Vertebrates of the Gibson Desert, Australia
The Gibson Desert is an ecoregion in Western Australia, which is in the Deserts and Xeric Shrublands biome classification. The land area covered by this ecoregion amounts to 60,200 square miles. A number of mammals, birds and reptiles occur within the Gibson Desert ecoregion, including five taxa iclassified as threatened. Most of the human population within the Gibson Desert are aboriginal peoples.
Major expanses of the Gibson Desert are characterized by gravel-covered topography covered in sparse desert grasses; furthermore, the arid ecoregion sports vast areas of undulating red sand plains and dunefields, low-lying rocky to gravelly ridges and sizeable upland [laterite] soil areas. The sandy soil of the lateritic buckshot plains is particularly high in iron content. Several isolated saline lakes occur in the centre of the region, and at the southwest a series of smaller lakes follow ancient paleo-drainage features. Groundwater resources include elements of the Officer Basin and Canning Basin. Annual precipitation within the Gibson Desert can vary from 200 to 250 millimeters. The climate is typically hot, with austral summer maximum temperatures rising above 40 degrees Celsius
There are 362 vertebrate species present in this ecoregion, including a number of birds, reptiles and mammals. There are five threatened species present within the Gibson Desert, although species endemism is low. Threatened mammals found in the Gibson Desert are the: Vulnerable greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis) and the Near Threatened rock wallaby (Petrogale lateralis),.Two notable avafauna species present in the Gibson Desert are the Near Threatened Alexandra's parrot (Polytelis alexandrae) and the Near threatened Australian bustard (Ardeotis australis). The woma (Aspidites ramsayi) is an endangered species of reptile occurring here.
- C.Michael Hogan; World Wildlife Fund. 2012. ''Gibson Desert.. Encyclopedia of Earth, National Council for Science and the Environment, Washington DC Topic ed. Peter Saundry..