Well are they dead or are they alive? There have certainly been considerable changes in the microbial communities in the thrombolites in the last 10 years. Yesterday the Lake Clifton thrombolites were listed as critically endangered under the Federal EPBC Act under the following criteria
Criterion 2 as critically endangered because its geographic distribution is very restricted and the nature of its distribution makes it likely that the action of a threatening process could cause it to be lost in the immediate future;
Criterion 3 as critically endangered because the loss or decline of functionally important species is very severe;
Criterion 4 as critically endangered because the reduction in integrity of critical ecological processes is very severe; and
Criterion 5 as endangered because the rate of continuing detrimental change is severe and is projected to continue in the immediate future.
"The Lake Clifton thrombolite community is subject to numerous threats, most of which originate outside the ecological community itself. Scientific research suggests that there has been significant environmental degradation at Lake Clifton since at least the early 1990s (Moore, 1990; WA CALM, 2004a). This is despite the Peel-Yalgorup …