|Location||Australia, Northern Territory|
|Central coordinates||135o 39.97' East 12o 17.44' South|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary The intertidal mudflats of Buckingham Bay support significant numbers of Eastern Curlew, and >20,000 mixed waterbirds. The coastal floodplains also support large numbers of waterbirds including more than 1% of the world's nesting Pied Herons.
Site description The IBA consists of the entire coastline of Buckingham Bay (which supports significant numbers of waders; Chatto 2003) and the seasonally inundated floodplain located immediately behind the bay (which supports significant numbers of waterbirds; Chatto 2006). The coastal habitat captured by the IBA consists of mud and salt flats with pockets of mangrove around Buckingham River (Harrison et al. 2009).
Key Biodiversity The intertidal mudflats of Buckingham Bay have supported up to 6000 near threatened Black-tailed Godwit (Chatto 2006). A waterbird nesting colony in the south-west corner of Buckingham Bay had about 2250 Intermediate Egrets, 450 Little Egrets, 240 Great Egrets, 60 Cattle Egrets, 2000 Pied Herons and 500 Rufous Night-Herons in March 1999 (Chatto 2000; waterbird breeding colony ref W040). The largest count of waders was 31,000 in February 1983 (Garnett 1983) and Chatto (2003) recorded 19,000 in January 1996 and 15,000 in March 1992 and April 1994, but Garnett (1987) estimates the average summer count as a little over 20,000.
Non-bird biodiversity: Buckingham Bay and associated coastal floodplains support seven plant species which are endemic to the Northern Territory (Harrison et al. 2009).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Pied Heron Egretta picata||resident||1990-1999||2,000 individuals||poor||A4i||Least Concern|
|Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis||non-breeding||1990-2002||700 individuals||poor||A4i||Vulnerable|
|2008||medium||not assessed||not assessed|
|Poor - based on little, or potentially unreliable/unrepresentative, data|
|Climate change and severe weather||storms and floods||likely in long term (beyond 4 years)||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Mangrove wetlands||major|
|Wetlands (inland)||Riverine floodplains||major|
Land ownership xxx
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Traditional use|
Access/Land-Owner requests This IBA is on Traditionally Owned land.
References Chatto, R. (2000) Waterbird breeding colonies in the Top End of the Northern Territory. Technical Report 69, Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, Palmerston.
Chatto, R. (2003) The distribution and status of shorebirds around the coast and coastal wetlands of the Northern Territory. Technical Report 73, Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, Palmerston.
Chatto, R. (2006) The distribution and status of waterbirds around the coast and coastal wetlands of the Northern Territory. Technical Report 76, Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, Palmerston.
Garnett, S. (1983) Report on the fifth aerial survey of migratory wading birds between Weipa and Millingimbi. The Stilt 4: 15-17.
Garnett, S. (1987) Aerial surveys of waders (Aves: Charadriiformes) along the coast of north-eastern Australia. Australian Wildlife Research 14: 521-528.
Harrison, L., McGuire, L., Ward, S. Fisher, A., Pavey, C., Fegan, M. and Lynch, B. (2009) An inventory of sites of international and national significance for biodiversity values in the Northern Territory. Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts & Sport, Darwin, NT.
Ward, S. and Harrison, L. (2009) Recognising sites of conservation significance for biodiversity values in the Northern Territory. Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts & Sport, Darwin, NT.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Buckingham Bay. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/11/2014
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