email a friend
printable version
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 2008

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.

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 


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

Other 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.

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.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lockerbie Scrub. Downloaded from on 16/09/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife