|Location||Australia, New South Wales (and ACT)|
|Central coordinates||150o 39.49' East 34o 41.78' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||200 - 680m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2008|
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.
Ornithological information 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.
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.
|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 [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Rockwarbler Origma solitaria||resident||1990-2008||20 individuals||medium||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|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|
|Wetlands (inland)||Permanent herbaceous swamps & bogs||minor|
Land ownership State and local government.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
Other 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.
Management considerations Implement the management plan aims, notably management of fire to ensure habitat diversity and long term habitat maintenance; and control of introduced species that have significant impacts on the natural values of the areas. Note that high priority will be given to maintenance of habitat for the Ground Parrot and Eastern Bristlebird on the Barren Grounds and Budderoo plateau and precedence will be given to conservation of the Eastern Bristlebird.
Protection status The IBA contains Barren Grounds Nature Reserve and significant portions of Budderoo National Park and Cambewarra Range Nature Reserve.
Conservation response The University of Wollongong students conduct numerous projects in the area. There are bird banding projects by members of the Australian Bird Study Association. There were educational programs arranged/conducted by the wardens of Barren Grounds for about 20 years prior to its closing in 2003.
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.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Budderoo and Barren Grounds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/06/2013
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