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Location Australia, Queensland
Central coordinates 146o 15.11' East  19o 1.85' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 57,771 ha
Altitude 10 - 1,063m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

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).

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.

Key Biodiversity 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).

Non-bird 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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius resident  1988-2007  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  abundant  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Honeyeater Meliphaga notata resident  1998-2008  common  A2  Least Concern 
Fernwren Oreoscopus gutturalis resident  1998-2008  frequent  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Mountain Thornbill Acanthiza katherina resident  1998-2008  uncommon  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  uncommon  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  common  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
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - unspecified species 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)  
Paluma Range National Park 69,490 protected area overlaps with site 49,590  
Rollingstone Forest Reserve 23 protected area contained by site 23  
Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Site 894,420 protected area contains site 57,771  


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

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%
Notes: Queensland Forests and QPWS

Protection status The IBA overlaps with Paluma Range National Park and contains the small Rollingstone Forest Reserve.

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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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Paluma. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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