Dampierland 2 (DL2 – Pindanland subregion)
Subregional description and biodiversity
Description and area
There are four basic components to the subregion. These
Quaternary sandplain overlying Jurassic and
hummock grasslands on hills.
Quaternary marine deposits on coastal plains, with
Quaternary alluvial plains associated with the
support tree savannahs of ribbon grass (Chrysopogon
spp.) – bluegrass (Dichanthium spp.) grasses with
scattered coolibah (Eucalyptus microtheca) -
of river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and
Cadjeput (Melaleuca spp.) fringe drainages.
The climate is described as dry hot tropical and semi-arid
between 450 – 700 mm, slightly lower than the Fitzroy
Trough subregion. The area of DL2 is 5, 198, 904 ha.
The Pindanland subregion comprises sandplains of the
including the hinterland of the Eighty Mile Beach. it is a
fine-textured sand-sheet with subdued dunes and
includes the paleodelta of the Fitzroy River. The
vegetation is described primarily as pindan. This is the
coastal, semi-arid, north-western margin of the Canning
Broad scale vegetation mapping of the area describes the
Coastal dune communities.
Ephemeral herblands and/or grasslands with
Mixed species tussock grasslands or sedgelands +/-
Eucalyptus tectifica (Darwin box), Corymbia
wattle) open-scrub and Chrysopogon spp. (ribbon
grass) and Triodia bitextura grasses.
Eucalyptus tetrodonta (Darwin stringybark),
woodland with a ground layer of tussock grasses and
Melaleuca citrolens (lemon-scented teatree) and
sparse Chrysopogon fallax (golden beard grass)
Adansonia gregorii (boab), Bauhinia cunninghamii
and Grevillea striata (beefwood) grassy low open-
Corymbia dampieri low open-woodland with Acacia
spp. Shrubs and Triodia pungens (soft spinifex) and
Eucalyptus brevifolia (snappy gum) low open-
woodland with Triodia spp. (spinifex) hummock
grasses or sometimes a hummock grassland without
Acacia ancistrocarpa (Fitzroy wattle) and/or Acacia
(soft spinifex) hummock grasses.
Grevillea refracta +/- Hakea lorea corkwood open-
shrubland with Triodia pungens (soft spinifex)
Triodia pungens (soft spinifex) and/or Triodia
and Acacia spp. Shrubs.
Dominant land use
(see Appendix B, key b)
Continental Stress Class
The Continental Stress Class for DL2 is currently 6,
threatening processes this may need to be reviewed.
Known special values in relation to landscape,
Numerous patches of rainforest found mainly
structure unique to the Dampier Peninsula.
The extensive mudflats of Roebuck Bay and Eighty
The enormous numbers of migratory birds found at
Keraudrenia exastia and Pandanus spiralis var.
The vast grasslands of the Roebuck Plains.
Coastal swamps adjacent to Eighty Mile Beach.
Claypans support populations the uncommon
Centres of Endemism:
invertebrates such as Camaenid land snails and annelids.
Camaenid land snails have a large number of endemic
species and some endemic genera showing strongly
localised patterns of endemism. All the rainforest patches
studied to date have endemic earthworm species
associated with them.
The nature of this aspect is poorly known. ‘Dry’
rainforest patches, (as well as swamp rainforests),
Mangroves, Riparian zones and Springs (particularly
associated with the Edgar Ranges area) provide dry
High Species and Ecosystem Diversity:
Rainforests are defined by their vegetation associations
and are resource centres for a variety of faunal taxa that
are either directly linked to rainforests or are more widely
ranging species that are dependent on them. Examples
include fruit pigeons and flying foxes.
systematic reviews of biodiversity and threats
The CTRC report in 1974 System 7 formed the basis of
Reserves in the Kimberley” which has itself been
incorporated in a Departmental Draft Regional
Management Plan. These reports were focused on non-
production lands and those areas not likely to be
prospective for minerals. Action statements and strategies
in the draft regional management plan do not go to the
scale of subregion or even bioregion. Previous rainforest
studies are applicable (McKenzie et al 1991).
Apart from specific survey work there has been no
there are on-going changes to the status of fauna
(particularly mammals) and plant taxa. There is
reasonable evidence about continuing loss of species and
changes to assemblages at the landscape level which are
affecting vegetation structure (e.g. loss of shrub layer),
composition (e.g. perennial vs. annual grasses),
vegetation cover, leaf litter, and organics in the upper soil
horizon. It is generally recognised that flow-on effects of
changes in the physical components of the environment,
vegetation structure changes and other factors (e.g.
exotic predators) can have significant effects on fauna.
Work to date has been of a general nature.
Wetlands of National significance (DIWA listings)
Name and Code
Bunda-Bunda Mound Springs WA016
Eighty Mile Beach System WA018
potential for irrigated agriculture using
groundwater inland), xi (pollution is a
Roebuck Bay WA020
xii (excessive human disturbance, non
(pollution is a potential threat)
Roebuck Plains System WA021
x (groundwater extraction, causeway
(expansion of the town of Broome)
Appendix B, key d;
Appendix C, rank 2;
Appendix C, rank 3;
Appendix C, rank 1;
Appendix B, key e;
Wetlands of subregional significance (in addition to the DIWA listed wetlands)
No wetlands of subregional significance have been identified in DL2.
Riparian zone vegetation
All fringing vegetation of riparian zones
Appendix B, key e
Ecosystems at risk
Threatened ecological communities (TECs)
Monsoon (vine) thickets on coastal sand
dunes of the Dampier Peninsula
iv, vii, ii
Species-rich faunal community of the
intertidal mudflats of Roebuck Bay.
xii (human impact), xi (possible
Disaster Bay organic mound spring
iv, xii (soil compaction by cattle;
potential changes in sea level due to
Bunda Bunda organic mound spring
iv, vi, xii (soil compaction and erosion)
Assemblages of the organic springs and
mound springs of Mandora Marsh area
iv (cattle), xii (soil compaction and
Appendix B, key f;
Other ecosystems at risk
There are many widespread vegetation types across this subregion that are threatened by changed fire regimes.
Assemblages of permanent/ephemeral wetlands,
damplands, and riparian habitat of the Dampierland
Organic mound spring communities of Lolly Well spring.
x (ground water
abstraction), vii, xii (road
construction is affecting
salt inflow and fresh water
outflows; litter), vi
Nimalaica clay pan community. Inland from Willie Creek.
causeway construction), v
(feral animals), xii
(expansion of the town of
Saline grasslands on tidal flats above high-water mark
(Sporobolus virginicus dominated) on Dampier
Unknown vi ii vii
on Dampier Peninsula.
Flora and fauna assemblages of spring communities
Logues Spring, south-west Kimberley Edgar Range near
43 ii iii iii
Assemblages of Taylors Lagoon, Lake Campion, and
Species at risk
SCHEDULE 1; RARE/LIKELY TO BECOME EXTINCT, DIV 3 (REPTILES)
Caretta caretta E
Lepidochelys olivacea E
Chelonia mydas V
Dermochelys coriacea V
Eretmochelys imbricata V
Natator depressus V
SCHEDULE 4; OTHER SPECIALLY PROTECTED FAUNA. DIVISION 3 (REPTILES)
Neochmia ruficauda subclarescens
Declared rare and priority flora
xii (urban impacts; potential land
Pandanus spiralis var. flammeus
E Unknown v iii iv,
Analysis of appropriate management scenarios
Reservation priorities of ecosystems
The following Dampierland vegetation associations are not reserved within the bioregion:
Shrublands; teatree (Melaleuca spp.) scrub.
Grasslands, tall bunch grass savannah woodland, coolibah over ribbon grass (Chrysopogon spp.). 81,828
Grasslands, tall bunch grass savannah low tree; boab (Adansonia gregorii), bauhinia (Bauhinia cunninghamii and
Grasslands, tall bunch grass savannah, sparse low tree; ribbon grass (Chrysopogon spp.) paperbarks (Melaleuca spp.). 28779
Grasslands, short bunch grass savannah, grass; salt watermarine couch (Sporobolus virginicus). 242,046
Hummock grasslands, shrub steppe; Ranji bush (Acacia pyrifolia) over soft spinifex (Triodia pungens). 1,030
Hummock grasslands, shrub steppe; Acacia spp. over soft spinifex (Triodia pungens). 13
Hummock grasslands, shrub steppe; silverleaf grevillea (Grevillea refracta) and Hakea spp. over soft spinifex (Triodia
Hummock grasslands, grass steppe; soft spinifex (Triodia pungens). 27,410
Bare areas; salt lakes.
