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Location Australia, Queensland
Central coordinates 145o 44.99' East  17o 44.80' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 512,530 ha
Altitude 0 - 1,570m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia



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).

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.

Key Biodiversity 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).

Non-bird 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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius resident  1988-2008  uncommon  A1  Vulnerable 
Tooth-billed Bowerbird Scenopoeetes dentirostris resident  1998-2008  frequent  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Golden Bowerbird Prionodura newtoniana resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Lovely Fairywren Malurus amabilis resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A2  Least Concern 
Macleay's Honeyeater Xanthotis macleayanus resident  1998-2008  common  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Bridled Honeyeater Lichenostomus frenatus resident  1998-2008  frequent  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Honeyeater Meliphaga notata resident  1998-2008  abundant  A2  Least Concern 
Fernwren Oreoscopus gutturalis resident  1998-2008  frequent  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Atherton Scrubwren Sericornis keri resident  1998-2008  uncommon  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  frequent  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  abundant  A2  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2008 medium not assessed not assessed
unset
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 and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - unspecified species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Protected areas

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  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  5%
Forest Rainforest & vine thickets  95%

Land ownership State or local government.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 5%
nature conservation and research 95%

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.

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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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Wooroonooran. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/12/2014

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