|Central coordinates||141o 27.51' East 26o 16.66' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Altitude||83 - 94m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary The IBA has supported more than 1% of the global populations of the congregatory Plumed Whistling-Duck, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and Australian Pelican, including one of the largest known colonies of pelican. The IBA also provides habitat for the near threatened Australian Bustard.
Site description The IBA is based on Lake Yamma Yamma on the Cooper Creek system in inland Queensland. It also includes the seasonal claypans on the margins and also the Barrolka Lakes to the north-east side, which have several cormorant colonies. The lake only holds water during floods of moderate or greater intensity on Cooper Creek. Lake Yamma Yamma at 87,000 ha is the largest inland ephemeral lake in Queensland. It is completely filled with water about once every 25 to 30 years or less, and was most recently filled to capacity in 2000. The waters of the lake are fresh when first inundated, but become progressively more saline as the lake dries out. The dry lake bed is formed of cracking grey clays that support an extensive low grassland dominated by Rat's Tail Couch. A variety of ephemeral forbs (e.g. Cooper's Clover, Solanum spp.), grasses (e.g. Echinochloa turnerana) and sedges (e.g. Cyperus spp.) grow amongst the couch following rain or brief inundation. The far north-eastern section of the lake, which receives seasonal inundation from Cooper Creek, supports low to open Lignum shrubland with scattered stands of open woodland dominated by Coolabah and River Cooba. A large colony of the Australian Pelican breeds on an island in the north-eastern part of the lake.
Key Biodiversity Species that may be described as abundant include Hardhead, Black-winged Stilt and Glossy Ibis (R. Jaensch pers. comm. 2007). Grey Teal (10,970 birds), Black-tailed Native-hen (3052 birds), Australian Pratincole (1157 birds) and Whiskered Tern (3091 birds) were present in substantial but sub-threshold numbers in October 2000 (Barter and Harris 2002; M. Barter pers. comm. 2007). 4300 Pacific Black Duck were estimated in 2000 (Kingsford et al. 2003). One high count of 544 Freckled Duck in 2000, but otherwise small numbers e.g. 81 birds in October 1992 (Kingsford et al. 1991, 1993; Kingsford and Porter (2006); M. Barter pers. comm. 2007). White-winged Black Tern have been observed in flocks containing many hundreds of birds (R. Jaensch pers. comm. 2007). Based on preliminary survey data and the extent of habitat available, the IBA is predicted to regularly support more than 20,000 waterbirds, although at times numbers could potentially exceed 100,000 waterbirds (R. Jaensch pers. comm. 2007). The near threatened Letter-winged Kite has been recorded in the IBA (Atlas of Australian Birds database).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Plumed Whistling-duck Dendrocygna eytoni||resident||2000||20,890 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus||resident||2000||10,000-20,000 breeding pairs||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Australian Bustard Ardeotis australis||unknown||1998-2008||uncommon||-||A1||Least Concern|
|Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata||non-breeding||2000||2,329 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|2008||high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Natural system modifications||dams & water management/use - abstraction of surface water (unknown use)||happening now||whole area/population (>90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Forest||Other forests & woodlands||minor|
Land ownership Grazing leasehold.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Protection status None.
Acknowledgements Roger Jaensch and Mark Barter provided data and comments.
References Barter, M.A., & Harris, K. (2002). Occasional Count No. 6. Shorebird counts in the NE South Australia-SW Queensland region in September-October 2000. Stilt 41: 44-47.
DEWHA (2008) Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Canberra: Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/environmental/wetlands/database/ accessed 2008.
Kingsford, R.T., Ferster Levy, R., Porter, J.L. (1993) An Aerial Survey of Wetland Birds in Eastern Australia - October 1992. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service Occasional Paper 16. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville.
Kingsford, R. and Porter, J. (2006) Eastern Australian aerial survey database. Accessed 2008.
Kingsford, R.T., Porter, J. L., Ferster Levy, R., Smith, J.D.B. and Holland, P. (1991) An Aerial Survey of Wetland Birds in Eastern Australia - October 1990. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service Occasional Paper 10. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville.
Kingsford, R.T., Porter, J.L., and Ahern, A.D. (2003) Aerial Surveys of Wetland Birds in Eastern Australia - October 2000-2002. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Occasional Paper 33. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Yamma Yamma. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/12/2014
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