Short bunch grassland - savannah/grass plain.
over soft (Triodia pungens) and Triodia bitextura on sandplain.
Acacia eriopoda shrubland with scattered low bloodwood (Eucalyptus spp.) and Eucalyptus setosa
over soft (Triodia pungens) and Triodia bitexturabetween dunes.
lobed spinifex (Triodia intermedia) on sandy plateau.
wattle (Acacia eriopoda) and Acacia spp. over Aristida spp. short grasses on river flats.
roughleaf bloodwood (Eucalyptus setosa) over lobed spinifex (Triodia intermedia).
grass (Chrysopogon spp./Bothriochloa spp.) on black soil.
and beefwood (Grevillea striata) over ribbon grass (Chrysopogon spp.)/hummock grasslands, grass steppe soft spinifex
(Triodia pungens) and Triodia bitextura.
Mosaic: Shrublands, pindan; Acacia eriopoda shrubland with scattered low bloodwood (Eucalyptus spp.) and Eucalyptus
(Adansonia gregorii), Bauhinia cunninghamii and beefwood (Grevillea striata) over ribbon grass (Chrysopogon spp.).
and beefwood (Grevillea striata) over ribbon grass (Chrysopogon spp.)/Hummock grasslands, open low tree-steppe;
snappy gum (Eucalyptus brevifolia) over soft spinifex (Triodia pungens) and lobed spinifex (Triodia intermedia).
Hummock grasslands, sparse tree steppe; eucalypt and bauhinia (Bauhinia cunninghamii) over lobed spinifex (Triodia
(Eucalyptus spp.) over ribbon (Chrysopogon spp.) and Triodia bitextura.
Shrublands, pindan; pindan wattle (Acacia tumida) shrubland with scattered low bloodwood (Eucalyptus spp.) and
roughleaf bloodwood (Eucalyptus setosa) over Triodia bitextura.
Medium woodland; river red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and Terminalia spp. 11
ribbon/blue grass (Chrysopogon spp./Bothriochloa spp.) on black soil.
Hummock grasslands, shrub steppe; pindan wattle (Acacia tumida) over winged lobed spinifex (Triodia intermedia).
cabbage gum (Eucalyptus grandifolia) medium woodland over ribbon grass (Chrysopogon spp.) and Triodia bitextura.
spp.) and roughleaf bloodwood (Eucalyptus setosa) over ribbon grass (Chrysopogon spp.) and Triodia bitextura.
(Triodia intermedia) sandplain
764 Shrublands, pindan; Acacia eriopoda and pindan wattle (Acacia tumida) shrubland with scattered low bloodwood (Eucalyptus spp.)
and Eucalyptus setosa over ribbon grass (Chrysopogon spp.) and Triodia bitextura.
grasslands, shrub steppe; silverleaf grevillea (Grevillea refracta) over soft spinifex (Triodia pungens). 599
Shrublands, pindan; pindan wattle (Acacia tumida) shrubland with ghost gum (Eucalyptus bella) and roughleaf
bloodwood (Eucalyptus setosa) medium woodland over Triodia bitextura.
Grasslands, tall bunch grass savannah, ribbon/blue grass (Chrysopogon spp./Bothriochloa spp.). 36,663
854 Grasslands, tall bunch grass savannah low tree; boab (Adansonia gregorii), bauhinia (Bauhinia cunninghamii) and beefwood
(Grevillea striata) over ribbon grass (Chrysopogon spp.) and blue grass (Bothriochloa spp.).
Grasslands, tall bunch grass savannah sparse low tree; bauhinia (Bauhinia cunninghamii) and coolibah over ribbon
grass (Chrysopogon spp.) on black soil.
Grasslands, high grass savannah low woodland; Darwin box (Eucalyptus tectifica) and cabbage gum (Eucalyptus
Bare areas; claypans.
