Opr rail Development Public Environmental Review



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Site Selection 
The primary habitat focus of SRE surveys was isolated (island) habitats along a potential Rail 
Corridor.  Island  habitats  may  be  any  areas  that  maintain  higher  levels  of  moisture  in  the 
surrounding  environment,  such  as  southern  facing  slopes,  areas  of  deep  leaf  litter 
accumulation  and  under  logs  and  rocks  under  permanent  shade,  in  caves  and  their 
entrances, and in and around springs and permanent water bodies. 
Aerial photographs were initially inspected for likely habitats that would support SREs. These 
formed the basis for site selection, which was further refined by ground‐truthing of selected 
sites.  
Figure  5‐26  shows  the  location  of  the  sites  surveyed  for  the  SRE  assessment,  and  detailed 
information  of  each  site  is  discussed  in  Appendix  2b.  No  sites  were  located  in  permanent 
water bodies or in caves as none were found within the Study Area. 
Methodology 
OPR engaged Ecologia to undertake a baseline survey of the SRE occurring within the Study 
Area during 2009.  
The methodology for the SRE survey was developed based on the principles outlined in EPA 
Guidance Statement 20: Sampling of SRE Invertebrate Fauna for EIA in WA (EPA 2009b). The 
only  exception  was  the  use  of  wet  pitfall  traps  in  nine  out  of  14  sampling  sites.  Guidance 
Statement No. 20 discourages the use of wet pitfall trapping (EPA 2009a: 15); however, the 
technique is amongst the most reliable methods for detecting SRE trapdoor spiders, this is 
indicated in the guidance statement (EPA 2009a: 10). Following discussion with DEC and WA 
Museum experts on SRE invertebrates, it is Ecologia’s position that wet pitfall trapping forms 
an  important  part  of  SRE  invertebrate  surveys,  particularly  for  the  detection  of  trapdoor 
spiders.  
Pitfall  traps,  hand  foraging,  and  litter  sifting  were  used  to  collect  specimens  from  a  wide 
range  of  taxa.  Further  information  on  survey  methodology  including  adequacy,  laboratory 
methods and species identification methods is included in Appendix 2. 
 

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Existing Rail Network
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SRE Survey Site
Notes:
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SRE Survey Sites
GeraldtonGeraldton
OakajeeOakajee
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Weld RangeWeld Range
Figure 5-26 Location of SRE survey sites

 
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5.2.2.6 
Short Range Endemic Survey Results 
In total, over 100 specimens representing more than eight families were recorded during the 
survey. Of these, two Mygalomorph spider species are considered to be SRE, Idiosoma 
‘MYG018’ and Missulena ‘MYG045’. Four species have undetermined SRE status due to a 
lack of taxonomic knowledge from a paucity of data, the spiders, Kwonkan and Teyl, and the 
isopods Austrohorus sp. and Beierolpium spp. (4 morphospecies). 
Taxonomic identification of 
snails is currently pending, which will increase the number of families. No comment can be made 
on the SRE status of pending snails until identifications are forthcoming.
 
The information in Table 5‐21 summarises the taxa collected during the survey and their SRE 
status. 
Sites containing SRE Species 
Of the 14 sites sampled, twelve had confirmed or potential SRE species (Table 5‐19).  Figure 
5‐26 shows the locations of the sampling sites. 
Table 5‐19  Sites where determined or potential SRE species were located 
Species 
Confirmed SRE 
Species? 
Site 
1  2  3  4  5 
6  7  8  9 
10 
11 
12 
13 
15 
MYG018  Yes 
      2   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MYG045 
       1   
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kwonkan 
sp. 
Unable 
to 
determine       1   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Teyl sp. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3   
 
 
 
 
 
