Conservation values

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Helena and Aurora Range (Bungalbin) was identified as having one of the highest conservation values by Gibson et al. (2010) among the ironstone ranges of south western Australia. This page is a brief summary or quick reference to the known conservation values of Helena and Aurora Range.  More detail on the conservation values of Helena and Aurora Range is provided in Natural Heritage, Significant Flora List and Fauna List.  As more information becomes known about the flora and fauna of Helena and Aurora Range some of these details may change.  We will endeavour to keep these details as up to date as possible.  

A visit to Helena and Aurora Range would also convince people of the National Heritage values of this range.

 

Landscape and landform values

Helena and Aurora Range is the tallest and largest Banded Ironstone Formation (BIF) Range in the Coolgardie Bioregion, being up to 704 m above sea level (200 m above the flat woodlands) and the main range extending over a distance of 13 km of approximately 23 km of convoluted hills (lying in a northeast - southwest direction) as well as ~22 km of low BIF hills extending out to the northwest (towards Mt Jackson Range).  It is located in an otherwise relatively flat landscape with other BIF ranges situated at a distance of approximately 20 km (Hunt Range) to 55 km (Mt Finnerty, Koolyanobbing and Mt Manning Ranges).

 

Flora and fauna values

Helena and Aurora Range has:

  • Two Declared Rare Flora (DRF); Tetratheca aphylla subsp. aphylla (listed as Threatened (or Rare) in WA and Vulnerable by the Commonwealth) and Leucaopogon spectabilis (listed as Threatened (or Rare) in WA and Critically Endangered by Commonwealth).
  • Thirteen Priority plant species (listed in WA). Acacia adinophylla (P1), Acacia shapelleae (P1), Eremophila sp. McDermid Rock (AP Brown 3615) (P1), Lepidosperma bungalbin (P1), Grevillea georgiana (P3), Hibbertia lepidocaylx subsp. tuberculata (P3), Lepidosperma ferricola (P3), Mirbelia ferricola (P3), Neurachne annularis (P3), Stenenthemum newbeyi (P3), Dryandra arborea (P4), Eucalyptus formanii (P4), Grevilea erectiloba (P4)
  • Three Threatened Fauna species; Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata), Gilled Slender Blue-tongue (Cyclodomorphus branchialis) and Tree-stem Trapdoor Spider (Aganippe castellum) (listed in WA).
  • One Specially Protected Fauna species; Peregrine Falcon (listed in WA).
  • Five endemic plant species on Helena and Aurora Range including Tetratheca aphylla subsp. aphylla (T), Leucapogon spectabilis (T), Lepidosperma bungalbin (P1), Acacia adinophylla (P1) and Acacia shapelleae (P1).
  • At least ten banded ironstone formation (BIF) dependent flora including two DRF (Tetratheca aphylla subsp. aphylla and Leucapogon spectabilis) plus seven Priority species including Dryandra arborea (P4), Stenenthemum newbeyi (P3), Acacia adinophylla (P1), Mirbelia ferricola (P3), Grevillea georgiana (P3), Lepidosperma ferricola (P3), Lepidosperma bungalbin (P1). A possible BIF dependent species is Acacia shapelleae (P1) (previously named - Acacia sp. Bungalbin Hill (JJ Alford 1119)), however, its distribution is not well known and to date has only been found on slopes of Helena and Aurora Range.  In addition there is Neurachne annularis (P3) that is strongly associated with BIF debris slopes on Helena and Aurora Range, however, there is some evidence that this species may occur on other landforms elsewhere (e.g. a collection from Ennuin Station).
  • Two BIF dependent fauna; Peregrine Falcon, Little Woodswallow (both species dependent on BIF for nesting sites) and a further six species dependent on BIF habitat including Western Yellow Robin, Golden Whistler, Shy Hylacola, Woolley's Pseudantechinus, Long-tailed Dunnart (P4) and Gilled Slender Blue-tongue (T) (Department of Environment and Conservation, 2008).
  • One Priority Ecological Community (PEC); Helena and Aurora Range vegetation complexes (banded ironstone formation). Threats: iron ore mining Priority 1. (listed in WA).
  • A total of 379 flora species recorded as occurring on Helena and Aurora Range as of 2008.
  • A total of 113 fauna species have been identified as occurring on the range during surveys in Dell et al. (1985) and Lyons and Chapman (1997) including; 65 bird species, 42 reptile species, one frog species and 25 mammal species (nine marsupials, seven bats, six rodents, one canine (dingo), fox and Rabbit).

 

 


References

Dell J, Howe RA, Newbey KR and Hnatiuk RJ (1985) The Biological Survey of the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Part 3. Jackson-Kalgoorlie. Records of Western Australian Museum Supplement No. 23. WA Museum, Perth.

 

Lyons MN and Chapman A (eds) (1997) A Biological Survey of the Helena and Aurora Range, Eastern Goldfields Western Australia. Unpublished Report for Environment Australia, Canberra.