Conservation of aquatic invertebrate communities in central Australia

Davis, J.

Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria 56(2): 491-503


Accession: 008376997

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Central Australian waterbodies are an important focus for both nature conservation and tourism within the arid zone. Recent sampling of the West MacDonnell Ranges in 1993 and 1994, and the George Gill Range, in 1986, revealed the presence of 'relict streams' containing elements of an invertebrate fauna, and possibly flora, that have persisted since the last 'wet' phase in central Australia. These streams appear to be sustained by localized regions of permanently discharging groundwater and the effects of past landuses, including aboriginal useage and cattle grazing, do not appear to have been major or irreversible. However, the popularity of ecotourism in the region is rapidly increasing and appropriate management is needed to ensure that these important aquatic habitats are not lost or degraded through over-utilization of the groundwater resource.