4 May 2014
Possible threatened ecological communities that do not meet survey criteria or that are not
adequately defined are added to the priority ecological community list under priorities 1, 2 and 3.
These three categories are ranked in order of priority for survey and/or definition of the
community, and evaluation of conservation status, so that consideration can be given to their
declaration as threatened ecological communities. Ecological communities that are adequately
known, and are rare but not threatened or meet criteria for near threatened, or that have been
recently removed from the threatened list, are placed in priority 4. These ecological communities
require regular monitoring. Conservation dependent ecological communities are placed in priority
EPBC Act 1999
ii) The inclusion in this table of a community type does not necessarily imply any status as a
threatened ecological community, however some communities are listed as threatened ecological
communties (TECs) under the EPBC Act (see column D).
iii) Regions eg Pilbara are based on Department of Parks and Wildlife regional boundaries.
iv) For definitions of categories (priority 1 etc.) refer to document entitled ‘Definitions and
West Angelas Cracking-Clays
Open tussock grasslands of Astrebla pectinata, A. elymoides, Aristida latifolia , in combination with Astrebla
Threats: Disturbance footprints increasing from mine, future infrastructure development, possible weed
invasion and changes in fire regime.
Weeli Wolli Spring community
Weeli Wolli Spring's riparian woodland and forest associations are unusual as a consequence of the
composition of the understorey. The sedge and herbfield communities that fringe many of the pools and
associated water bodies along the main channels of Weeli Wolli Creek have not been recorded from any other
wetland site in the Pilbara. The spring and creekline are also noted for their relatively high diversity of
stygofauna and this is probably attributed to the large-scale calcrete and alluvial aquifer system associated
with the creek. The valley of Weeli Wolli Spring also supports a very rich microbat assemblage including a
Threats: dewatering and re-watering altering patterns of inundation, weed invasion
Burrup Peninsula rock pool communities
Calcareous tufa deposits. Interesting aquatic snails.
Threats: recreational impacts, and potential development; possibly NOX and SOX emissions.
Burrup Peninsula rock pile communities
Pockets of vegetation in rock piles and outcrops. Comprise a mixture of Pilbara and Kimberley species,
communities are different from those of the Hamersley and Chichester Ranges. Short-range endemic land
Threats: industrial development dust emissions, buffel grass
The Roebourne Plains coastal grasslands with gilgai micro-relief occur on deep cracking clays that are self
mulching and emerge on depositional surfaces. The Roebourne Plains gilgai grasslands occur on microrelief
of deep cracking clays, surrounded by clay plains/flats and sandy coastal and alluvial plains. The gilgai
depressions supports ephemeral and perennial tussock grasslands dominated by Sorghum sp. and Eragrostis
xerophila (Roebourne Plains grass) along with other native species including Astrebla pectinata (barley
mitchell grass), Eriachne benthamii (swamp wanderrie grass), Chrysopogon fallax (golden beard grass) and
surrounding clay flats of the Horseflat land system which are dominated by Eragrostis xerophila and other
perennial tussock grass species (Eragrostis mostly).
Threats: Grazing, clearing for mining and infrastructure and urban development, weed invasion, basic raw
Stony Chenopod association of the Roebourne Plains area
surface strew of pebbles and cobbles. The association appears to be uncommon and is likely to be linked with
the Cheerawarra land system (Unit 3 - Saline clay plains). Only one occurrence has been located to date
(Roebourne Airport), however it is likely some other small areas remain.
Threats: grazing, clearing, and weeds especially buffel grass
Barrow Island subterranean fauna
Barrow Island stygofauna and troglofauna.
Threats: Mining and industrial development.
