|Central coordinates||146o 15.11' East 19o 1.85' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||10 - 1,063m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2008|
Summary Paluma supports a significant population of the vulnerable Southern Cassowary. It also supports significant populations of 13 of the 15 species restricted to the Queensland Wet Tropics (all except Atherton Scrubwren and White-streaked Honeyeater).
Ornithological information Other species recorded in the IBA include the near threatened Bush Stone-curlew and the biome-restricted White-gaped Honeyeater, Yellow Honeyeater and White-browed Robin (Atlas of Australian Birds database).
Site description The Paluma IBA encompasses the southern-most portion of tropical rainforest that makes up north Queensland's Wet Tropics rainforest. The boundary of the IBA coincides with the Wet Tropics World Heritage boundary. Additional adjacent areas of forest could be included in the IBA but the World Heritage Area adequately protects populations of the key species, especially the high-altitude species. Geologically the area is dominated by granites and metamophics, and these form ranges, high hills and mountain tops. Covering this geography is mainly rainforest vegetation with wet sclerophyll also present in some places. Historically, much of the area has been selectively logged, however the impact of this logging has been relatively minor with the ecological integrity of the area largely intact. As a high-altitude block, with most of the area above 800m and significant areas above 900m, it supports all but one of the high altitude rainforest species that are endemic to the Wet Tropics, and could be an important climate change refuge.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius||resident||1988-2007||uncommon [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Tooth-billed Bowerbird Scenopoeetes dentirostris||resident||1998-2008||common [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Golden Bowerbird Prionodura newtoniana||resident||1998-2008||frequent [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Lovely Fairywren Malurus amabilis||resident||1998-2008||uncommon [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Macleay's Honeyeater Xanthotis macleayanus||resident||1998-2008||frequent [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Bridled Honeyeater Lichenostomus frenatus||resident||1998-2008||abundant [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow-spotted Honeyeater Meliphaga notata||resident||1998-2008||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Fernwren Oreoscopus gutturalis||resident||1998-2008||frequent [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Mountain Thornbill Acanthiza katherina||resident||1998-2008||uncommon [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Chowchilla Orthonyx spaldingii||resident||1998-2008||common [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Bower's Shrike-thrush Colluricincla boweri||resident||1998-2008||common [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Pied Monarch Arses kaupi||resident||1998-2008||uncommon [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Victoria's Riflebird Ptiloris victoriae||resident||1998-2008||common [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Pale-yellow Robin Tregellasia capito||resident||1998-2008||common [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Paluma Range||National Park||69,490||protected area overlaps with site||49,590|
|Rollingstone||Forest Reserve||23||protected area contained by site||23|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Forest||Rainforest & vine thickets||100%|
Land ownership Queensland State Government - administered by Dept. of Forests and QPWS.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
|Notes: Queensland Forests and QPWS|
Other biodiversity As with the birds the Paluma Range is the southern outlier for a number of endemic fauna species including the legless lizard Coeranoscincus frontalis, Boyds forest dragon, the rainforest skink Saproscincus tetradactylus, green ringtail possum and the endangered frog Litoria nannotis.
Management considerations Assessment of impacts, monitoring and management of weeds and ferals should be a high priority for land managers. Maintenance of the ecological integrity of high altitude forests through appropriate management of public access, weeds and feral animals is particularly important.
Protection status The IBA overlaps with Paluma Range National Park and contains the small Rollingstone Forest Reserve.
Conservation response The proximity of this area to James Cook University in Townsville has meant that numerous research projects are or have been conducted in this area. The area has also been an important locality for research on rainforest ecology and management, including work on the impact of climate change on endemic verterbrates, frugivory and seed dispersal, the impact of chytrid fungus on endangered frogs, and biogeography of frogs and reptiles, amongst many others. The comprehensive mapping of regional ecosytems in the area is completed and is available for researchers and managers.
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.
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.
Kutt, A.S., King, S., Latch P. and Garnett, S.T. (2003) Distribution of cassowary habitat in the Wet Tropics bioregion, Queensland. Technical report to Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.
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).
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