email a friend
printable version
Location Australia, Queensland
Central coordinates 145o 15.25' East  16o 9.71' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 265,614 ha
Altitude 0 - 1,330m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary The Daintree IBA supports a population of the vulnerable Southern Cassowary and all of the 15 restricted-range species of the Queensland Wet Tropics. Most Wet Tropics endemics are common but the status of White-streaked Honeyeater is poorly known.

Site description The Daintree IBA is located at the northern end of the Wet Tropics and encompasses one of the largest and most intact blocks of tropical rainforest remaining in Australia stretching from Helenvale south to Mount Molloy and encompassing 269,041 ha. The boundary of the IBA coincides with the Wet Tropics World Heritage area. Additional areas of forest could be included in the IBA but the World Heritage Area adequately protects populations of all the key bird species. Dominating the underlying geology of the area are granites and metamorphics, forming high hills and mountains which rise up from a narrow coastal plain. Covering this topography is rainforest vegetation; the Daintree IBA encompasses the most intact sequence of rainforest vegetation from coast to mountain top in the Wet Tropics. Overall the area has little human impact although development pressure is increasing. The climate of the region is monsoonal with a pronounced wet and dry season.

Key Biodiversity Infrequent sightings of Bush Stone-curlew, Silver-crowned Friarbird, Yellow Honeyeater and Banded Honeyeater were reported in Atlas of Australian Bird surveys from 1998 to 2008 (Atlas of Australian Birds).

Non-bird biodiversity: The Daintree IBA contains populations of three species of endangered frog, Common Mistfrog, Waterfall Frog and Lace-eyed Tree Frog. The area also contains a number of threatened plant species and Regional Ecosystems. Given its location in the Wet Tropics and the isolated and rugged nature of the area, it is almost certain that with further investigation other significant fauna and flora values will be discovered within the IBA.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A1  Vulnerable 
Tooth-billed Bowerbird Scenopoeetes dentirostris resident  1998-2008  common  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Golden Bowerbird Prionodura newtoniana resident  1998-2008  frequent  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Lovely Fairywren Malurus amabilis resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A2  Least Concern 
Macleay's Honeyeater Xanthotis macleayanus resident  1998-2008  frequent  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Bridled Honeyeater Lichenostomus frenatus resident  1998-2008  common  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Honeyeater Meliphaga notata resident  1998-2008  common  A2  Least Concern 
White-streaked Honeyeater Trichodere cockerelli resident  1998-2008  rare  A2  Least Concern 
Fernwren Oreoscopus gutturalis resident  1998-2008  common  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Atherton Scrubwren Sericornis keri resident  1998-2008  frequent  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Mountain Thornbill Acanthiza katherina resident  1998-2008  abundant  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Chowchilla Orthonyx spaldingii resident  1998-2008  common  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Bower's Shrike-thrush Colluricincla boweri resident  1998-2008  common  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Pied Monarch Arses kaupi resident  1998-2008  frequent  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Victoria's Riflebird Ptiloris victoriae resident  1998-2008  common  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Pale-yellow Robin Tregellasia capito resident  1998-2008  abundant  A2  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2008 medium not assessed not assessed
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Black Mountain National Park 903 protected area contained by site 903  
Brooklyn Private Nature Reserve 60,000 protected area overlaps with site 4,600  
Cairns Marine Park 702,533 protected area overlaps with site 2,315  
Cedar Bay National Park 5,650 protected area contained by site 5,650  
Cooper Creek Wilderness Nature Refuge Other Conservation Area 56 protected area contained by site 56  
Daintree National Park 76,798 protected area contained by site 76,800  
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park 34,440,000 protected area overlaps with site 403  
Mount Lewis Forest Reserve 21,287 protected area overlaps with site 14,058  
Mount Spurgeon Forest Reserve 1,194 protected area contained by site 1,194  
Mount Windsor National Park 43,820 protected area overlaps with site 20,367  
Mowbray National Park 8,670 protected area overlaps with site 2,960  
Riflemead 1 Forest Reserve 627 protected area contained by site 627  
Riflemead 2 Forest Reserve 1,043 protected area contained by site 1,043  
Von Keyserlingk Woodlands Nature Refuge Other Conservation Area 67 protected area overlaps with site 56  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Rainforest & vine thickets  95%
Coastline Mangrove wetlands  5%

Land ownership Queensland State Government - Dept of NPWS.

Land use

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

Protection status Numerous - see separate section.

Acknowledgements The nomination was prepared by Alastair Freeman.

References Barrett, G., Silcocks, A., Barry, S., Cunningham, R. and Poulter,R. (2003) 'The new atlas of Australian birds'. (Birds Australia: Melbourne).

Crome, F.H.J. and Moore, L.A. (1990) Cassowaries in north-eastern Queensland: report of a survey and a review and assessment of their status and conservation and management needs. Australian Wildlife Research 17: 369-385.

Garnett, S. and Crowely, G. (2000). 'The Action Plan for Australian birds'. (Environment Australia: Canberra).

Higgins, P.J., Peter, J.M. and Steele, W.K. (2001) Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 5. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Hilbert, D.W., Bradford, M., Parker, T. and Westcott, D.A. (2004) 'Golden bowerbird (Prionodura newtoniana) habitat in past, present and future climate: predicted extinction of a vertebrate in tropical highlands due to global warming. Biological Conservation 16 :367-377.

Nix, N.A. and Switzer, M.A. (1991). 'Rainforest animals. Atlas of vertebrates endemic to Australia's Wet Tropics'. (Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service: Canberra).

Stanton, P. and Stanton, D. (2005). 'Vegetation mapping of the Wet tropics. Wet Tropics Management Authority, Cairns. Australia.

Wet Tropics Management Authority (1996). Wet tropics in profile. Reference guide to the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area. (Wet Tropics Management Authority, Cairns).

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 (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Daintree. Downloaded from on 18/04/2015

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