|Location||Australia, New South Wales (and ACT)|
|Central coordinates||150o 28.66' East 33o 16.96' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3, A4ii|
|Altitude||0 - 1,300m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary This IBA supports a high proportion of the world population of the restricted-range Rockwarbler as well as populations of the near threatened Flame Robin and Diamond Firetail, the restricted-range Pilotbird and regular occurrences of the endangered Regent Honeyeater. It is a migration bottleneck for the Yellow-faced Honeyeater.
Site description The IBA includes the whole Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area which is comprised of eight protected areas: Blue Mountains, Kanangra-Boyd, Gardens of Stone, Wollemi, Nattai, Yengo and Thirlmere Lakes National Parks and the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve. This area includes most of the Hawkesbury Sandstone massif 60 to 180 km inland of Sydney, which supports most of the world population of the Rock Warbler. Another 12 adjacent protected areas could be included but the World Heritage Area supports a sustainable population of Rock Warblers. A number of peripheral valleys supporting Regent Honeyeaters and other woodland birds could be considered for inclusion within this IBA or as separate IBAs: the Capertee and Burragorang valleys are categorised as separate IBAs but the Howes Valley in the Wollemi National Park has not supported significant numbers of Regent Honeyeaters since 1994. Within the World Heritage Area, 542,000 ha has been designated as Wilderness Areas, and another 245,000 ha could be listed. The area is dominated by eucalypt forest between rugged sandstone cliffs, with an exceptional diversity of habitats. Because of the intrinsic beauty, natural features and accessibility from the major population centres, the area has high recreational values, and hosts more than three million visitors annually.
Key Biodiversity A total 265 bird species have been recorded in the IBA (DEH 2005) including the vulnerable Painted Honeyeater and the Australian Little Bittern (Atlas of Australian Birds database).
Non-bird biodiversity: Wollemi Pine Wollemia nobilis and the Dwarf Mountain Pine Microstrobos fitzgeraldii. About 1500 plant species including 102 eucalypt species and more than 70 plant communities, including approximately 127 rare or threatened plants, of which almost half are confined to the Greater Blue Mountains. Fifty-two native mammals, 63 reptiles and more than 30 frogs.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Regent Honeyeater Xanthomyza phrygia||breeding||1980-2008||uncommon||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Yellow-faced Honeyeater Lichenostomus chrysops||passage||2006||200,000 individuals||-||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Pilotbird Pycnoptilus floccosus||breeding||1980-2008||common||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Rockwarbler Origma solitaria||breeding||1980-2008||common||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Flame Robin Petroica phoenicea||breeding||1980-2008||uncommon||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|Diamond Firetail Stagonopleura guttata||breeding||1998-2008||uncommon||-||A1||Least Concern|
|2008||low||not assessed||not assessed|
|Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||recreational activities||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Invasive and other problematic species and genes||invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - unspecified species||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Natural system modifications||fire & fire suppression - trend unknown/unrecorded||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Blue Mountains||National Park||267,776||protected area contained by site||264,848|
|Gardens of Stone||National Park||15,084||protected area contained by site||15,010|
|Kanangra-Boyd||National Park||65,647||protected area contained by site||68,661|
|Nattai||National Park||49,517||protected area contained by site||48,944|
|Thirlmere Lakes||National Park||626||protected area contained by site||630|
|Wollemi||National Park||502,533||protected area contained by site||492,976|
|Yengo||National Park||167,283||protected area contained by site||150,569|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Forest||Eucalypt open forests; Eucalypt tall open forests||major|
|Rocky areas||Inland cliffs||minor|
|Shrubland||Mallee shrublands & woodlands||minor|
Land ownership National Parks managed by NSW NPWS.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||major|
Protection status Numerous national parks - see separate section.
Acknowledgements Thanks to Carol Probets as compiler.
References DEH (2005) Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area Draft Strategic Plan. Sydney: Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW).
NSW NPWS (2001) Blue Mountains National Park Plan of Management. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. Hurstville, Sydney.
NSW NPWS (2001) Wollemi National Park Plan of Management. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. Hurstville, Sydney.
NSW NPWS (2001) Kanangra-Boyd National Park Plan of Management. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. Hurstville, Sydney.
NSW NPWS (2001) Nattai Reserves Plan of Management. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. Hurstville, Sydney.
NSW NPWS (2001) Yengo National Park Plan of Management. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. Hurstville, Sydney.
NSW NPWS (2008) Atlas of NSW Wildlife. Accessed 11 June 2008.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Greater Blue Mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/01/2015
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