Subterranean invertebrate communities of mesas in the Robe Valley region
A series of isolated mesas occur in the Robe Valley in the state’s Pilbara Region. The mesas are remnants of
old valley infill deposits of the palaeo Robe River. The troglobitic faunal communities occur in an extremely
specialised habitat and appear to require the particular structure and hydrogeology associated with mesas to
provide a suitable humid habitat. Short range endemism is common in the fauna. The habitat is the humidified
Subterranean invertebrate community of pisolitic hills in the Pilbara
A series of isolated low undulating hills occur in the state’s Pilbara region. The troglofauna are being
identified as having very short range distributions.
Peedamulla Marsh vegetation complex
Peedamulla (Cane River) Swamp Cyperaceae community, near mouth of Cane River. Plants are unusual.
Threats: grazing, weed invasion, altered surface hydrologic flows.
Triodia angusta dominated creekline vegetation (Barrow Island)
General cover of Triodia angusta with shrubs principally Hakea suberea , Petalostylis labicheoides, Acacia
bivenosa , and Gossypium robinsonii .
Threats: basic raw material extraction for island infrastructure.
Brockman Iron cracking clay communities of the Hamersley Range
Rare tussock grassland dominated by Astrebla lappacea (not every site has presence of Astrebla) in the
Hamersley Range, on the Brockman land system. Tussock grassland on cracking clays- derived in valley
floors, depositional floors. This is a rare community and the landform is rare. Known from near West Angeles,
Newman, Tom Price and boundary of Hamersley and Brockman Stations.
Threats: Heavily grazed, mining and infrastructure developments.
Sand Sheet vegetation (Robe Valley)
Corymbia zygophylla scattered low trees over Acacia tumida var. pilbarensis , Grevillea eriostachya high
shrubland over Triodia schinzii hummock grassland. Other associated species include Cleome uncifera ,
Most northern example/expression of vegetation of Carnarvon Basin. Community is poorly represented type in
the Pilbara Region, and not represented in the reserve system. Community contains many plant species that are
at their northern limits or exist as disjunct populations. Vulnerable to invasion by weeds.
Threats: mining, basic raw material extraction, weed invasion especially buffel grass.
Mingah Springs calcrete groundwater assemblage type on Gascoyne palaeodrainage on Mingah Spring
Unique assemblages of invertebrates have been identified in the groundwater calcretes.
Coastal dune native tussock grassland dominated by Whiteochloa airoides
Tussock grassland of Whiteochloa airoides occurs on the landward side of foredunes, hind dunes or remnant
dunes with white or pinkish white medium sands with marine fragments. There may be occasional Spinifex
subsp. dampierii , Scaevola spinescen s, S. cunninghamii, Trianthema turgidifolia and Corchorus species (C.
Occurs on Barrow Island and possibly some unaffected littoral areas in west Pilbara.
Freshwater claypans of the Fortescue Valley
Freshwater claypans downstream of the Fortescue Marsh - Goodiadarrie Hills on Mulga Downs Station.
Important for waterbirds, invertebrates and some poorly collected plants. Eriachne spp., Eragrostis spp.
grasslands. Unique community, has few Coolibah.
Fortescue Marsh is an extensive, episodically inundated samphire marsh at the upper terminus of the
Fortescue River and the western end of Goodiadarrie Hills. It is regarded as the largest ephemeral wetland in
the Pilbara. It is a highly diverse ecosystem with fringing mulga woodlands (on the northern side), samphire
shrublands and groundwater dependant riparian ecosystems. It is an arid wetland utilized by waterbirds and
supports a rich diversity of restricted aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. Recorded locality for night parrot
and bilby and several other threatened vertebrate fauna. Endemic Eremophila species, populations of priority
flora and several near endemic and new to science samphires.
Threats: mining, altered hydrology (watering with fresh water), grazing and weed invasion.
Tanpool land system
A highly restricted land system that occurs between Pannawonica and Onslow. Consists of stony plains and
low ridges of sandstone and other sedimentary rocks supporting hard spinifex grasslands and snakewood
Stygofaunal community of the Bungaroo Aquifer
A unique assemblage of aquatic subterranean fauna including eels, snails and other stygofauna.
Threats: groundwater drawdown, mining.
Coolibah-lignum flats: Eucalyptus victrix over Muehlenbeckia community
Woodland or forest of Eucalyptus victrix (coolibah) over thicket of Muehlenbeckia florulenta (lignum) on red
clays in run-on zones. Associated species include Eriachne benthamii, Themeda triandra, Aristida latifolia,
(Coondewanna Flats and Wanna Munna Flats)
only known occurrence)
Threats: dewatering and grazing, clearing associated with infrastructure corridors.
Four plant assemblages of the Wona Land System
(previously ‘Cracking clays of the Chichester and Mungaroona Range’)
A system of basalt upland gilgai plains with tussock grasslands occurs throughout the Chichester Range in the
Chichester-Millstream National Park, Mungaroona Range Nature Reserve and on adjacent pastoral leases.
There are a series of community types identified within the Wona Land System gilgai plains that are
considered susceptible to known threats such as grazing or have constituent rare/restricted species, as follows:
occurs on the tablelands with very little vegetative cover during the dry season, however during the wet a suite
of ephemerals/annuals and short-lived perennials emerge, many of which are poorly known and range-end
the Pannawonica-Robe valley end of Chichester Range.
Tussock grasslands or grassy tall or low shrublands of the Yarcowie Land System (Carnarvon Basin)
Gilgaied soils derived from lower cretaceous benthonitic siltstone on nearly flat plains that support tussock
grasslands or grassy tall or low shrublands. Land system has very restricted distribution.
Threats: over grazing
Triodia sp. Robe River assemblages of mesas of the West Pilbara (previously named ‘Triodia sp. Robe
River assemblages of mesas of the Robe Valley’)
This community is typically restricted to mesas and cordillo landforms where the plant assemblages are
dominated by or contain Triodia sp. Robe River and are indicative of inverted landscapes; that is, where
Triodia sp. Robe River occurs in combination with species that are considered ‘out-of-context’ from their
normal habitat. The community is a combination of Triodia sp. Robe River with Acacia pruinocarpa, A.
creeklines, and their occurrence is probably indicative of the genesis of the mesa surfaces in wetlands, then
erosion of the landscape and ‘inversion of the landscape’ such that the mesa slopes and peaks that were
previously low in the landscape become high points.
Threats: Mining and associated infrastructure
Stony saline plains of the Mosquito Land System
two endemic Acacias. One occurrence known on stony plains, and one on rocky ground.
Threats: preferential grazing, prospecting and mining, increasing erosion
Vegetation of sand dunes of the Hamersley Range/Fortescue Valley (previously 'Fortescue Valley Sand
These red linear iron-rich sand dunes lie on the Divide Land system at the junction of the Hamersley Range
and Fortescue Valley, between Weeli Wolli Creek and the low hills to the west. A small number are vegetated
with Acacia dictyophleba scattered tall shrubs over Crotalaria cunninghamii, Trichodesma zeylanicum var.
grandiflorum open shrubland. They are regionally rare, small and fragile and highly susceptible to threatening
Threats: weed invasion especially buffel grass, grazing by cattle, too frequent fire, erosion and impacts of
Semi permanent pools along courses of Rudall River.
Threats: weed invasion, altered hydrological flows, inappropriate fire regimes.
Horseflat land system of the Roebourne Plains
(Does not include priority ecological communities ‘Roebourne Plains gilgai grasslands’ and the ‘Chenopod
association of the Roebourne Plains area’)
The Horseflat Land System of the Roebourne Plains are extensive, weakly gilgaied clay plains dominated by
tussock grasslands on mostly alluvial non-gilgaied, red clay loams or heavy clay loams. Perennial tussock
grasses include Eragrostis xerophila (Roebourne Plains grass) and other Eragrostis spp., Eriachne spp. and
Dichanthium spp. The community also supports a suite of annual grasses including Sorghum spp. and rare
Astrebela spp. The community extends from Cape Preston to Balla Balla surrounding the towns of Karratha
This community incorporates Unit 3 (Gilgai plains), Unit 5 (Alluvial Plains) with some Unit 7 (Drainage
Depressions) described in Van Vreeswyk et al . 2004.
