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Location Australia, Northern Territory
Central coordinates 130o 20.39' East  13o 27.85' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, A4i
Area 265,648 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

BirdLife Australia



Summary The floodplains of the Daly and Reynolds Rivers support internationally significant numbers of Magpie Geese, Wandering Whistling-Ducks, Pied Herons and probably other waterbirds including Intermediate Egrets. The IBA also includes the adjacent mudflats of Anson Bay which supports up to 27,000 waders probably including more than 1% of the world's Great Knots. The IBA also supports the near-threatened Bush Stone-curlew and six restricted-range or savanna biome-restricted species.

Site description This IBA consists of all of the adjacent floodplains of the Daly and Reynolds Rivers, which have many waterbird colonies including large numbers of Magpie Geese, and Anson Bay which supports over (unidentified) 20,000 shorebirds. The Downs and Litchfield sections of the Reynolds floodplain are identified as of major importance for breeding and non-breeding Magpie Geese (Parks & Wildlife 2007). The Docherty floodplain, although poorly known, is mapped as having breeding Magpie Geese (Parks & Wildlife 2007), has similar habitat and is included for its inferred waterbird populations and its ecological role within the Anson Bay system. Many of these floodplain species may be attracted by the mixed open habitat whereas most flood plains in the Top End are dominated by solid stands of sedge and reed. The adjacent mudflats of Anson Bay support large numbers of birds from the North Peron Islands to Cape Ford. Waterbird colonies = ref W006, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 58, 59 (Chatto 2000).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Magpie Goose Anseranas semipalmata resident  1984-1991  50,000-332,000 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Wandering Whistling-duck Dendrocygna arcuata non-breeding  1990-2000  40,000 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Pied Heron Ardea picata resident  1990-2000  2,500 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Bush Thick-knee Burhinus grallarius resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A1  Least Concern 
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris non-breeding  1990-2002  5,000 individuals  poor  A4i  Vulnerable 
Varied Lorikeet Psitteuteles versicolor unknown  1998-2008  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Rainbow Pitta Pitta iris resident  1998-2008  frequent  A2, A3  Least Concern 
White-gaped Honeyeater Lichenostomus unicolor resident  1998-2008  common  A3  Least Concern 
Silver-crowned Friarbird Philemon argenticeps resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-breasted Honeyeater Ramsayornis fasciatus resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Australian Yellow White-eye Zosterops luteus resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Channel Point Coastal Reserve 250 protected area overlaps with site 107  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Melaleuca forests & woodlands  major
Wetlands (inland) Riverine floodplains  major
Coastline Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Mangrove wetlands  major

Land ownership Daly River / Port Keats ALT, and grazing properties, Litchfield Station, Labelle Downs Station.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
other major
Notes: Traditional Use
rangeland/pastureland minor

Protection status Overlaps Channel Point Coastal Reserve.

Access/Land-Owner requests This IBA is on Traditionally Owned land and two private grazing properties.

References Bamford, M., Watkins, D., Bancroft, W., Tischler, G. and Wahl, J. (2008) Migratory Shorebirds of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway; Population Estimates and Internationally Important Sites. Canberra: Wetlands International-Oceania.

Chatto, R. (2000) Waterbird breeding colonies in the Top End of the Northern Territory. Technical Report 69. Palmerston, Northern Territory: Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory.

Chatto, R. (2001) The distribution and status of colonial breeding seabirds in the NT. Technical Report 70. Palmerston, Northern Territory: Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory.

Chatto, R. (2003) The distribution and status of shorebirds around the coast and coastal wetlands of the Northern Territory. Technical Report 73. Palmerston, Northern Territory: Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory.

Chatto, R. (2006) The distribution and status of waterbirds around the coast and coastal wetlands of the Northern Territory. Technical Report 76. Palmerston, Northern Territory: Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory.

DEWHA (2008) A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Daly-Reynolds Floodplain-Estuary System - NT024. http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/environmental/wetlands/database/ accessed 2008.

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. Darwin: Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts & Sport.

Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory (2007) Management program for the magpie goose (Anseranas semipalmata) in the Northern Territory of Australia. Unpublished report. Palmerston, Northern Territory: Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory.

Ward, S. and Harrison, L. (2009) Recognising sites of conservation significance for biodiversity values in the Northern Territory. Darwin: Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts & Sport.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Anson Bay, Daly and Reynolds River Floodplains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/07/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife