One hundred Rare and Priority taxa are known to occur in the Yalgoo bioregion (Western
Australian Herbarium, 2008) and a combination of 31 DRF and Priority Flora species have
been recorded in the vicinity of Blue Hills (Table D.2, Appendix D).
Blue Hills, as well as the surrounding Karara Station, was surveyed by Bennett (Bennett
Environmental Consulting, 2004). Two Priority Flora taxa were recorded on hill slopes and
in particular on BIF rocks, these were; Cryptandra imbricata (P3 at time of the survey, no
longer listed as a Priority taxon) and Persoonia pentasticha (P3). (It is probable that
material necessary for full taxonomic confirmation.)
During the DEC’s 2005 survey of the central Tallering Land System six Priority Flora taxa
were recorded; Austrostipa blackii (C.E. Hubb.) S.W.L. Jacobs & J. Everett (P3), Calytrix
now P3). Current Priority Flora lists (Atkins, Dec 2008) also include Acacia karina [syn.
has only recently been listed. Acacia woodmaniorum (Rare) [syn. Acacia sp. Blue Hill
Range (R.J. Cranfield 8582)] was also recorded by the DEC at Blue Hills during their 2005
Hills referred to as ‘the project survey area’, which included Midwest leases across Blue
Hills (including Mungada Ridge) but also south, west and north-west of Mt. Karara. At
Mungada Ridge the following Priority Flora were identified; Chamelaucium sp. Yalgoo (Y
Chadwick 1816) (P1), Grevillea subtiliflora (P1), Gunniopsis divisa (P1), Hydrocotyle sp.
Warriedar (PG Wilson 12267) (P1), Melaleuca barlowii (P1), Micromyrtus cuensis ms (now
survey (now Micromyrtus trudgenii P3 ), Millotia dimorpha (P1), Rhodanthe collina (P1),
(P2), Acacia acanthoclada subsp. glaucescens (P3 at the time of the survey, no longer listed
as a Priority taxon), Austrostipa blackii (P3), Cryptandra imbricata ms (P3), Grevillea
globosa (P3), Grevillea scabrida (P3), Persoonia pentasticha (P3), Polianthion collinum
[syn. Genus sp. Yalgoo (JM Ward s.n. 11/7/1999)] (P3) and the new taxa Acacia aff.
Priority listing), Drummondita fulva (syn. Drummondita aff. Microphylla) (P3) and
and recorded a number of priority flora taxa during the survey. Micromyrtus acuta and M.
(then listed as a P2 species but now a DRF), and Acacia acanthoclada subsp. glaucescens,
(listed as P3 taxa at that time but currently not listed, not listed, P3, P3 and P3 respectively).
One Priority Two flora taxon was recorded during the Koolanooka survey, Baeckea sp.
Perenjori, which is described below:
Baeckea sp. Perenjori (J.W. Green 1516) (Myrtaceae) – Priority 2
This plant is a rounded shrub to 0.5 m, commonly growing to 1 m in diameter. Its flowers
are often pale pink fading to white with age and are produced through August (Plate 4.1).
This P2 species was recorded at a single location, site KB03, during the current survey. The
exact locations are listed in Appendix E, Table E.1 and approximate locations plotted on
Plate 4.1: Baeckea sp. Perenjori (J.W. Green 1516) (P2)
One Priority Three species was recorded during the Blue Hills survey, Micromyrtus
tall. This species has small, linear-oblong leaves that tend to grow in dense clusters and then
fall as they begin to age. The shrub produces yellow flowers, which have been noted in July
and September. The flowers are small and tubular with five lobes and are cream to yellow in
This P3 species was recorded at a single location during the current survey. The exact
location is listed in Appendix E, Table E.2 and approximate locations plotted on Figure 4.2.
Plate 4.2: Micromyrtus trudgenii (P3)
Flora of potential conservation significance have been recorded at Koolanooka during
During the DEC’s 2005 survey of the Koolanooka and Perenjori Hills, five new and
undescribed species were recorded; Acacia sp. Koolanooka Hills falcate (R. Meissner and Y.
Caruso 84) (now known as Acacia muriculata – Priority 1), Caesia sp. Koolanooka Hills (R.
Meissner and Y. Caruso 78) (P1), Dodonaea sp. Koolanooka Hills (R. Meissner and Y.
