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Location Australia, Queensland
Central coordinates 153o 18.03' East  27o 27.87' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4i
Area 57,500 ha
Altitude 0 - 280m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

BirdLife Australia



Summary This IBA holds in excess of 40,000 non-breeding waders in the summer months, significant populations of the endangered Australasian Bittern, near threatened species Bush Stone-curlew and restricted-range (endemic) Mangrove Honeyeater, and more than 1% of the world population of ten species of other shorebirds.

Site description Moreton Bay is a large bay north of Brisbane, extending about 100 km in a north-south direction and between 2-35 km east-west. The IBA is defined as the intertidal area and coastal strip in the strait between the mainland and Bribie Island, and the intertidal area of Moreton Bay from the level of the south of Bribie island to Coombalah Lake and Corrigee, including the whole of Moreton Island but not North or South Stradbrooke Islands. Moreton Island is included as it has much less human impact, significant numbers of roosting birds and unknown numbers of birds in a large swamp on the north of the island. This area is defined by the feeding and roosting areas of migratory shorebirds and is regarded as one of three significant areas for migratory shorebirds in eastern Australia. Large numbers of waders occur in the maze of estuaries and rich tidal flats that are sheltered by the large, inshore sand islands of Bribie, Moreton, North and South Stradbroke. Roughly two-thirds of the waterway is intertidal mudflat or sandflat, and the remainder includes mangroves, seagrass, saltmarsh, sandy spits and forested islands. At high tide, waders rest and digest their food, and these suitable roosting sites near their feeding grounds are usually open areas above high tide (claypans, saltmarshes, sandbars, spits and mangroves), where they can see predators easily. Moreton Bay has been listed as a Ramsar Site since 1999.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Bush Thick-knee Burhinus grallarius resident  2008-2009  210 individuals  medium  A1  Least Concern 
Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris resident  1985-2007  959 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Himantopus leucocephalus non-breeding  1985-2007  4,215 individuals  good  A4i  Not Recognised 
Red-necked Avocet Recurvirostra novaehollandiae resident  1985-2007  1,491 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Red-capped Plover Charadrius ruficapillus resident  1985-2007  965 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes non-breeding  1985-2007  4,567 individuals  good  A4i  Near Threatened 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica non-breeding  1985-2007  21,241 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis non-breeding  1985-2007  3,171 individuals  good  A4i  Vulnerable 
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris non-breeding  1985-2007  3,900 individuals  good  A4i  Vulnerable 
Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis non-breeding  1985-2007  11,924 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata non-breeding  1985-2007  7,885 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Mangrove Honeyeater Lichenostomus fasciogularis resident  1985-2008  common  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bribie Island National Park 5,970 protected area overlaps with site 390  
Bullock Creek Conservation Park 54 protected area overlaps with site 27  
Coombabah Fish Habitat Area B 491 protected area overlaps with site 292  
Coomera Fish Habitat Area B 609 protected area overlaps with site 481  
Deception Bay Fish Habitat Area A 1,406 protected area overlaps with site 679  
Hay's Inlet Fish Habitat Area A 1,210 protected area overlaps with site 1,125  
Hays Inlet 1 Conservation Park 156 protected area contained by site 156  
Hays Inlet 2 Conservation Park 130 protected area contained by site 130  
Jumpinpin-Broadwater Fish Habitat Area A 10,836 protected area overlaps with site 9,647  
King Island Conservation Park 1 protected area contained by site 1  
Kippa-Ring Fish Habitat Area A 820 protected area overlaps with site 429  
Moreton Banks Fish Habitat Area A 6,347 protected area overlaps with site 5,530  
Moreton Bay Marine Park 343,930 protected area overlaps with site 50,918  
Moreton Island National Park 16,900 protected area overlaps with site 22  
Myora - Amity Banks Fish Habitat Area A 7,184 protected area overlaps with site 6,694  
Pimpama Fish Habitat Area B 242 protected area overlaps with site 185  
Pumicestone Channel Fish Habitat Area A 5,492 protected area overlaps with site 2,968  
Pumicestone Channel Fish Habitat Area B 4,686 protected area overlaps with site 2,440  
South Stradbroke Island Conservation Park 1,190 protected area overlaps with site 29  
Southern Moreton Bay Islands National Park 1,640 protected area contained by site 1,640  
St Helena Island National Park 75 protected area contained by site 75  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Mangrove wetlands; Salt marshes  100%

Land ownership Redcliffe City, Gold Coast City, Brisbane City, Pine Rivers, Caboolture and Redland Shire Councils. They are responsible for managing roosts on most of the freehold and leasehold land on the mainland and islands. Queensland Environmental Protection Agency is the management agency for the islands in Moreton Bay within national parks.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture major
nature conservation and research major
tourism/recreation major

Other biodiversity Whales - Humpback, Southern Right, Killer, Sperm, Melon-headed and Minke all visit Moreton Bay. Dugongs feed on the extensive seagrass beds. Grey nurse sharks congregate around particular rocky grottos. Hawksbill, Green and Loggerhead Turtles are three species that extensively use Moreton Bay as a hatchery for young. A number of species of dolphins are found in Moreton Bay such as two species of Indo-pacific Bottlenose, Indo-pacific Humpback, Common Dolphin and Irrawaddy Dolphin. Seven species of mangroves are found in Moreton Bay. A high density of marine plants exist in the bay including seven species of seagrass belonging to five different families.

Protection status Numerous - see separate section.

Acknowledgements The nomination was prepared by Dez Wells assisted by the Queensland Wader Study Group.

References Driscoll, P.V. (1996) The distribution of waders along the Queensland coastline. Report to the QLD Department of Environment and Heritage.

Queensland Wader Study Group (2006).Queensland Wader Database for Moreton Bay.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Moreton Bay and Pumicestone Passage. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/09/2014

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