the Western Spiny-tailed Skink recorded throughout 
much of the southern sections (OPR-C – OPR-F) (Figure 5-25) of 
the Study Area where suitable granite outcrop habitat occurs. 
Previously recorded from numerous locations in the surrounding 
region.  Occupies rock crevices in granitic landforms. 
Gilled Slender Blue-
tongue 
(Cyclodomorphus 
branchialis
WC Act Schedule 

The Gilled Slender Blue-tongue was recorded from the OPR-E 
survey (Figure 5-25) in acacia woodland.  The acacia woodland 
habitat in which the individual was recorded occurs in several 
locations within the Study Area, and low numbers of individuals 
may occur towards the western end of the Study Area.  Preferred 
habitat is semi-arid shrublands on heavy red soils. 
Recorded from 15 km north-east of Mullewa in 1998 (DEC records) 
Lerista yuna 
WC Act Schedule 
4, DEC Priority 3 
2 records during the OPR –F survey (
Figure 5‐25
). The Study Area 
intersects with the southern distribution range of Lerista yuna and it 
is likely that several populations occur west of Mullewa in their 
preferred habitat of pale sand plains.  
Lerista eupoda 
DEC Priority 1 
Recorded within the Study Area as well as numerous other records 
from Weld Range (e.g. Ecologia 2009d). 
Regional recordsplace L. eupoda within approximately 50 km of 
Weld Range. Based on all capture records, Lersita eupoda 
appears to be restricted to a 10,000 km
2
 range located to the south 
and east of Weld Range.    Its range is therefore highly restricted to 
this area, occurring in mulga and acacia woodland on the plains 
surrounding Weld Range.   
Recorded from OPR-WR and within the Study Area along the Weld 
Range Spur (Figure 5‐25). Also recorded previously from Weld 
Range, 35 km north-west of Cue (DEC records), and 15 km north 
of Cue (NatureMap) 
Prefers open mulga areas on loamy soils. 
 

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OPR Rail Development 
Public Environmental Review 
 
 
 
 
 
 
95
Table 5‐18  Conservation significant fauna not recorded but may potentially occur within Study Area 
Species 
Cons status  Habitat 
Species distribution 
Records 
Likelihood of occurrence in Study Area 
Mammals 
Long-tailed 
Dunnart 
DEC Priority 

Rocky habitat 
with grass 
hummocks or 
open mulga 
habitats 
Long-tailed Dunnarts are patchily 
distributed across much of central 
WA and southern parts of the 
Northern Territory, restricted to rocky 
ridge-top and hillslope areas.   
Several records of this species from previous surveys 
at Jack Hills and Weld Range (MBS 2005b; Ecologia 
2009c, d).   
ALMOST CERTAIN – RESIDENT  
Likely to occur within Study Area in areas of 
suitable habitat associated with Jack Hills 
and Weld Range.  Not recorded outside 
these areas and unlikely to occur away from 
the ranges.  
Birds 
Carnaby’s 
Black-
Cockatoo  
EPBC Act 
Endangered 
WC Act 
Schedule 1 
Sandplain 
woodland, 
proteaceous 
scrub, heath, 
mallee. 
Geraldton Hills subregion 
Howatharra (10 km NNE) and Geraldton (20 km S) of 
the Study Area (Birdata, EPBC Database). 
POSSIBLE – FEEDING VISITOR 
This species’ presence within the Study 
Area would be limited to the western extent 
in the Geraldton Hills subregion.  Some 
nearby records, but there is limited suitable 
feeding habitat within the Study Area. 
Malleefowl 
EPBC Act 
Vulnerable, 
EPBC Act 
Migratory, 
WC Act 
Schedule 1 
Dry inland scrub, 
mallee 
Occupies semi-arid mallee scrub on 
the fringes of the relatively fertile 
areas of southern Australia, where it 
is now reduced to three separate 
populations: the Murray-
Murrumbidgee basin, west of 
Spencer Gulf along the fringes of the 
Simpson Desert, and the semi-arid 
fringe of WA’s fertile south-west 
corner 
Malleefowl tracks and a recently used mound were 
found in a small area of low, dense acacia scrub 
located just outside the Study Area.   A targeted 
Malleefowl survey adjacent to this location yielded an 
abandoned nest mound that had not been used for 
several years. Targeted searches were also conducted 
in the wider area but did not yield any further evidence 
of Malleefowl. 
A Malleefowl call was heard at OPR-F1 some distance 
from the location of the trapping grid.  A transect was 
walked toward the direction of the call but failed to 
record further evidence of the species.   
ALMOST CERTAIN 
Malleefowl tracks and a recently used 
mound were found in a small area of low, 
dense acacia scrub with accumulated leaf 
and wood debris on sandy soil, located just 
outside the Study Area. A targeted 
Malleefowl survey along 4.7 km of the 
Proposal centreline adjacent to this location 
yielded an abandoned nest mound that had 
not been used for several years. Targeted 
searches were also conducted in the wider 
area but did not yield any further evidence of 
Malleefowl. 
Slender-billed 
Thornbill 
EPBC Act 
Vulnerable 
Treeless or 
sparsely wooded 
flatlands, 
samphire and 
low melaleuca 
scrubs 
Specific habitat requirements such 
as the halophyte vegetation around 
the salt flats to the north of Weld 
Range.  These areas are patchily 
distributed in the Murchison and the 
Slender-billed Thornbill is generally 
uncommon.  
Slender-billed Thornbills were recorded during a 
previous survey of Weld Range in the chenopod 
shrubland to the north of the Weld Range Gap 
(Ecologia 2009c). Slender-billed Thornbills have also 
been recorded along the Sandford River, 30 km south-
east of Wooleen Lake, and during the survey of the 
previous rail alignment. 
ALMOST CERTAIN – RESIDENT 
Few local records, although has been 
recorded previously from within Study Area.  
Habitat is at Weld Range and associated 
with wide reticulated drainage systems of 
Sanford River near OPRC sites 7 and 8, 
which are 43 km upstream from regional site 
M2 (Figure 5‐24).  Suitable habitats also 
available in Section F of the Rail.  

