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Pumped Hydro will destroy the habitat of endangered plants and animals found in Eungella

Updated: May 15, 2023

The proposed Pioneer-Burdekin pumped hydro scheme will directly and indirectly impact habitat that is critical to Eungella’s threatened species protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act), and the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld NC Act).


Eungella is known for its lush rainforests, beautiful rivers, and diverse wildlife and is home to many rare and endemic animal and plant species, some of which are threatened to near extinction. Eungella National Park has over 1,417 recorded species, including those listed as threatened under the EPBC Act being 1 Extinct, 4 Endangered, and 10 Vulnerable, together with those listed as threatened under the Qld NC Act being 3 Critically Endangered, 8 Endangered, 16 Vulnerable, and 6 Near Threatened.


Endangered and threatened animal species in Eungella

Eungella Day Frog (Taudactylus Eungellensis)

This frog species is endemic to the Eungella range and is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is threatened by habitat loss, disease, and climate change.

Eungella Day Frog (Taudactylus Eungellensis)
Eungella Day Frog - Photo Credit Stephen Mahony


Eungella Gastric Brooding Frog (Rheobatrachus Vitellinus)

This frog species was thought to be extinct until its rediscovery in the 1980s. It is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN and is threatened by habitat loss, disease, and predation.

Eungella Gastric Brooding Frog (Rheobatrachus Vitellinus)
Eungella Gastric Brooding Frog - Photo Credit Conrad Hoskin

Eungella Tinker Frog (Taudactylus Diurnus)

This frog species is also endemic to Eungella and is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. It is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.

Eungella Tinker Frog (Taudactylus Diurnus)
Eungella Tinker Frog - Photo Credit Jean-Marc Hero

Northern Quoll (Dasyurus Hallucatus)

This small carnivorous marsupial is listed as endangered by the IUCN. It is threatened by habitat loss, predation, and disease.

Northern Quoll (Dasyurus Hallucatus)
Northern Quoll - Photo Credit South Endeavour Trust

Central Greater Glider (Petauroides Volans)

This arboreal marsupial is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. It is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.

Central Greater Glider (Petauroides Volans)
Central Greater Glider - Photo Credit Bruce Thomson

Orange-speckled Forest-Skink (Saproscincus Saltus)

This lizard species is endemic to Eungella and is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. It is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.

Orange-speckled Forest-Skink (Saproscincus Saltus)
Orange-speckled Forest-Skink - Photo Credit Conrad Hoskin

Eungella Leaf-tailed Gecko (Phyllurus Ossa)

This lizard species is also endemic to Eungella and is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. It is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.

Eungella Leaf-tailed Gecko (Phyllurus Ossa)
Eungella Leaf-tailed Gecko

Eungella Spiny Crayfish (Euastacus Eungella)

This crayfish species is endemic to Eungella and is listed as vulnerable by the Queensland Government. It is threatened by habitat loss, water pollution, and overfishing.

Eungella Spiny Crayfish (Euastacus Eungella)
Eungella Spiny Crayfish - Photo Credit Robert McCormack

Slugs and snails found in Eungella

Several species of land snails and slugs are found in Eungella, some of which are threatened to extinction. These include the Eungella Granular Slugs, Eungella Gastrocopta Snails, and Eungella Clausiliid Snails.

Endangered and threatened plant species in Eungella

Eungella Stink Bush (Croton Eungellensis)

This shrub species is endemic to Eungella and is listed as endangered by the Queensland Government. It is threatened by habitat loss and fire.

Eungella Stink Bush (Croton Eungellensis)
Eungella Stink Bush - Photo Credit Aaron Bean

Prostanthera Eungella (Prostanthera Eungellensis)

This shrub species is also endemic to Eungella and is listed as endangered by the Queensland Government. It is threatened by habitat loss and fire.

Prostanthera Eungella (Prostanthera Eungellensis)
Prostanthera Eungella - Photo Credit Angus Stewart

Eungella Coleus (Plectranthus Eungellensis)

This herbaceous plant species is endemic to Eungella and is listed as endangered by the Queensland Government. It is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation.

Eungella Coleus (Plectranthus Eungellensis)
Eungella Coleus - Photo Credit Mackay Regional Council

Red Eungella Satinash (Syzygium Eucalyptoides)

This tree species is endemic to Eungella and is listed as vulnerable by the Queensland Government. It is threatened by habitat loss, fire, and disease.

Red Eungella Satinash (Syzygium Eucalyptoides)
Red Eungella Satinash - Photo Credit Tony Rodd

Eungella Hairy Daisy (Olearia Myrsinoides)

This herbaceous plant species is endemic to Eungella and is listed as vulnerable by the Queensland Government. It is threatened by habitat loss and fire.

Eungella Hairy Daisy (Olearia Myrsinoides)
Eungella Hairy Daisy - Photo Credit Melburnian

Dryopteris Sparsa

This fern species is endemic to Eungella and is listed as vulnerable by the Queensland Government. It is threatened by habitat loss and disturbance.

Dryopteris Sparsa
Dryopteris Sparsa - Photo Credit G. Sankowsky

It's clear that Eungella and the surrounding areas are home to a diverse range of rare, endangered, vulnerable, threatened, near threatened, and unique animal and plant species. That is why the conservation of the land and habitat is vital for the protection of these species and essential for maintaining the biodiversity and ecological integrity of the area. Efforts are being made to protect and conserve these species, including habitat restoration, predator control, and public education. However, the proposed Pioneer-Burdekin pumped hydro project will undo conservation efforts and will almost certainly have an overwhelmingly negative impact on the habitat and survival of these rare, unique and endangered plants and animals.

References

"Potential Impacts of the Pioneer-Burdekin Hydro Scheme on Eungella’s Threatened Species" by Eungella Wildlife Preservation Society (EWPS) (2019)


"Assessment of impacts of pumped hydro energy storage facilities on endangered species in Queensland" by Queensland Department of Environment and Science (2018)


"Environmental Impact Statement for the Pioneer Hydro Scheme" by Powerlink Queensland (2017)


"Effects of hydropower development on biodiversity: A review" by Ficetola et al. (2019)


"Hydropower development and conservation in the Amazon and Congo Basins" by Zipper and Kormos (2018)


EPBC Act list of threatened species



"Pioneer-Burdekin pumped hydro scheme: Impact on Eungella's threatened species" by the Mackay Conservation Group. Available at https://www.mackayconservationgroup.org.au


"Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999" by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Available at https://www.environment.gov.au/epbc


"Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992" by the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science. Available at https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au


"Threatened species and ecological communities" by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Available at https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened


"Eungella National Park Management Plan 2020" by the Queensland Government Department of Environment and Science. Available at https://parks.des.qld.gov.au

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