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Location Australia, New South Wales (and ACT)
Central coordinates 150o 28.66' East  33o 16.96' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, A4ii
Area 1,040,407 ha
Altitude 0 - 1,300m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

BirdLife Australia



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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

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 

Protected areas

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  

Habitats

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

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
urban/industrial/transport minor

Other 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.

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 (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Greater Blue Mountains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/10/2014

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