Grasslands, curly spinifex (Triodia bitextura). 123,265
Poorly represented ecosystems subject to threat:
Assemblages of permanent/ephemeral wetlands, damplands, and riparian habitat of the Dampierland region.
Species-rich faunal community of the intertidal mudflats of Roebuck Bay.
Monsoon (vine) thickets on coastal sand dunes of the Dampier Peninsula.
Disaster Bay organic mound spring communities.
Saline grasslands on tidal flats above high-water mark (Sporobolus virginicus dominated) on Dampier Peninsula/Broome area.
Roebuck Bay freshwater seepage (sponges) community.
Vine thickets on heavily ferruginised Emeriau sandstone on Dampier Peninsula.
Flora and fauna assemblages of spring communities Logues Spring, south-west Kimberley Edgar Range near Dampier Downs.
Assemblages of Culla Culla Creek – unusual spring site in Dampierland.
Assemblages of Taylors Lagoon, Lake Campion, and Lake Eda.
Assemblages of the ephemeral Claypan at Cape Borda
Subregional constraints in order of priority
(see Appendix B, key g)
Competing Land Uses:
Pastoral production and mining.
Land prices for pastoral leases.
Our knowledge of biodiversity patterns across the
subregion’s landscape does not have enough resolution
to accurately define all acquisition priorities on the
Bioregional and subregional priority for reserve
The Dampierland has a ranking priority under the
D, and Appendix C, rank 4). However this may need to
be increased because of the creation of several
conservation parks within the Fitzroy Trough subregion.
There continue to be problems with the continued
impact of inappropriate fire regimes and uncontrolled
stock grazing. The fire issue is becoming particularly
relevant for the Pindanland subregion. It can also be
argued that there is a bias in the reserve system because
some ecosystems not reserved are those that are being
grazed and have been grazed the longest and are often
burnt the most often (or the most frequency x intensity).
In terms of priority the Pindanland subregion would have
a higher priority than the Fitzroy Trough subregion.
Reserve management standard
The bioregion is ranked at poor (i) to fair (ii) (see
Appendix C, rank 5). Apart from the donkey control
program undertaken by the Department of Agriculture
(WA) there are no concerted feral animal control
programs in place. There is limited strategic aerial
prescribed burning along with some opportunistic hand
burns with the latter being confined to very small areas of
the Fitzroy Trough subregion. Extent of other
threatening processes, for example weeds, yet to be
determined. Due to uncontrolled stock access, changes
are occurring within parks particularly in valley systems.
Ranger presence during the tourist season. Full extent of threatening processes (Fire, weeds, feral animals)
Full time ranger presence. Full extent of threatening processes (Fire, weeds, feral animals) need to be
Full extent of threatening processes (Fire, weeds, feral animals) need to be documented.
Appendix C, rank 5
Off reserve conservation
Priority species or groups
Threatening processes operate from the species to
Little is known of the status of critical weight range
Action is required to identify appropriate fire
The effect of fire and cattle on critical weight range
composition and structure is of concern.
Changed grassland structures are of concern.
There is evidence that changes have, and continue,
to occur for the balance between annual and
Landscape level threatening processes also bring
water infiltration rates and surface flow velocity after
Impacts on rainforest patches of inappropriate fire
interaction is of concern.
There have been changes to riparian zones due to
indirect effects from changed hydrology.
Action is required to identify what is at risk and
recommend and research appropriate management.
Little is known of the distribution, status and impact
Existing species recovery plans
The Action Plan for Australian Bats
The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000
Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes
Gouldian Finch Recovery Plan.
Draft Kimberley Region Management Plan (various
Appropriate recovery actions
Move to biodiversity driven
approaches to fire management strategies. Avoid
frequent, broad scale, hot, late dry-season burning in
Industry Codes of Practice:
Need to define weeds
priorities both in an agricultural resource sense and an
environmental sense. Resources required for already
identified State and regional weed strategies.
Need organisational responsibility
for coordinating management efforts across tenure and
management responsibilities. Local adoption of
strategies. Capacity building in pastoral industry and
Aboriginal groups to optimise biodiversity and savannah
productivity. Minimise loss of the mineral A horizon and
protection of organic layers.
Environmental Management Systems:
Removal of feral
stock from conservation estate and management of stock
on other lands e.g. close order husbandry of cattle herds
to prevent overgrazing. Eradication of feral animals
especially cattle, donkeys and pigs.
Ecosystems and appropriate recovery actions
This is a general savannah issue and fire is the main driver
in addressing this. The next most important, and linked,
issue is grazing. Actions that are required are linked to
management research and better-coordinated efforts
between Government agencies, the pastoral grazing
industry, traditional owners and the broader community.
For example with mound springs the recovery actions
would be (ix) fire management, (vii) feral animal control,
(vi) weed control.
Existing ecosystem recovery plans
There are no existing Recovery Plans that are relevant to
any of the ecosystems at risk listed in DL2.
Subregion priority for off reserve conservation
For much of the subregion the off park conservation
priority is (ii) (see Appendix C, rank 6), where a large off
park effort needed, resource constraints and a limited
community capacity exist. However for some focused
areas (iv), limited off park measures will result in
significant conservation gains.
Conservation actions as an integral part
Existing NRM actions
Pastoral lease inspections are undertaken by
the Department of Agriculture and leaseholders notified
of any problems via the Pastoral Lands Board. Final
scenario is that the Commissioner for Soil Conservation
can institute formal proceedings if issues are not being
addressed. The last is rarely undertaken.
Threat Abatement Planning as Part of NRM
Concerted and coordinated effort by the Department of
Land Conservation District
Committees established and provide a venue for
discussion on conservation matters.
District Committees provide an opportunity for
integration of land management activities.
Feasible opportunities for NRM
needed on the mechanism and impacts of threatening
processes. Outputs of this should assess potential
cost/effective solutions. There has been some
development in the co-ordination of multiple research
initiatives and communication of this; Environmental
planning across tenure (weeds, fire and feral animals)
coordinated through Land Conservation District
Improved implementation of existing
Improved communication required
between all stakeholders and an acknowledgement of
differing land management objectives.
Other Planning Opportunities:
incorporating biodiversity objectives incorporating an
acknowledgement of the worth of the natural
environment e.g. tourism including the cost of
management, for example in making national parks
Integration With Property Management Planning,
Catchment Planning and Landcare:
catchment and regional plans involving all stakeholders.
Impediments or constraints to opportunities
A limited financial resource is a major constraint. The
number of people available to implement strategies is a
constraint. There is a need to increase awareness of
conservation values throughout the community.
Subregions where specific NRM actions are a
A more coordinated approach to land management
the continuing and growing impacts within the
Pindanland subregion this may have higher priority than
the Fitzroy Trough. The rank for both subregions is (ii)
(see Appendix C, rank 7), indicating that there are
significant constraints to integrate conservation as part of
production or development system.
Gaps in data needed for the identification of
Vegetation and Regional Ecosystem Mapping:
finer scale (at 100,000:1 or better) vegetation and
widespread surfaces. This needs to align with soil maps
and environmental geology maps and these do not yet
exist at better than 1:250 000 scale.
Systematic Fauna Survey:
No systematic quadrat based
fauna and/or flora sampling programme across the
subregion to provide a basis for modeling species
distribution and status.
Data is sparse. Some potential for
adapting WARMS monitoring methodology.
Ecological and Life History Data:
Data is lacking on
the habitat requirements of fauna species.
Other Priority Data Gaps:
Further research is required
on the conservation status of many fauna and flora taxa as
well as the effects of threatening processes such exotic
predators (cats), stock (cattle, donkeys and pigs), fire and
Gouldian finch recovery plan, Erythrura
Parks & Wildlife Commission of
the Northern Territory, Darwin
The Action Plan for Australian Bats.
The Action Plan for Australian Birds.
Environment Australia, Canberra.
Morris, K. (eds).
The 1996 Action Plan for Australian
Marsupials and Monotremes. Wildlife
Australia Endangered Species Program
Project Number 50.
and Kendrick, P.G. (Eds.)
Kimberley Rainforests of Australia.
Surrey Beatty and Sons.
R = Report; J = Journal article; O = Other.
Other relevant publications
See reference numbers 018, 094, 100, 118, 120, 132,
551, 556, 595, 626, 634, 635, 636, 637, 648, 674, 692,