The conservation significance of the biota of barrow island, western australia

A. Jasmyn J. Lynch, Robert J.S. Beeton, Penelope Greenslade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Offshore islands are often important in conservation because of the presence of locally endemic species and for acting as refuges for native wildlife from the impacts of invasive species and inappropriate development. Barrow Island, a small, semi-arid island off the Pilbara coast of northwestern Australia, has maintained the integrity of its terrestrial and aquatic biota despite sporadic incursions by invasive species and the operation of commercial oil extraction and liquified natural gas processing for over 50 years. We collate information from a wide range of sources to provide a framework to inform the ongoing management of the terrestrial and aquatic fauna and flora species that have conservation significance on the island. These include endemic flora and fauna; species listed as threatened by state, national and international authorities; species that are rare or extinct in other parts of their original range; species of biogeographic significance; and migratory birds and marine fauna of national and international significance. In addition, Barrow Island has been of value in acting as a source area for translocations of vulnerable and endangered mammal species that have been eradicated in other parts of their range. The many species with conservation significance and their use in successful translocation programs demonstrates the island’s national and international importance for conservation. In addition, Barrow Island provides exemplary opportunities for research on effective co-management of development and conservation, on mitigation and prevention of the invasion and impacts of exotic species, and on the influence of historical biogeographic processes on the distributions and evolution of biota.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-133
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of the Royal Society of Western Australia
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


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