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B u s h   B l i t z   s p e c i e s   D i s c o v e r y   p r o g r a m 

charles Darwin reserve Wa

3–9 may · 14–25 september · 7–18 December 2009

Kadji Kadji, Karara, lochada 

reserves Wa

14–25 september · 7–18 December 2009



What is 

Bush Blitz?

Bush Blitz is a four-year,  

multi-million dollar 

partnership between the 

australian government, 

Bhp Billiton, and earthwatch 

australia to document plants 

and animals in selected 

properties across australia’s 

National reserve system.

this innovative partnership 

harnesses the expertise of many 

of australia’s top scientists from 

museums, herbaria, universities, 

and other institutions and 

organisations across the country.

What is Bush Blitz 

2

Summary 3



Abbreviations 3

Introduction 4

Reserves Overview 

5

Methods 8



Results 10

Discussion 12

Appendix A: Species Lists 

15

Fauna 16



Vertebrates 16

Invertebrates 25

Flora 48

Appendix B: Rare and Threatened Species  79

Fauna 80

Flora 81


Appendix C: Exotic and Pest Species 

83

Fauna 84



Flora 85

contents


2    Bush Blitz survey report

Scientists and BHP Billiton participants, Charles Darwin Reserve, May 2009 © A Cowley

Summary


Bush Blitz fieldwork was conducted at four National Reserve 

System properties in the Western Australian Avon Wheatbelt 

and Yalgoo Bioregions during 2009. This included a pilot study 

at Charles Darwin Reserve and a longer study of Charles Darwin, 

Kadji Kadji, Lochada and Karara reserves. Results include 

651 species added to those known across the reserves and the 

discovery of 35 putative species new to science. The majority of 

these new species occur within the heteroptera (plant bugs) and 

lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) taxonomic groups. 

Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata), listed as vulnerable under the 

federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation 

Act 1999 (EPBC Act), were observed on Charles Darwin Reserve. 

One plant species listed as vulnerable under the EPBC Act and 

as a declared rare flora under the Western Australian Wildlife 

Conservation Act 1950 (WC Act), Eucalyptus synandra, was found 

on Karara and Kadji Kadji reserves. A second species also listed in 

Western Australia, Acacia woodmaniorum was located on Karara 

reserve. Vertebrate pests including feral cats, foxes, goats, mice 

and rabbits were identified on all four reserves. The European 

Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) was found on Lochada reserve. Weeds 

were prominent in disturbed areas. 

Abbreviations 

ANHAT

Australian Natural Heritage Assessment 



Tool

EPBC Act


Environment Protection and Biodiversity 

Conservation Act 1999 (Commonwealth)

IBRA

Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation 



for Australia

WC Act


Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 

(Western Australia)

Avon Wheatbelt & Yalgoo Bioregions 2009 

 3


Wubin

Perenjori

Charles 

Darwin 


Reserve

Karara


Reserve

Kadji Kadji 

Reserve

Lochada 


Reserve

Pa

y



ne

s

 



Fi

n

d



20km

0

Freehold land



State forest

Mining common

Introduction

Bush Blitz is Australia’s largest nature discovery 

project, conducting surveys in areas recently 

added to the National Reserve System in order 

to document biodiversity and discover species 

new to science. Bush Blitz is an initiative of the 

Australian Government, through the Australian 

Biological Resources Study in partnership with 

BHP Billiton and Earthwatch Australia. The Bush 

Blitz objectives are:



 

+

to promote, publicise and demonstrate the 



importance of taxonomy through the vehicle of 

species discovery;



 

+

to undertake a national species discovery 



program targeted at recently acquired 

properties of the National Reserve System of 

Australia;

 

+

to support the science of taxonomy in Australia 



through training students and early career 

researchers, provision of grants for species 

description and resolution of taxonomically 

problematic, nationally important groups;



 

+

to promote partnerships between science



governments, industry and non-government 

organisations; and



 

+

to inform the National Reserve System,  



Reserve Managers and other  

stakeholders of the results of the  

Bush Blitz Project.

Four Western Australian reserves  

were surveyed during this Bush Blitz.  

All occur approximately 350 km north  

of Perth, at the northern end of the  

Avon Wheatbelt Bioregion and southern  

edge of the Yalgoo Bioregion. The reserves  

occur just to the north of an intensive  

agricultural zone, but fall within a largely  

intact landscape that has a comparatively high 

level of integrity. The region has been subject to 

extensive prospecting for mining and exploration 

has occurred on or adjacent to several of the 

properties. 

A preliminary trial of Bush Blitz was carried out 

on Charles Darwin Reserve from 3–9 May 2009, 

with the aim to test survey logistics. BHP Billiton 

participants assisted scientists on the initial trip to 

Charles Darwin Reserve in May. A full survey was 

then undertaken from 14–25 September 2009 

across Charles Darwin, Kadji Kadji, Lochada 

and Karara reserves. Four days were spent on 

Charles Darwin Reserve and seven days on the 

three interconnecting reserves to the north-west 

(Kadji Kadji, Lochada and Karara). A supplementary 

trip targeting reptiles and frogs was conducted 

from 7–18 December 2009 across the four reserves. 

  Bush Blitz survey report



Perth

Reserves


Western 

Australia



Charles Darwin Reserve, P Taylor

Charles Darwin 

Bush Heritage Australia

Date of purchase

10 January 2003

Area


68,600 ha

Reserves Overview

Description

Charles Darwin Reserve consists of a mosaic of plant communities 

that inhabit extensive plains of yellow sand, red sandy clay or loam, 

granite rocks, lateritic breakaways, greenstone ridges or hills, and 

wetlands such as salt lakes, claypans and ephemeral swamps. The 

vegetation includes extensive areas of species-rich shrubland 

of several variants. These are representative of flora considered 

characteristic of the wheatbelt and of the arid zone rangelands: 

acacia-dominated shrubland on red soil plains, eucalyptus 

woodlands on heavier clay-containing soils and chenopod 

shrublands on saline sites. The eucalyptus woodlands are of three 

different kinds: York Gum (Eucalyptus loxophleba) woodland, Salmon 

Gum (E. salmonophloia) woodland, and Gimlet (E. salubris) woodland. 

National Reserve System  

conservation values

The nationally vulnerable Environment Protection Biodiversity 

Conservation Act 1995 (EPBC Act) listed species Malleefowl (Leipoa 

ocellata), has been recorded on the property, as has Australian 

Bustard (Ardeotis australis) which is listed as near-threatened in 

The action plan for Australian birds. In addition, Charles Darwin 

Reserve provides habitat for a significant guild of woodland birds 

which are in serious decline across their range, including Major 

Mitchell Cockatoo (Lophochroa leadbeateri) which is specially 

protected in Western Australia, and Red-tailed Black Cockatoo 

(Calyptorhynchus banksii). The reserve also supports five plants that 

are listed as priority species for conservation under the Western 

Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (WC ACT): Philotheca nutans, 

Persoonia pentasticha, Comesperma griffinii ms, Acacia formidabilis and 

Verticordia venusta. 

Avon Wheatbelt & Yalgoo Bioregions 2009    5



Kadji Kadji Reserve, A Wheeler & B Glasser

Kadji Kadji

WA Department of Environment and 

Conservation

Date of purchase

4 September 2003

Area

47,377 ha



Description

Kadji Kadji lies on the boundary between the Avon Wheatbelt and 

the Yalgoo IBRA Regions, an interzone between the South-west and 

Eremaean Botanical Provinces. The vegetation associations present 

on the reserve include nine shrublands, one medium woodland, 

one succulent steppe with thicket, one hummock grassland and one 

succulent steppe with woodland and thickets. The northern and 

eastern boundaries of the reserve adjoin Lochada.

National Reserve System  

conservation values

Located on an environmental gradient between two botanical 

provinces, Kadji Kadji has a high diversity of vegetation. The 

property supports 13 vegetation associations, eight of which are  

inadequately represented in the existing and proposed reserve 

system. Two of these have less than 2% of their original area in 

conservation reserves. The Avon Wheatbelt and the Yalgoo IBRA 

regions are poorly conserved at present and have been rated as 

a very high priority and moderate priority respectively for land 

acquisition.

6    Bush Blitz survey report



Perth

Reserves


Western 

Australia



W

ild

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, A W

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Lochada


WA Department of Environment and Conservation

Date of purchase

26 May 2000

Area


115,000 ha 

Description

Lochada lies to the east of Kadji Kadji and contains 

vegetation types similar to the Kadji Kadji reserve. 

Fourteen vegetation types are present, as well as a 

salt lake ecosystem. Five of these vegetation types 

are not represented in any other reserve and seven 

are poorly represented throughout the reserve 

system. 

National Reserve System 

conservation values

Fifty per cent of the Lochada lease contains 

shrublands of Bowgada (Acacia ramulosa), Jam Tree 

(A. aff. acuminata) and Melaleuca uncinata, which 

provide habitat for Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata). 

Malleefowl are listed as vulnerable under the 

EPBC Act. 

Karara 


WA Department of Environment and Conservation

Date of purchase

10 January 2002

Area


109,291 ha

Description

Karara Pastoral Lease adjoins Lochada, lying to the 

south-east of that property. Twelve vegetation 

types are found on the property, which was grazed 

until its purchase, after which it was progressively 

de-stocked. 

National Reserve System 

conservation values

The purchase of Karara improved the 

comprehensiveness and consolidation of the 

National Reserve System within the Avon 

Wheatbelt and Yalgoo IBRA regions and was 

important for the implementation of the Gascoyne 

Murchison Strategy. Two state-listed rare flora 

species occur on the lease, Grevillea scabrida and 

Jingymia Mallee (Eucalyptus synandra), which 

is also listed as vulnerable under the EPBC Act. 

Nine of the vegetation types found on Karara were 

inadequately represented in the national reserve 

system before its purchase. 

Avon Wheatbelt & Yalgoo Bioregions 2009    7


Ch

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Omoplatica sp. © C Young

Methods


Collection and observation sites were selected 

based on land classes, supplemented by 

identification of suitable microhabitat during the 

field visit. A number of taxonomic groups were 

identified as targets for study. 

Table 1


 provides 

the groups surveyed and the specialists who 

undertook the field work. 

Table 1: Groups surveyed and personnel

Group

Common name

Expert

Affiliation

Apoidea


Bees

Remko Leijs

South Australian Museum

Arachnida 

Spiders, Scorpions, 

Mark Harvey

Western Australian Museum 

Myriapoda

Centipedes and Millipedes

Mark Harvey

Western Australian Museum

Coleoptera

Beetles

Geoff Monteith



Queensland Museum

Diptera 


Flies

Christine Lambkin

Queensland Museum

Heteroptera

True Bugs

Celia Symonds 

University of New South Wales 

Lepidoptera

Butterflies and Moths

Dave Britton

Australian Museum

Lepidoptera

Butterflies and Moths

Catherine Young

Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

Mollusca


Snails and Slugs

Adnan Moussalli

Museum Victoria

Stygofauna

Aquatic Groundwater Invertebrates

Remko Leijs

South Australian Museum

Herpetofauna 

Reptiles

Steve Wilson

Queensland consultant

Herpetofauna

Reptiles and Frogs

Paul Doughty

Western Australian Museum 

Vascular Flora

Vascular Flora

Terry Macfarlane 

Western Australian Herbarium

Vascular Flora

Vascular Flora

Melinda Trudgen 

Western Australian Herbarium

  Bush Blitz 



survey report

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© G C

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As Charles Darwin Reserve already had substantial 

survey work conducted on small mammals and 

birds, these groups were not targeted, however, 

opportunistic observations were recorded. 

Arachnida (spiders) and myriapoda (millipedes and 

centipedes) were only surveyed at Charles Darwin 

and Lochada reserves. Incidental collections were 

also made of cockroaches, fungi, lichens, water 

bugs, termites and dragonflies. 

A standard suite of survey techniques was used:

 

+

Bees were collected using a hand net or by 



sweeping flowers. Malaise traps and blue and 

yellow pan traps were also used. 



 

+

Flies and beetles were collected using Malaise 



traps, baited pitfalls, hand collecting, bark 

spraying and sweep netting. 



 

+

Butterflies were collected opportunistically 



using hand-held butterfly nets. 

 

+

Moths were captured using light traps deployed 



every night. Beat-sampling of vegetation was 

used to collect larvae which were then reared to 

the adult stage on the host plant. 

