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Location Australia, Queensland
Central coordinates 142o 28.51' East  10o 48.11' South
IBA criteria A2, A4ii
Area 15,796 ha
Altitude 0 - 95m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary Lockerbie Scrub is a significant migratory bottleneck for Spangled Drongo and Rainbow Bee-eater, and also supports significant populations of two out of five restricted-range species on Cape York.

Site description Lockerbie Scrub is located on the most northerly part of mainland Australia, at the tip of Cape York Peninsula. The IBA boundary is defined as the closed forest vegetation communities at the tip of the peninsula which acts as a funnel for migratory terrestrial birds moving between Australia and New Guinea via the Torres Strait. The surrounding land is predominantly tropical savanna woodland which does not concentrate these migrant birds. There is a mosaic of vegetation types in the IBA although monsoonal rainforest predominates. The IBA could be extended or an additional IBA created to include heathland habitat for the White-streaked Honeyeater but this species' distribution is known too poorly to be mapped. The climate is monsoonal with pronounced wet and dry seasons.

Key Biodiversity Also present in the area are a number of Cape York endemics including Palm Cockatoo, Trumpet Manucode, Magnificent Riflebird, Fawn-breasted Bowerbird, Northern Srub-robin, Yellow-legged Flycatcher, Tropical Scrubwren, Frill-necked Monarch, Red-bellied Pitta and Yellow-billed Kingfisher. The endangered Southern Cassowary was last recorded in Lockerbie Scrub in 1986 and is now almost certainly extinct in the area. A single record of the near threatened Bush Stone-curlew, two records of the biome-restricted Silver-crowned Friarbird and three records of the biome-restricted Yellow Honeyeater were obtained during 74 Atlas of Australian Birds surveys from 1998 to 2008. Graceful Honeyeaters are common at Lockerbie Scrub (S. Garnett and A. Freeman pers. obs).

Non-bird biodiversity: Other fauna of conservation concern that occurs here includes Northern Quoll and the Spectacled Flying Fox and Bare-backed Fruit-bat. Because of its locality there is also a high probability that other significant bat populations occur in Lockerbie Scrub.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus non-breeding  frequent  A4ii  Least Concern 
Lovely Fairywren Malurus amabilis resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A2  Least Concern 
Yellow-spotted Honeyeater Meliphaga notata resident  1998-2008  common  A2  Least Concern 
Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus non-breeding  frequent  A4ii  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2008 high not assessed not assessed
Poor - based on little, or potentially unreliable/unrepresentative, data

Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Site 34,870,000 protected area is adjacent to site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Urban parks & gardens  5%
Forest Eucalypt tall open forests; Eucalypt woodlands; Rainforest & vine thickets  80%
Introduced vegetation   5%

Land ownership Lockerbie Scrub is predominately aboriginal (Deed of Grant in Trust) land with some pockets of freehold particularly around the communities of Bamaga and New Mapoon.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting major
Notes: Traditional Use
urban/industrial/transport minor
other major
Notes: Traditional Use

Protection status None

Acknowledgements The nomination was prepared by Alastair Freeman.

References Barrett, G., Silcocks, A., Cunningham, R. and Poulter, R. (2003) The new atlas of Australian birds. Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union: Melbourne.

Duncan, A., Barry Baker, G., and Montgomery, N. (eds.) (1999). 'The action plan for Australian bats'.(Environment Australia: Canberra.)

Fox, I.D., Neldner, V.J., Wilson, G.W., Bannick, P.J., Wilson, B.A., Brocklehurst, P.S., Clark, M.J., Dickinson, K.J.M., Beard, J.S., Hopkins, A.J.M., Beeston, G.R., Harvey, J.M., Thompson, E.J., Ryan, T.S., Thompson, S.L., Butler, D.W., Cartan,H., Addicot, E.P., Bailey, L.P., Cumming, R.J., Johnson D.C., Schmeider, M., Stephens, K.M., and Bean, A.R. 2001. The vegetation of the Australian tropical savannas. Queensland Herbarium, Environmental protection Agency, Queensland.

Garnett, S., and Crowley, G. (2000). 'The action plan for Australian birds'. (Environment Australia: Canberra.)

Grant, J.D., and Leung, L. (1993). Wet season terrestrial fauna survey of the Lockerbie Scrub, Cape York Peninsula. April-May 1993. Unpublished Report prepared for the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage.

Grant, J.D., and Leung, L. (1994). Storm season terrestrial fauna survey of the Lockerbie Scrub, Cape York Peninsula. February 1994. Unpublished Report prepared for the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage.

Strahan, R. (ed.) (1998). 'The mammals of Australia.' Reed New Holland: Sydney.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lockerbie Scrub. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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