Austrohorus 
sp. 
1   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

1   3  
Beierolpium 
sp. 
4  1  2  4  6 
2   1  2 

12   1  
Associated Habitat 
Based on the data collected the habitat types that form potential SRE habitat for the species 
listed above are listed in Table 5‐20, and shown in Figure 5‐27 to Figure 5‐29. 
Table 5‐20  Habitat types associated with SRE species 
SRE Species 
Habitat types 
MYG018 
Found in vegetation community Mh15 which is dominated by Acacia aneura open low woodland, over 
Sida spp. and Ptilotus obovatus, sparse low shrubland 
MYG045 
Found in vegetation community Mp12 which is dominated by Acacia aneura low woodland, over Acacia 
aneura  x craspedocarpa and Acacia tetragonophylla open tall  shrubland, over isolated Eromophila 
forrestii and Eromophila fraseri mid shrubs, over Aristida contorta and Eragrostis dielsii open tussock 
grassland. 
Kwonkan sp. 
Found in vegetation community Mp15 which is dominated by Acacia aneura open low woodland, over 
Sida spp. and Ptilotus obovatus, sparse low shrubland 
Teyl sp. 
Found in vegetation community Yp2 which is characterised by Acacia ramulosa var. linophylla (+/- 
Acacia  ramulosa var. ramulosa and Acacia tetragonophylla) tall to mid shrubland, over Enchylaena 
tomentosa var. tomentosa sparse low shrubland 
Austrohorus sp. 
Found in vegetation communities Gf2, Gy1, and Mp6 
Beierolpium sp. 
Found in Gf2, Gy1, Mh11, Mh15, Mp4, Mp5, Mp6, Yc2 and Yp2 

 
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Table 5‐21  Species found during SRE survey within the Study Area (Ecologia, 2010d) 
 
Considered a 
SRE Species? 
Species description 
Survey results 
Arachnids 
Idiopidae 
Idiosoma 
‘MYG018’ 
Yes 
Spiders in the genus Idiosoma have a thick, rugose and hard abdomen which is 
used by the spiders as a plug against burrow invaders. Three species are 
currently known from WA, I. sigillatum from the Swan Coastal plain, I. hirsutum 
from a small area around South Perth, and I. nigrum from the Avon Wheatbelt 
and the Geraldton Sandplain (Main 1952, 1957). I. nigrum is listed on Schedule 1 
(“Fauna that is rare or likely to become extinct”) of the Wildlife Conservation 
Notice 2010 (Specially Protected Fauna) and is considered Vulnerable. 
 
Idiosoma ‘MYG018’ has very close morphological affinities to I. nigrum based on 
the rugosity of the abdomen. However, it differs significantly in male pedipalp 
morphology (and somewhat in its smaller size) and must be considered a 
different species 
(V. Framenau, WAM, pers. comm. 2009). 
Two males were collected at Glen Station.  The 
only other location from which this species has 
previously been recorded is Albion Downs Station 
(outside of Study Area). 
Sp. ‘Indet’. 
(juv) 
Not possible to 
determine 
Without examination of mature males it is not possible to determine whether this 
species is a SRE 
One juvenile specimen of sp. ‘indet.’ (juvenile) was 
recorded at Mileura station (pitfall site 1). It is not 
possible to identify to species level. 
Eucyrtops 
‘MYG131’ 
No The 
genus 
Eucyrtops currently includes 3 named species, all from WA, although 
it is believed to also occur into SA and north‐western QLD (Main 1985). With 
7 or 8 species recorded, Eucyrtops was very diverse and abundant in the 
Carnarvon Basin of WA (Main 2000). 
The specimen collected belongs to a widespread complex of very similar 
morphotypes that putatively belong to a single species.  
Collected at Meka Station.  
The group was the most commonly collected 
morphospecies in the WA Museum/CALM 
Carnarvon Basin survey and has been found at a 
number of sites during the DEC Pilbara survey (B. 
Durrant, pers comms). Additional collections are 
from Albion Downs station, the Barlee Ranges and 
Honeymoon Well. 
Actinopodidae 
Missulena 
‘MYG045’ 
Yes 
Missulena is a spider of the actinopodid genus Missulena also commonly known 
as “Mouse spiders”. Males are often strikingly coloured red and black.  Emergent 
juveniles of Missulena are known to disperse via ballooning, a mechanism using 
silk to lift them off a surface or using the silk as an anchor in mid air, potentially 
allowing them to disperse over large distances and in some instances, reducing 
the predisposition for short-range endemism. 
A single male was recorded at Meka Station. This 
species has been found at few locations in the 
northern Avon Wheatbelt south-east of Geraldton 
including Pintharuka, Mt Gibson and Mt Manning 
and is currently considered a SRE. 
Nemesiidae Juveniles 
(possibly of 
the genera 
Teyl and 
Kwonkan) 
Without 
examination of 
mature males it is 
not possible to 
determine 
This taxa are represented in WA by several genera, including Kwonkan, Teyl, 
Aname, Chenistonia, Yilgarnia, and Stanwellia.They usually dig burrows of soil 
and do not cover their burrow entrances with lids (Raven 1981). However, 
several WA species are known to construct trapdoors (Main 1986).  
It is not possible to confidently identify the juvenile 
nemesiids found during the survey to genus level. 
They may represent Kwonkan and / or Teyl (or 
even Aname), based on some somatic characters 
such as tarsal spination (Kwonkan) and cuspule 

