The Menindee Lakes system in the Darling Riverine Plains bioregion in western New South Wales supports a diverse terrestrial vertebrate fauna. A survey of this fauna in spring 2000 and summer 2001 for the New South Wales Department of Land and Water Conservation revealed 12 mammal families (representing 25 species), 60 families of birds (164 species), eight reptile families (39 species), and two families of frogs (at least 7 species). Several new vertebrate species for the area were recorded, including the Stripe-faced Dunnart Sminthopsis macroura, Regent Parrot Polytelis anthopeplus and Woodland Blind Snake Ramphotyphlops proximus. Including historical records, the Menindee Lakes supports at least 305 terrestrial vertebrate species, including 18 species that are considered officially threatened in an international, national, or state context. At least another 18 terrestrial species are considered threatened regionally. Eight bird species are also protected under international agreements (JAMBA and CAMBA). The amount of woodlands in the region is relatively small, typically restricted to floodplains and the periphery of lakes, and usually dominated by either Black Box Eucalyptus largiflorens or River Red Gum E. camaldulensis. These woodlands, particularly the Black Box-dominated communities, were found to support relatively high numbers of terrestrial species because the Lower Darling River, its lakes and floodplains, provide resource-rich habitats in an otherwise resource-poor landscape.
A Survey of the Terrestrial Vertebrate Fauna of the Menindee Lakes, Western New South Wales
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Geoff Brown, Keith Cherry, Jennifer Nelson, Louise Grgat; A Survey of the Terrestrial Vertebrate Fauna of the Menindee Lakes, Western New South Wales. Australian Zoologist 1 October 2003; 32 (3): 381–400. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2002.016
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