|Central coordinates||145o 44.99' East 17o 44.80' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||0 - 1,570m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2008|
Summary The Wooroonooran IBA supports a population of the vulnerable Southern Cassowary, along with populations of 14 of the 15 species endemic to the Queensland Wet Tropics (all except White-streaked Honeyeater).
Ornithological information The near threatened Bush Stone-curlew and the biome-restricted White-gaped Honeyeater, Yellow Honeyeater, White-browed Robin and Masked Finch are occasionally encountered in the IBA (Atlas of Australian Birds database).
Site description The Wooroonooran IBA encompasses the biggest block of tropical rainforest in Australia, covering 514,491 ha and stretching from south of Port Douglas past Cairns to Lucinda in north Queensland. The boundary of the IBA coincides with the Wet Tropics World Heritage area. The IBA could be extended to include additional rainforest outside this area but currently defined IBA area is judged to be sufficient to maintain populations of the key bird species. The two granite massifs that dominate the area, Mount Bartle Frere and Bellenden Ker, are the highest points in northern Australia. 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.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius||resident||1988-2008||uncommon [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Tooth-billed Bowerbird Scenopoeetes dentirostris||resident||1998-2008||frequent [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Golden Bowerbird Prionodura newtoniana||resident||1998-2008||uncommon [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||common [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Bridled Honeyeater Lichenostomus frenatus||resident||1998-2008||frequent [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow-spotted Honeyeater Meliphaga notata||resident||1998-2008||abundant [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Fernwren Oreoscopus gutturalis||resident||1998-2008||frequent [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Atherton Scrubwren Sericornis keri||resident||1998-2008||uncommon [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||frequent [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||abundant [units unknown]||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Alcock||Forest Reserve||5||protected area contained by site||5|
|Bare Hill||Conservation Park||1,150||protected area overlaps with site||378|
|Barron Gorge||National Park||2,820||protected area contained by site||2,820|
|Cardwell||Forest Reserve||45||protected area overlaps with site||5|
|Danbulla||Forest Reserve||17||protected area overlaps with site||8|
|Danbulla||National Park||7,503||protected area contained by site||7,503|
|Dinden||National Park||19,706||protected area contained by site||19,706|
|Dinden||National Park (Recovery)||950||protected area overlaps with site||769|
|Gadgarra||Forest Reserve||7,900||protected area contained by site||7,900|
|Gillies Highway||Forest Reserve||432||protected area contained by site||432|
|Girringun||National Park||202,600||protected area overlaps with site||109,461|
|Hinchinbrook||Fish Habitat Area A||12,340||protected area overlaps with site||4,659|
|Hinchinbrook Island area||Dugong Protection Area (A)||59,690||protected area overlaps with site||911|
|Japoon||Forest Reserve||4||protected area contained by site||4|
|Japoon||National Park||24,745||protected area overlaps with site||24,467|
|Kirrama||National Park||17,290||protected area contained by site||17,290|
|Kirrama||National Park (Recovery)||340||protected area contained by site||340|
|Koombooloomba||Forest Reserve||29,281||protected area contained by site||29,281|
|Kuranda||Forest Reserve||56||protected area contained by site||56|
|Kuranda||National Park||24,362||protected area overlaps with site||22,823|
|Kuranda||National Park (Recovery)||95||protected area contained by site||95|
|Little Mulgrave||Forest Reserve||10,942||protected area contained by site||10,942|
|Malaan||National Park||2,473||protected area overlaps with site||2,100|
|Meingan Creek||Conservation Park||83||protected area contained by site||83|
|Meunga||Forest Reserve||22||protected area overlaps with site||4|
|Mount Fisher||Forest Reserve||5||protected area contained by site||5|
|Mowbray||National Park||8,670||protected area overlaps with site||4,942|
|Murray Upper||National Park||21,550||protected area overlaps with site||20,745|
|Range View Nature Refuge||Other Conservation Area||4,577||protected area overlaps with site||2,384|
|Townsville / Whitsunday||Marine Park||767,027||protected area overlaps with site||4,138|
|Tully Falls||National Park||16,822||protected area contains site||16,822|
|Tully Gorge||National Park||60,235||protected area contained by site||60,235|
|Wooroonooran||National Park||114,817||protected area contained by site||80,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||Arable land||5%|
|Forest||Rainforest & vine thickets||95%|
Land ownership State or local government.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||95%|
Other biodiversity As with the birds, the area encompassed by the IBA is also very important for a range of Wet Tropics endemic mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. This includes what is almost certainly the rarest frog in Australia, Taudactylus rheophilus, one of only two species of tree kangaroos, Dendrolagus lumholtz, that occur in Australia, and three species of endemic possums, Pseudochirops archeri, Pseudochirulus herbertensis and Hmibelideus lemuroides. One frog, Cophixalus neglectus, and two skink species, Techmarscincus jigurru and Eulamprus frerei, only occur on the summits of the highest peaks in the IBA, Mount Bartle Frere and Bellenden Ker.
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 Numerous - see separate section.
Conservation response 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 vertebrates, frugivory and seed dispersal, the impact of chytrid fungus on endangered frogs, and the biogeography of frogs and reptiles, amongst many others. The comprehensive mapping of regional ecosystems 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.
Garnett, S. and Crowley, G. (2000) The action plan for Australian birds. Environment Australia: Canberra.
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.
Williams, S.E., Bolitho, E.E. and Fox, S. (2003) Climate change in Australian tropical rainforests: An impending environmental catastrophe. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 270: 1887-1892.
Stanton, P. and Stanton, D. (2005) Vegetation mapping of the Wet tropics. Wet Tropics Management Authority: Cairns.
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