Threats: grazing, weed invasion, fragmentation
Invertebrate assemblages (Errawallana Spring type) Coolawanya Station
Geologically distinct. Sherlock River system. Permanent spring-fed creek. Has atypical invertebrate
Invertebrate assemblages (Nyeetberry Pool type)
Jimmawurrada Creek. Nyeetberry pool, Robe River.
Permanent River Pool in the Pilbara (groundwater fed). Blind isopod collected from this site.
Threats: mining and feral animals
Stygofaunal communities of the Western Fortescue Plains freshwater aquifer (Previously named
‘Stygofaunal communities of the Millstream freshwater aquifer’)
A unique assemblage of subterranean invertebrate fauna.
Threats: Groundwater drawdown and salinisation.
Perched spring-fed peat-based swamps on hillslopes of the Durack Range area
Assemblages of spring-fed wetlands on organic substrates perched on sandstone hill-slopes in the Central
Kimberley bioregion. Drainage lines are vegetated with a forest of Corymbia ptychocarpa (swamp
bloodwood), Grevillea pteridifolia, Melaleuca spp, Pandanus spiralis , and some Livistona spp. over the fern
clumps of Reed Grass Arundinella nepalensis are dominant in the understorey where the canopy is more
open. Also associated with the drainage lines are swamps vegetated by dense sedgelands with grasses and
Assemblages of Point Spring rainforest swamp
Closed canopy rainforest on freshwater swamps on alluvial floodplain soils in the east Kimberley. At Point
Spring the canopy is 17m high and the dominant tree species include Canarium australianum, Carallia
brachiata, Euodia elleryana, Ficus racemosa, F. virens and Terminalia sericocarpa .
Threats: Invasion by feral fish, impacts of stock, climate change and rising sea levels.
Assemblages of the wetlands associated with the organic mound springs on the tidal mudflats of the
East Kimberley (i.e. Brolga Spring, King Gordon Spring, Attack Spring, Long Swamp etc on Carlton Hill
Station). Large wetlands with Melaleuca forest with small patches of rainforest on central mounds. Rainforest
and paperbark forest associated with mound springs and seepage areas of the Victoria Bonaparte coastal lands.
Monsoon vine thickets and Camaenid land snails of limestone ranges (Napier Range)
Unusual vine thicket community and Camaenid land snails assemblage located on Napier Range.
Oryza australiensis (wild rice) grasslands on alluvial flats of the Ord River
West side of Weaber Hills, Weaber Plain, Mantini Flats, Knox Creek.
Inland Mangrove (Avicennia marina ) community of Salt Creek
Anna Plains Station, Mandora.
Plant assemblages on vertical sandstone surfaces
Eg. Two undescribed spinifex spp. at Bungles and Molly Spring, foxtail spinifex at Cathedral Gorge and
Thompsons Spring. Fire sensitive plants, fire regimes a threat.
Invertebrate community of Napier Range Cave
On Old Napier Downs, Karst No. KNI.
Threats: Mine close by and tourist visitation.
Invertebrate assemblages of the cliff foot springs around Devonian reef system
Threats: Springs drying up due to dewatering of karst systems.
Dwarf pindan heath community of Broome coast
Occurs between the racecourse and Gantheame Point lighthouse. Insufficient survey outside of Broome
townsite area to determine full extent.
Threats: clearing, trampling, weed invasion, inappropriate fire regimes
Corymbia paractia dominated community on dunes
dunes (with vine thickets) merge with Pindan (desert) vegetation. Also, port north of Broome.
Threats: clearing, trampling, weed invasion, inappropriate fire regimes