Carnarvon Xeric Scrub | WWF

Carnarvon Xeric Scrub

About the Area

This Global ecoregion is made up of these terrestrial ecoregions: Carnarvon xeric shrublands; Pilbara shrublands. Habitats in the Carnarvon Xeric Scrub support a vast diversity of species adapted to harsh desert conditions.

High levels of species richness and endemism are prevalent particularly for birds and reptiles with a number of localised centres of endemism such as the Cape Range Peninsula - made of limestone that once lined the ocean floor. Today it has over 400 deep caves, many gorges, and cliffs that are almost 1,000 feet (300 m) high and support numerous unique plants and animals.

Local Species
Mammal species whose entire ranges are restricted to this xeric ecoregion include the Red-eared antechinus (Dasykaluta rosamondae), Wongai ningaui (Ningaui ridei), and the Banded hare-wallaby (Lagostrophus fasciatus).

The endangered Burrowing bettong (Bettongia lesueur), the vulnerable Black-footed rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis), Ghost bat (Macroderma gigas), Northern mastiff-bat (Chaerephon jobensis), Hill's sheathtail-bat (Taphozous hilli), Common planigale (Planigale maculata), and Common wallaroo (Macropus robustus) are some of the numerous other mammals found here.

Bird species include Rock parrot (Neophema petrophila), Red-tailed black-cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii), Pallid cuckoo (Cuculus pallidus), Tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides), Sacred kingfisher (Todirhamphus sanctus), Rainbow bee-eater (Merops ornatus), and Chestnut-rumped thornbill (Acanthiza uropygialis).

The ecoregion is also home to a tremendous diversity of endemic reptile species, including Spinifex gecko (Diplodactylus savagei), Wombey's gecko (Diplodactylus wombeyi), Beaked legless lizard (Aprasia rostrata), Elegant scalyfoot (Delma elegans), Black-striped legless lizard (Pletholax gracilis), Australian striped ctenotus (Ctenotus australis), and Pilbara red skink (Egernia pilbarensis).

Among the few amphibian species that persist here are the Desert treefrog (Litoria rubella), the endemic Blotched toadlet (Uperoleia glandulosa), Trilling frog (Neobatrachus centralis), and Orange-crowned toadlet (Pseudophryne occidentalis).

Over grazing, mining, spread of invasive plant species and feral animals, such as cats and goats, all pose threats to the ecoregion.


270,000 sq. km (104,000 sq. miles)

Habitat type:
Deserts and Xeric Shrublands

Geographic Location:
Western Australia

Conservation Status:

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