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Location Australia, Northern Territory
Central coordinates 130o 24.90' East  12o 57.18' South
IBA criteria A4i
Area 78,868 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

BirdLife Australia



Summary The floodplain of the Finniss River supports more than 1% of the world's Magpie Geese and Pied Herons. The adjacent intertidal mud of Fog Bay support more than 1% of the world's Great Knot and Grey-tailed Tattler, amongst the maximum of 35,000 shorebirds recorded.

Site description This IBA includes the intertidal areas of Fog Bay, from Point Jenny to Stingray Head, and the whole floodplain system of the Finniss River. The Finniss River floodplain is mostly seasonally inundated paperbark and sedge swamps. The Wagait section has significant numbers of Magpie Geese (Parks & Wildlife 2007). Three waterbird colonies are listed in Chatto (2000a) as refs W019, 20, 22, 24. Fog Bay is dominated by sand/mudflats or reefs, a mangrove or grassy sand dune shoreline and, in places, open saline flats and samphire areas and mangrove-lined channels. Chatto (2000b) suggested that the area of significance for shorebirds extends north past Dundee Downs to a chain of islands (Dum in Mirrie, Beer Eetar and Grose) but the data are inadequate to support IBA nomination of this area.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Magpie Goose Anseranas semipalmata resident  1984-1991  394,000 individuals  poor  A4i  Least Concern 
Pied Heron Ardea picata unknown  1990-2000  1,000 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Grey-tailed Tattler Heteroscelus brevipes non-breeding  1990-2000  560 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris non-breeding  1990-2000  14,000 individuals  medium  A4i  Vulnerable 

Habitats

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

Land ownership Delissaville/Wagait/Larrakia ALT

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
other major
Notes: Traditional Use

Access/Land-Owner requests This IBA is on Traditionally Owned land.

References Chatto, R. (2000a) 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. (2000b) A management strategy and protected areas system for coastal wildlife. (Documentation of selected sites in the Northern Territory of Australia which would qualify for nomination under the East Asian - Australasian Shorebird Site Network). Unpublished report, 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.

DEWHA (2008) Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia(NT025). 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. Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts & Sport, Darwin, NT.

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: Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, Palmerston.

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: Fog Bay and Finniss River Floodplains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/07/2014

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