Caruso 17) (now known as Dodonaea scurra – Priority 1), Drummondita sp. Koolanooka
Hills (R. Meissner and Y. Caruso 69) (now known as Drummondita rubroviridis P1) and
Lepidosperma sp. Koolanooka (K. Newbey 9336). Five taxa of interest were also found
during DEC’s 2005 survey which included; Acacia aff. declinata, Hibbertia aff. exasperata,
Three of the new species collected by DEC in 2005 were collected by ecologia during a
survey in November 2007: Acacia muriculata; Dodonaea scurra (described above); and,
Lepidosperma sp. Koolanooka.
None of these taxa were recorded during the current survey.
Nine new taxa were recorded during the DEC’s 2005 survey of the area: Acacia aff.
coolgardiensis, Acacia woodmaniorum (currently DRF, previously P2), Acacia karina
(formerly sp. Karara (C. Godden 14)) (recently listed as a P2 taxon), Calotis aff. cuneifolia,
Dillon 3338), Lepidosperma sp. Karara (H. Pringle 3865) (syn. Lepidosperma sp. Blue Hills),
(first hybridisation of this genus in WA) and Senna glutinosa subsp. chatelainiana x
recorded a possibly undescribed species of Prostanthera sp. as well as the possible new taxa,
None of these were recorded during the current survey; however, Baeckea sp. Mt Gibson (R.
Meissner & Y. Caruso MTGB16) was recorded at two locations. This taxon is known from
only two collections at the Western Australian Herbarium and requires further taxonomic
studies. It will be listed as a Priority Flora taxon in the future (pers. comm. P. Jobson and M.
E. Trudgen, 08/08/08).
Figure 4.2: Locations of Priority Flora and Species of Interest Recorded at Blue Hills.
Ecological communities are naturally occurring biological assemblages that occur in a
particular type of habitat. At a national level, both individual flora tax, and threatened
ecological communities (TECs), are protected under the 1999 EPBC Act. TECs are listed as
Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable (for definitions of categories, see Appendix
C). The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts does not currently list
any TECs as occurring within the Koolanooka or Blue Hills survey areas (DEWHA, 2008).
The Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) maintains a
list of threatened ecological communities (TECs) that are Presumed Totally Destroyed,
Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable. One state-listed TEC is recorded in the
area – the Koolanooka Hills System TEC, which is listed as Vulnerable (DEC, 2006).
INTRODUCED SPECIES WITHIN THE CURRENT SURVEY
Priority weeds that are, or have the potential to become, pests to agriculture can be declared
formally under the Agriculture and Related Resources Protection Act 1976. Weeds listed
under the Act are listed with a coded definition of the requirements for their control. Five
Priority groupings are used, and more than one Priority may be placed on a weed species (see
Appendix C for definitions of codes).
During the ATA survey on Midwest leases at Koolanooka (2004b) the following 13 weed
species were found; *Avena barbarta, *Bromus diandrus, *Bromus hordeaceus,
*Chenopodium murale,*Echium plantagineum (a Priority 1 weed was found around the mine
site), *Ehrharta calycina, *Eragrostis curvula, *Erodium botrys, *Hypochaeris glabra,
On a survey undertaken previously by ecologia at Koolanooka, two environmental weeds,
Common Sowthistle (*Sonchus oleraceus) and Ruby Dock (*Acetosa vesicaria) were
No weeds species were found during the current survey.
During a previous survey by ecologia of the Mungada East pit (2006) Patterson’s Curse,
*Echium plantagineum (a Priority 1 weed) was recorded.
No weeds were found during this current survey.
TEC boundary in relation to the Koolanooka survey area
No Declared Rare Flora taxa were recorded during this survey.
The regional conservation significance of the two Priority Flora taxa recorded within the
survey area boundaries is considered below in the context of the survey’s records.
The Priority two species, Baeckea sp. Perenjori (J.W. Green 1516), is known from 18
collections at the Western Australian Herbarium including from the following locations:
Perenjori Hills, Koolanooka Hills, Bowgada and Caron.
The Priority three species, Micromyrtus trudgenii [syn. Micromyrtus sp. Warriedar (S.
Patrick 1879A)] is known from 29 collections at the Western Australian Herbarium including
from the following locations: Warriedar Station, Blue Hills and Badja Station.
FLORA OF POTENTIAL CONSERVATION SIGNIFICANCE
One flora taxon of potential conservation significance was recorded during the survey.
The collection of Baeckea sp. Mt Gibson (R. Meissner & Y. Carusso) marks a range
extension of approximately 75 km to the north-west of its nearest named location at Mount
Gibson. This taxon requires further taxonomic study as it is only known from two
collections at the Western Australian Herbarium. Baeckea sp. Mt Gibson (R. Meissner & Y.
Carusso) is likely to be upgraded to a Priority Flora taxon in the near future (Pers. Com. P.
Jobson & M. E. Trudgen, 8/8/08).
The TEC currently mapped over the whole of the Koolanooka Hills is the Koolanooka Hills
Threatened Ecological Community (TEC). The Koolanooka Hills TEC is limited to the BIF
ranges and footslopes of the Koolanooka Hills. A buffer has been implemented which
incorporates areas that are not within these habitats. The survey area is restricted to a flat
plain in an area of faulting and occurs within the TEC buffer but not within the BIF ranges or
footslopes of the TEC.
Five plant assemblages of the Koolanooka System are listed as Threatened Ecological
Communities (TECs) by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC). Beecham
(2001) lists the TECs as:
Shrubs (such as Acacia spp.) and emergent mallees on shallow red loam over massive
ironstone on steep rocky slopes;
Eucalyptus ebbanoensis subsp. ebbanoensis mallee and Acacia spp. scrub with
scattered Allocasuarina huegeliana (cf. Allocasuarina acutivalvis, see above) over
red loam and ironstone on the upper slopes and summits;
Eucalyptus loxophleba woodland over scrub on the footslopes; and,
Mixed Acacia spp. scrub on granite.
None of these vegetation communities were recorded at the areas surveyed for this
ATA mapped the vegetation of the Koolanooka area (2004) and according to the map
produced the current exploration area occurs within vegetation units 14 (closed heath
dominated by Aluta maisonneuvei, Aluta appressa and Acacia assimilis subsp. assimilis) and
11 (closed tree mallee to tree mallee of Eucalyptus leptopoda and Allocasuarina campestris
over an open shrubland of Acacia assimilis subsp. assimilis, Acacia erinacea, Grevillea sp.,
Santalum acuminatum and Eremophila clarkei). Neither of these vegetation units was
recorded at the pads and tracks surveyed for this Koolanooka exploration programme.
Under regulations gazetted in 2004 as an amendment to Part V of the WA Environmental
However, Item 25 of Regulation 5 of the Native Vegetation Clearing Regulations allows
clearing for prospecting or exploration activities approved under the Mining Act 1978. As of
24 and 25 of Regulation 5 of the Clearing Regulations) outside of Environmentally Sensitive
Areas is permanently exempt from the need for a Clearing Permit.
An exemption for other mineral or petroleum activities is defined in Clause 2(2) of Schedule
1, and allows clearing of up to 10 hectares per financial year for clearing authorised under the
Mining Act 1978 in an authority area.
Schedule 5 of the WA Environmental Protection Act 1986 provides the following set of
principles on which to evaluate whether clearing should or should not be permitted. While
mineral exploration activities are now exempt from requiring a Clearing Permit, the
vegetation surveyed has been assessed within this context.
Table 6.1: Clearing permit requirements and the Koolanooka survey area.
Assessment based on current survey:
During the current survey three proposed
drill pads and associated track were
assessed. Forty three taxa from 23
families were recorded. During DEC’s
survey of 2006, 41 sites were surveyed
with 237 taxa from 53 families (Meissner
& Caruso, 2006). In a survey of 32 drill
pads conducted across another tenement
at Koolanooka, 72 taxa from 27 families
were recorded (ecologia, 2008). Based
on these results it would appear that the
area surveyed is of moderate diversity
compared with other areas at
or is necessary for the maintenance
of, a significant habitat for fauna
indigenous to Western Australia.
Fauna habitats were not assessed;
however, the botanists generally look for
any fauna of interest while carrying out
surveys. No fauna of interest were noted
during the survey. The survey area
occurs within sclerophyll woodland
dominated by Eucalyptus loxophleba and
thickets of Acacia, Allocasuarina and
This vegetation type is well represented in
continued existence of, rare flora.
The location where the Priority 2 taxon
Baeckea sp. Perenjori (J.W. Green 1516)
was recorded is not the only place these
avoid impact to this taxon.
It comprises the whole or a part of,
of, a threatened ecological
A vegetation map has been produced that
shows much of the Koolanooka hilltops as
a TEC (ATA, 2004b). The DEC describes
five communities for the Koolanooka
system. The current exploration area
survey was limited to the flat / plains
below the Koolanooka Hills and the
vegetation surveyed could not be grouped
into any of the communities described by
the DEC using the indicator species given
for each community.
It is significant as a remnant of
has been extensively cleared.
The area surrounding the Koolanooka
project area has been significantly cleared
for agriculture. The small area to be
cleared (0.11 ha) would not impact greatly
on the surrounding remnant vegetation.
One of the proposed drill pads is located
on the Morawa Rifle Range in an area
that has been previously cleared and no
more vegetation clearing should be