Helena and Aurora Range (Bungalbin) was identified as having one of the highest conservation values by Gibson et al. (2010) among the ironstone ranges of south western Australia. This page is a brief summary or quick reference to the known conservation values of Helena and Aurora Range. More detail on the conservation values of Helena and Aurora Range is provided in Natural Heritage, Significant Flora List and Fauna List. As more information becomes known about the flora and fauna of Helena and Aurora Range some of these details may change. We will endeavour to keep these details as up to date as possible.
A visit to Helena and Aurora Range would also convince people of the National Natural Heritage values of this range.
Landscape and Landform values
Helena and Aurora Range is the tallest and largest Banded Ironstone Formation (BIF) Range in the Coolgardie Bioregion, being up to 704 m above sea level (200 m above the flat woodlands) and the main range extending over a distance of 13 km of approximately 23 km of convoluted hills (lying in a northeast - southwest direction) as well as ~22 km of low BIF hills extending out to the northwest (towards Mt Jackson Range). It is located in an otherwise relatively flat landscape with other BIF ranges situated at a distance of approximately 20 km (Hunt Range) to 55 km (Mt Jackson, Mt Finnerty, Koolyanobbing and Mt Manning Ranges).
Flora and Fauna values
Helena and Aurora Range has:
- Four Declared Rare Flora (DRF); Tetratheca aphylla subsp. aphylla (listed as Threatened (or Rare) in WA and Vulnerable by the Commonwealth), Leucapogon spectabilis (listed as Threatened (or Rare) in WA and Critically Endangered by Commonwealth), Lepidosperma bungalbin (listed as Threatened (or Rare) in WA), and Acacia shapelleae (listed as Threatened (or Rare) in WA).
- Twelve Priority plant species (listed in WA). Acacia adinophylla (P1), Eremophila hamulata (P1) (previously known as Eremophila sp. McDermid Rock (AP Brown 3615)), Grevillea georgeana (P3), Hibbertia lepidocaylx subsp. tuberculata (P3), Lepidosperma ferricola (P3), Mirbelia ferricola (P3), Neurachne annularis (P3), Stenenthemum newbeyi (P3) , Dryandra arborea (P4), Eucalyptus formanii (P4), Grevilea erectiloba (P4), Phlegnatospermum eremaeum (P3).
- One Threatened Fauna species; Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata).
- Four conservation significant fauna species; Tree-stem Trapdoor Spider (Aganippe castellum) (P4), Peregrine Falcon (SP), Rainbow Bee-eater (International Agreement), Fork-tailed Swift (International Agreement).
- Five endemic plant species on Helena and Aurora Range including Tetratheca aphylla subsp. aphylla (T), Leucapogon spectabilis (T), Lepidosperma bungalbin (P1), Acacia adinophylla (P1) and Acacia shapelleae (P1).
- At least ten Banded Ironstone Formation (BIF) dependent flora including two DRF (Tetratheca aphylla subsp. aphylla and Leucapogon spectabilis) plus eight Priority species including Dryandra arborea (P4), Stenenthemum newbeyi (P3), Acacia adinophylla (P1), Mirbelia ferricola (P3), Grevillea georgeana (P3), Lepidosperma ferricola (P3), Lepidosperma bungalbin (P1) and Acacia shapelleae (P1) (previously named - Acacia sp. Bungalbin Hill (JJ Alford 1119)). In addition there is Neurachne annularis (P3) that is strongly associated with BIF debris slopes on Helena and Aurora Range, however, there is some evidence that this species may occur on other
- soil types elsewhere (e.g. south of Mt Jackson Station Homestead).
- Two BIF dependent fauna; Peregrine Falcon, Little Woodswallow (both species dependent on BIF for nesting sites) and a further four species dependent on BIF habitat including Western Yellow Robin, Golden Whistler, Shy Heathwren (Shy Hylacola) and Woolley's Pseudantechinus (Department of Environment and Conservation, 2008).
- One Priority Ecological Community (PEC); Helena and Aurora Range vegetation complexes (banded ironstone formation). Threats: iron ore mining Priority 1. (listed in WA).
- In the order of 380 flora species recorded as occurring on Helena and Aurora Range as of 2017.
- A total of 161 fauna species have been identified as occurring on the range during surveys in Dell et al. (1985), Lyons and Chapman (1997) and Ecologia (2014) including; 87 bird species, 46 reptile species, two frog species and 26 mammal species (nine marsupials, nine bats, four rodents, one canine (dingo), fox, feral cat and Rabbit).
- Dell J, Howe RA, Newbey KR and Hnatiuk RJ (1985) The Biological Survey of the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Part 3. Jackson-Kalgoorlie. Records of Western Australian Museum Supplement No. 23. WA Museum, Perth.
- Ecologia Environment (2014) J5 and Bungalbin East project. Terrestrial Fauna and Subterranean Fauna Assessment. Perth, Western Australia. Unpublished Report prepared for Polaris Metals Pty Ltd
- Lyons MN and Chapman A (eds) (1997) A Biological Survey of the Helena and Aurora Range, Eastern Goldfields Western Australia. Unpublished Report for Environment Australia, Canberra.