This paper reports the results of dry and wet season systematic terrestrial vertebrate fauna surveys carried out on Blackbraes, a National Park in the Einasleigh Uplands bioregion, North Queensland. It quantifies, for the first time, the biodiversity values of the highest altitude upland area in the Australian tropical savanna. Nine species, including two mammals and seven reptiles, were recorded at the limits of their known range, or in seemingly disjunct populations. Patterns of fauna assemblage in relation to underlying geology and associated habitat variables were investigated and several strong relationships emerged. Temporal patterns in the observed fauna were investigated and 20 species (15 birds, 5 reptiles) were found to be more numerous in different seasons (wet and dry). The avifauna recorded was consistent with much of Australia's tropical savanna, but the reptile and mammal assemblages were distinct, rich and unusual, with exceptionally high abundances, particularly of some arboreal mammals. Blackbraes acts as an upland refuge, but the micro-habitat refuges are unusual in that they are provided by sandy habitats rather than more typical rock refuges.
Upland savannas: the vertebrate fauna of largely unknown but significant habitat in north-eastern Queensland
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E.P. Vanderduys, A.S. Kutt, J.E. Kemp; Upland savannas: the vertebrate fauna of largely unknown but significant habitat in north-eastern Queensland. Australian Zoologist 1 January 2012; 36 (1): 59–74. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2012.007
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