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Location Australia, Northern Territory
Central coordinates 135o 20.35' East  14o 48.78' South
IBA criteria A2, A4i
Area 223,378 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

BirdLife Australia



Summary The intertidal mudflats of Limmen Bight support more than 1% of the world's Grey-tailed Tattler and Great Knot. The coastal saline flats support more than 1% of the world's Black-winged Stilt.

Site description The IBA comprises the coastline from the Roper River to the Limmen Bight (for the shorebirds on intertidal flats) and the inland swamps south of the Roper River (which have large numbers of Black-winged Stilts) to the National Park boundary. The wetlands north of the Roper River are also important for birds but do not qualify for IBA status on current data. The main habitats are wide intertidal mudflats, scattered low samphire shrubland on otherwise bare coastal flats, and small areas (fringing channels) of low closed mangroves.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Chestnut Rail Eulabeornis castaneoventris resident  frequent  A2  Least Concern 
Himantopus leucocephalus resident  1990-2006  14,000 individuals  medium  A4i  Not Recognised 
Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes non-breeding  1990-2002  500 individuals  poor  A4i  Near Threatened 
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris non-breeding  1983  21,400 individuals  poor  A4i  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Limmen National Park 1,239,041 protected area overlaps with site 28,900  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Chenopod shrubs, samphire shrubs and forblands  minor
Coastline Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Mangrove wetlands  major

Land ownership Arnhemland and Marra ALT; may also include some of Saint Vidgeon, Nathan River and Lorella pastoral leases.

Land use

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

Other biodiversity High densities (> 5/km2) of dugong occur offshore between Limmen Bight River and Rosie Creek (seagrass beds), both in the Wet and the Dry. Medium densities of Saltwater Crocodile Crocodylus porosus occur in the Roper River estuary. Marine turtles (mix of species not yet described) use nest sites on offshore islands associated with the site (DEWHA 2008).

Protection status THe IBA overlaps the Limmen National Park.

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

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.

DEWHA (2008) Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia (Tidal Wetlands System - NT007). http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/environmental/wetlands/database/ accessed 2008.

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: Limmen Bight. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/10/2014

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