 
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Considered a 
SRE Species? 
Species description 
Survey results 
pattern on the maxillae (Teyl). 
Pseudoscorpions 
Atemnidae 
Oratemnus 
No 
Atemnids are frequently found under the bark of trees in WA, but the systematics 
of the group, particularly of the genus Oratemnus, is uncertain and the taxonomy 
of individual species unclear. However, based upon current evidence, it seems 
that most species will eventually be found to be widely distributed. 
A single female Oratemnus was collected at Meka 
Station.  
Olipiidae 
Austrohorus 
Not possible to 
determine 
The systematic status of members of this genus has not been fully assessed 
(Ecologia 2010).
 
Based on current levels of knowledge, it is not possible to state 
whether this species is a SRE.
 
 
A single male of Austrohorus was collected at 
Mileura Station.  
Beierolpium 
Not possible to 
determine 
The systematic status of members of this genus has not been fully assessed. At 
present it is not possible to firmly establish the identity of these species until a 
complete systematic revision of the WA members of Beierolpium is undertaken. 
At least 4 morphospecies of Beierolpium were 
collected at a number of sites during the survey: 
Beierolpium sp.large, Beierolpium sp.small, 
Beierolpium sp.8/2 and Beierolpium sp.8/4. 
Indolpium sp.   
No 
The specimens comprise a single species and extremely similar specimens have 
been collected from other regions of WA, suggesting that only a single species is 
involved. 
Two specimens of Indolpium sp.  were collected at 
Madoonga station. Similar specimens have been 
collected from other regions of WA 
Scorpions 
Buthidae 
Lychas 
splendens’ 
No 
L.’splendens’ is widespread throughout the Midwest and Wheatbelt regions.  
This species does not represent a SRE. 
Two specimens were recorded from foraging site 2 
on Mileura Station.   
Millipedes and Centipedes 
Scolopendridae 
Numerous 
No 
All species recorded belong to the family Scolopendridae which is not known to 
contain SRE species (pers. com. V.W. Framenau and M.S. Harvey, WA 
Museum). No millipedes were collected. 
Numerous centipedes were collected during this 
survey 
Crustaceans 
Armadillidae 
Acanthodillo 
sp. 1 
No 
Acanthodillo are rarely encountered and most likely occupy the upper soil profile 
and some leaf litter. They are also commonly found under rocks and logs. 
This species of Acanthodillo has previously been 
collected from the Jarrah forest and drier areas NE 
of Perth. It now appears that its distribution 
extends northward. 
Acanthodillo 
sp. 2 
No 
This species of Acanthodillo is similar to species 1. However, it lacks the 
distinctive dorsal tuberculation and has different interlocking lobes on the first 
epimeron and different shaped epimera. It closely resembles a species found in 
the northern jarrah forest which is almost exclusively associated with logs. There 
are a few small differences between these species and further investigation over 
the entire distributional range would be needed to make a definite determination. 
Notably, this species co‐occurs with Acanthodillo 
sp.1. 
Buddelundia 
sp. 1 
No 
This species (probably undescribed) is common in the drier areas of WA.  
Buddelundia is the most encountered genus of the drier areas.
 
No accurate distributional data are available but it 
is widespread. 

 
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Considered a 
SRE Species? 
Species description 
Survey results 
Spherillo sp. 
index 
No 
These are an undescribed species of Spherillo which is common in southern 
WA. 
 
No species of Spherillo are yet described from WA 
but the genus is widespread, particularly in drier 
areas. 
Molluscs 
Pupillidae 
Gastrocopta 
bannertonensi
(Gabriel 
1930)- 
No 
The specimens exhibit shell characters most consistent with those of the tiny 
dextral species Gastrocopta bannertonensis (Gabriel 1930). This species has a 
wide geographic distribution in southern Australia, having been recorded from 
the southern regions of WA; SA and NSW. There is also an isolated record of its 
presence in an area to the NW of Alice Springs (Pokryszko 1996). 
G. margaretae (Cox 1868) differs only slightly in shell aperture characters and is 
reported to have a similar distributional range. It is sometimes difficult to 
distinguish G.bannertonesis and G.margaretae on shell characters alone.
 
Collected from Bindoo Hill Nature Reserve 
Punctidae 
Westralaoma 
No 
Species of the family Punctidae are not well known in WA because of the small 
to minute size of many of its species.  Collecting methods used have generally 
been unsuitable for detecting such tiny organisms.  There has been a lack of 
published research on this group since Iredale’s (1939) descriptions of some 
new species within the WA snail fauna. 
Of these two inland punctid species, the four tiny shells collected from Bindoo 
Hill Nature Reserve more closely resemble the species W. aprica. Its shells are 
slightly larger; more translucent, smoother and with less obvious radial ribbing 
than those of W. expicta. Both of these species were described by Iredale (1939) 
from specimens taken in the Nangeenan area and both forms have recently 
been found to be sympatric over a fairly wide area of the Eastern Goldfields. The 
occurrence of W. Aprica during this survey is evidence that the distribution of this 
species, at least, extends to the northern wheatbelt of WA. 
Shells collected from Bindoo Hill Nature Reserve. 
Apart from some punctid species described from 
the coastal areas, only two species ‐ W. aprica 
(Iredale, 1939) and W. expicta (Iredale, 1939) ‐ are 
currently recognized from the Great Southern, 
Eastern Wheatbelt and the Eastern Goldfields 
Regions. 
 

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Notes:
Potential SRE Habitats Supplied by Ecologia Environment
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Geraldton                   Mt Magnet                     Road
Oakajee
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?
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Potential SRE Habitats
Figure 5-27  Potential SRE species habitat (1 of 3)

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Figure 5-28  Potential SRE species habitat (2 of 3)

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Figure 5-30  Potential SRE species habitat (3 of 3)

 
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5.2.2.7 
Subterranean Invertebrate Fauna – Background Information 
Subterranean  fauna  are  predominately  invertebrate  animals  that  have  adapted  to  survive  in 
underground  habitats,  and  include  stygofauna  and  troglofauna.  Subterranean  fauna  are  often 
characterised by their lack of eyes and body pigments (EPA, 2003). 
Stygofauna  are  aquatic,  obligate  groundwater‐dwelling  fauna  known  to  be  present  in  a  variety  of 
rock  types  including  karst  limestone,  fissured  rock  (e.g.  granite)  and  porous  rock  (e.g.  alluvium) 
(Mamonier  et al. 1993).    The  presence  of  stygofauna  in  WA  has  been  well  documented,  especially 
from regions such as Pilbara, Kimberley, mid‐west and south‐western WA (De Laurentiis et al. 2001; 
Humphreys 2001; Wilson and Keable 2002; Eberhard 2004; Karanovic 2004; Cho et al. 2005). 
Troglofauna are terrestrial subterranean animals that inhabit air chambers in underground caves or 
small,  humid  voids.  The  presence  of  troglofauna  in  WA  is  still  poorly  documented.  To  date, 
troglofauna have been recorded from karst limestone systems at Cape Range, Barrow Island and in 
the Kimberley (Harvey 1988; Humphreys 2001; Biota 2005), pisolitic mesa formations in the Pilbara 
(Biota  2006)  and  in  the  cave  systems  of  Yanchep  (EPA  2005),  Margaret  River  (Eberhard  2006)  and 
across the Nullarbor (Moore 1995). The recent discovery of troglobitic species within the iron ore rich 
mesa  landforms  of  the  Pannawonica  area,  the  Banded  Ironstone  Formations  at  Blue  Hills  and  on 
Barrow  Island  suggests  that  troglofauna  is  likely  to  be  found  in  a  wider  variety  of  landforms, 
geologies and regions within WA than previously thought. 
5.2.2.8 
Subterranean Invertebrate Assessment Methodology 
A literature review was carried out to determine the species previously recorded in the vicinity of the 
Study  Area.  The  review  incorporated  a  search  of  the  WA  Museum  database,  information  from 
previous Ecologia surveys and published information from journal articles and DEC reports. 
Additionally,  as  the  geology,  geomorphology  and  drainage  of  an  area  can  affect  the  distribution  of 
subterranean  fauna,  the  land  systems  and  soil  landscape  systems  within  the  Study  Area  were 
described and the location of previously recorded subterranean fauna have been mapped against the 
location  of  the  Study  Area.  All  additional  land  systems  and  soil  landscape  systems  in  the  Mid‐west 
with records of subterranean fauna were described in order to compare their characteristics to those 
systems  within  the  Study  Area.  This  strategy  was  adopted  because  a  lack  of  subterranean  fauna 
records in some areas could be the result of a lack of sampling effort rather than a true indication of 
subterranean fauna distribution in WA. 
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