email a friend
printable version
Location Australia, New South Wales (and ACT)
Central coordinates 150o 39.49' East  34o 41.78' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 7,334 ha
Altitude 200 - 680m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary The mosaic of sandstone heath and eucalypt woodlands supports large numbers of the endangered Eastern Bristlebird, and smaller numbers of the restricted-range Rockwarbler and Pilotbird.

Site description The heathland of Barren Grounds, Budderoo and Red Rocks is one of only four large areas of heath along this section of coast. The heaths and sedgelands of the plateau grade into warm temperate rainforest and subtropical rainforest on the slopes, gullies and ridges below the escarpment. The area is a typical hanging swamp plateau, dominated by heathland and almost completely encircled by sheer cliffs. Red Rocks is a nearby area of heath and this IBA may warrant expansion if Bristlebirds establish themselves in other pockets of habitat in the vicinity. The climate is temperate with damp winters and warm, humid summers moderated by proximity to the coast.

Key Biodiversity Approximately 160 bird species have been recorded in Barren Grounds Nature Reserve of which nearly a third breed in the reserve. This includes counts of 20-40 Ground Parrots in recent surveys (which are probably under-estimates).Eastern Bristlebirds have been recorded some 15 km west at Fitzroy Falls and Upper Kangaroo Valley with a small population about 5 km SE at Red Rocks NR indicating that there is some dispersion of birds through suitable corridor habitat.

Non-bird biodiversity: Threatened species include the Tiger Quoll, Dasyurus maculatus, Long-nosed Potoroo, Potorous tridactylus, Common Bent-wing Bat, Miniopterus schreibersii, Red-crowned Toadlet, Pseudophryne australis, Giant Barred Frog, Mixophyes iteratus or M. balbus, and Giant Burrowing Frog, Heleioporus australiacus. The Broad-headed Snake, Hoplocephalus bungaroides, is also likely to occur. A rare, undescribed species of frog, Litoria sp., similar to the Jervis Bay Tree Frog, Litoria jervisiensis, has been recorded in heath at Barren Grounds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eastern Bristlebird Dasyornis brachypterus resident  1992-1996  810 individuals  medium  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Pilotbird Pycnoptilus floccosus resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A2  Least Concern 
Rockwarbler Origma solitaria resident  1990-2008  20 individuals  medium  A2, A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2008 high not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Barren Grounds Nature Reserve 2,079 protected area contained by site 2,024  
Budderoo National Park 7,233 protected area overlaps with site 3,869  
Cambewarra Range Nature Reserve 1,686 protected area overlaps with site 932  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Eucalypt low open forests  major
Shrubland Heath  major
Wetlands (inland) Permanent herbaceous swamps & bogs  minor

Land ownership State and local government.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

Protection status The IBA contains Barren Grounds Nature Reserve and significant portions of Budderoo National Park and Cambewarra Range Nature Reserve.

Acknowledgements Thanks to Chris Brandis, Illawarra Bird Observers Club for drafting the nomination. Thanks also to Jack Backer of NSW NPWS, Dept. of Environment and Conservation, NSW for expert assistance.

References Baker, J. (1997) The decline, response to fire, status and management of the Eastern Bristlebird. Pacific Cons. Biology 3: 235-243. Baker, J. (1998) Eastern Bristlebird Recovery Plan 1997-2002. NSW NPWS, Sydney. Bain, D. and McPhee, N. (2005) Resurveys of the eastern bristlebird Dasyornis brachypterus in central-eastern New South Wales 1999-2001: their relationship with fire and observer competence. Corella, 29(1): 1-6. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (1998) Budderoo National Park, Macquarie Pass National Park, Barren Grounds Nature Reserve and Robertson Nature Reserve plan of management.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Budderoo and Barren Grounds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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