 

+

True bugs were collected by beat-sampling 



vegetation, with a few collected on and under 

bark and leaf litter. Some of the light traps 

and malaise traps used for other invertebrate 

species also collected true bugs. 



 

+

Snails were surveyed in two stages. The first 



stage involved visiting as many sites as possible 

for a rapid survey to assess broad patterns in 

shell abundance. The second stage involved 

revisiting those sites that had yielded high 

diversity to conduct more thorough hand 

searches.



 

+

Spiders, scorpions, centipedes and millipedes 



were found by hand-searching under rocks 

and logs, in leaf litter and under bark of trees. 

Specimens were also removed from traps used 

to sample reptiles.



 

+

Reptiles and frogs were collected by active 



foraging as well as using pitfall trap lines with a 

drift fence and funnel traps at each end. 



 

+

Vascular flora were collected by hand, pressed 



and dried. 

Conditions for collecting were suboptimal for 

fauna on both trips. The May trip was suboptimal 

for all taxa due to cool conditions and low rainfall. 

Conditions were warm in September, with good 

rain received during the winter months. However, 

low cloud cover and seasonal rain did affect some 

fauna groups, notably bees and flies whose flight is 

interrupted by rain. 

Flora specimens were lodged with the Western 

Australian Herbarium and fauna specimens were 

lodged with the Western Australian Museum. Final 

species lists were compiled using data supplied 

by the Australian Natural Heritage Assessment 

Tool, the Western Australian Department of 

Environment and Conservation, Bush Heritage 

Australia and the results of this Bush Blitz. 

Avon Wheatbelt & Yalgoo Bioregions 2009    9



Chris Darwin, Bush Heritage volunteer © A Cowley

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 (M

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 (M

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© G C

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Results


The locational data are available to reserve 

managers. 

Species Lists

Appendix A

 provides full, updated species lists 

for each reserve. Names in 



bold brown text

 are 


putative new species. Species marked with an 

asterisk (*) have not been previously recorded 

for that reserve. Species without an asterisk have 

been recorded previously and found again during 

this survey. Species with 

blue squares

 were not 

recorded on this survey, but are known from 

previous records for the reserve. 

Table 2


 provides 

a summary of the number of new flora and fauna 

records and putative new species for each reserve. 

Table 3


 provides a summary of the number of new 

records for each reserve by taxonomic group. 



Table 2: Summary of new flora and fauna records and putative new species

Reserve

Species new  

to the reserve

Flora species  

new to science

Fauna species  

new to science

Charles Darwin 

460

1

20



Kadji Kadji

170


1

1

Lochada



338

3

12



Karara

187


1

14

10 



  Bush Blitz survey report

Table 3: Number of species newly recorded on this survey for each reserve by group

Group

Common name

Charles Darwin

Kadji Kadji

Karara Lochada

Vascular Plants

Vascular Plants

61

55



35

81

Aves



Birds

2

4



-

-

Amphibia



Frogs

-

-



-

-

Mammalia



Mammals

-

1



1

-

Reptilia



Reptiles

6

6



5

10

Apoidea



Bees

10

28



9

29

Arachnida



Spiders, Pseudoscorpions, 

Scorpions 

66

2

6



13

Blattodea

Cockroaches

-

-



3

-

Coleoptera



Beetles

18

2



9

26

Diptera



Flies

10

5



13

18

Gastropoda



Snails 

7

3



7

3

Heteroptera



True Bugs + Aquatic Bugs

128


41

73

111



Isoptera

Termites


-

-

-



-

Lepidoptera

Butterflies and Moths

147


22

25

44



Myriapoda

Centipedes and Millipedes

5

1

1



3

Rare and Threatened Species

Appendix B

 includes the listed species known from 

the reserves. Those marked with an asterisk (*) 

have not been recorded previously. 

Exotic and Pest Species

Appendix C

 lists exotic pest species known from 

the reserves. Those marked with an asterisk (*)

have not been recorded previously. The seasonal 

conditions during the initial May trial made 

the detection of annual weeds problematic. 

A summary of exotic and pest species recorded for 

each reserve is provided in 

Table 4





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