 
OPR Rail Development 
Public Environmental Review 
 
 
 
 
 
 
96
Species 
Cons status  Habitat 
Species distribution 
Records 
Likelihood of occurrence in Study Area 
Eastern Great 
Egret 
EBPC Act 
Migratory 
Floodwater, 
rivers, shallows 
of wetlands, 
intertidal 
mudflats. 
Numerous records from Murchison 
River and surrounding waterways 
(Birdata) 
Recorded from C and J sites (Figure 5‐24).  
This species was recorded regionally in previously 
proposed rail alignments surveys. 
ALMOST CERTAIN – TRANSIENT 
VISITOR  
Recorded close to the Study Area.  Likely to 
be a transient visitor to waterways within the 
Study Area when they contain water 
Wood 
Sandpiper 
EBPC Act 
Migratory 
Mainly shallow 
fresh waters; 
occasionally 
brackish 
swamps, rarely 
salt lakes and 
estuaries 
Various coastal locations throughout 
WA and the eastern states 
Records from Wooleen Lake (BAWA) and 25 km north-
west of Mileura Station (NatureMap) 
Records from Wooleen Lake (BAWA) and 25 km NW 
of Mileura Station (NatureMap) 
POSSIBLE – MIGRATING VISITOR 
Few local records.  May occasionally visit 
water bodies within Study Area when they 
contain water 
Glossy Ibis 
EBPC Act 
Migratory 
Shallows and 
adjacent flats of 
freshwater lakes 
and swamps, 
also river pools, 
flooded 
samphire and 
sewage ponds 
Migratory species utilising water 
features in the region 
Records from Murchison River and surrounding 
waterways (Birdata) 
POSSIBLE – TRANSIENT VISITOR  
May occasionally visit waterways within the 
Study Area when they contain water 
Major 
Mitchell’s 
Cockatoo 
WC Act 
Schedule 4 
Arid to semi-arid 
lightly wooded 
country near 
water and tall 
eucalypts. 
Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos have 
been recorded breeding along the 
Murchison River and may 
occasionally utilise tall eucalypts 
along the larger rivers, such as the 
Greenough River, within the Study 
Area and surrounding areas for 
feeding and breeding.   
Several previous records from Mileura (DEC records), 
Mullewa (BAWA) and along the Murchison River 
(BAWA, Birdata) 
 
LIKELY – VAGRANT  
Numerous local records.  May occasionally 
visit waterways within the Study Area.  
Generally restricted to large creeks and 
rivers 
Reptiles 
Western 
Carpet Python 
WC Act 
Schedule 4 
DEC Priority 

Banksia 
woodland, 
eucalypt 
woodland, rocky 
outcrops. 
It occupies all the regions of 
Southwest Australia, a typical 
mediterranean climate, and into the 
central arid and semi arid regions. 
The northern extent is to Geraldton 
and it is found as far east as Eyre.  
Buller River (6 km S), Geraldton (20 km S), and 
Drummond Cove (10 km S): DEC threatened fauna 
database, Moresby Range (10 km SSE; Desmond and 
Heriot 2002).  Also located at Moresby Range (Maryan 
pers. comm., May 2007).  
POSSIBLE – RESIDENT 
Several records of the species from coastal 
areas but far fewer inland.  Some suitable 
riverine habitat exists in the Study Area.   
 
 
 

 
OPR Rail Development 
Public Environmental Review 
 
 
 
 
 
 
97
5.2.2.5 
Short Range Endemic Invertebrate Fauna Survey 
Endemism  refers  to  the  restriction  of  species  to  a  particular  area,  whether  it  is  at  the 
continental, national or local level (Allen et al, 2002). Short range endemics (SREs) are those 
species  that  exhibit  tight  local  range  restrictions.  SRE  species  typically  have  poor  dispersal 
capabilities  (i.e.  flightless)  and  display  specific  or  specialised  environmental  preferences 
(Harvey, 2002). 
 An  extensive,  reliable  taxonomic  evaluation  of  these  species  has  begun  only  recently  and 
thus the availability of literature and surveys relevant to SREs is relatively scarce, particularly 
within the Study Area. 
Due to historical clearing in the freehold area, vegetation remnants may function as refuges 
for  invertebrates  with  restricted  distributions  and  may  be  important  for  their  long‐term 
survival  (Main  1987,  1991,  1996).  SRE’s,  including    millipedes  (Diplopoda),  centipedes 
(Chilopoda),  land  snails  (Mollusca)  and  trapdoor  spiders  (Mygalomorpha)  have  been 
recorded in the Mid‐West region (Bamford, 2006; Ecologia, 2008 & 2010d). 
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