Article Index

Survey results

Species lists were more than doubled for most of the islands where historical information existed, and a significant amount of new information was gathered for those islands not previously surveyed.

Based on current estimates the following species of the Northern Kimberley bioregion are collectively now known to occur on the surveyed islands:

  • 74 per cent of mammal
  • 59 per cent of reptile
  • 70 per cent of frog
  • 69 per cent of bird
  • 56 per cent of plant.

Previously unknown island populations of many vertebrates were discovered, including two new populations of each of the threatened Northern Quoll, Golden Bandicoot and Golden-backed Tree Rat.

Three new reptile species were discovered and an astonishing 84 land snail species were newly described.

A significant number of species endemic to the Northern Kimberley mainland were detected on the islands. This included all five endemic mammals, almost all of the frogs and reptiles, and more than half of the birds. Among the land snails, 62 were endemic to a single island.

In terms of conservation value, the largest and most rugged islands in the high rainfall section of the northern Kimberley coast are particularly important due to their high species diversity, including many regional endemic species.

However, the lower rainfall islands also have unique species communities and some are important refuges for threatened mammals.

The enormous amount of information that has been gathered is now collated, most of which is now available as peer-reviewed papers on the Western Australian Museum’s website (Biodiversity values on selected Kimberley islands, Australia).

Data will also be made available on NatureMap.


  • Retroterra costa.
    Photo © Vince Kassner
  • Magnificent tree frog (Littoria splendida).
    Photo © Mark Cowan
  • Black whip snake (Demansia papuensismelaena).
    Photo © Parks and Wildlife