|Location||Australia, Northern Territory,Western Australia|
|Central coordinates||129o 4.91' East 15o 58.30' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||150 - 210m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary The IBA supports a significant population of the endangered Gouldian Finch as well as populations of four near threatened, one restricted-range and 10 biome-restricted species.
Site description This IBA is an area of the upper Keep River straddling the Western Australia - Northern Territory border about 400 km south-west of Darwin. The IBA is defined by the area known to support Gouldian Finches but much of the area is poorly surveyed and further fieldwork is needed to better define the boundaries. The area is dominated by open savanna woodland with an understorey of native grasses on sandstone, and areas of open grassland. The area is highly monsoonal, with rain falling mostly from December to March, averaging 873 mm annually at Newry Station. The hills are drained by a network of ephemeral creeks, and the larger rivers retain pools of water through the dry season. The key features supporting the Gouldian Finches are the low grazing pressure and history of few extensive hot fires, which allow grasses to seed, persistent waterholes for drinking and hollow-bearing trees for nesting. The 400 ha Newry Station Gouldian Finch site is on the Register of the National Estate and about half of the IBA is in the Keep River National Park. The Northern Territory portion of the IBA, and additional land immediately to the north of the IBA, is classified as a site of conservation significance by the Northern Territory Government (Ward and Harrison 2009).
Key Biodiversity Small numbers of the restricted-range White-quilled Rock-Pigeon and the biome-restricted Sandstone Shrike-thrush have been recorded (NRETA 2007). The near threatened Australian Bustard is rare in the IBA (Atlas of Australian Birds database). The near threatened Chestnut-backed Button-quail and Partridge Pigeon are also likely to occur in the Keep River region, but no definitive records are available.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Bush Thick-knee Burhinus grallarius||resident||1998-2008||uncommon||-||A1||Least Concern|
|White-quilled Rock-pigeon Petrophassa albipennis||resident||1998-2008||uncommon||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Varied Lorikeet Psitteuteles versicolor||unknown||1998-2008||uncommon||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Northern Rosella Platycercus venustus||resident||1998-2008||frequent||-||A3||Least Concern|
|White-gaped Honeyeater Lichenostomus unicolor||resident||1998-2008||frequent||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow-tinted Honeyeater Lichenostomus flavescens||resident||1998-2008||common||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Silver-crowned Friarbird Philemon argenticeps||resident||1998-2008||frequent||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bar-breasted Honeyeater Ramsayornis fasciatus||resident||1998-2008||uncommon||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Banded Honeyeater Certhionyx pectoralis||unknown||1998-2008||frequent||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Sandstone Shrike-thrush Colluricincla woodwardi||resident||1998-2008||uncommon||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Gouldian Finch Erythrura gouldiae||resident||1998-2008||50-880 individuals||medium||A1, A3||Near Threatened|
|Star Finch Neochmia ruficauda||resident||1998-2008||uncommon||-||A1||Least Concern|
|Masked Finch Poephila personata||resident||1998-2008||624 individuals||good||A3||Least Concern|
|Long-tailed Finch Poephila acuticauda||resident||1998-2008||254 individuals||good||A3||Least Concern|
|2008||high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Agricultural expansion and intensification||livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - agro-industry grazing, ranching or farmin||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|Invasive and other problematic species and genes||invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|Natural system modifications||fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Keep River||National Park||26,200||protected area overlaps with site||22,943|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
Land ownership Mostly Newry pastoral lease and Keep River National Park; other leases in Western Australia. The national park is the responsibility of NT Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||major|
|Notes: Newry Station|
Protection status The IBA overlaps the Keep River National Park.
Access/Land-Owner requests Off-road access requires permission from the relevant station managers.
Acknowledgements Louise Harrison of NRETA provided draft accounts and advice on the site.
References Harrison, L., McGuire, L., Ward, S. Fisher, A., Pavey, C., Fegan, M. and Lynch, B. (2009) An inventory of sites of international and national significance for biodiversity values in the Northern Territory. Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts & Sport, Darwin, NT. NRETA (2007) Northern Territory Fauna Atlas & Flora Databases. Department of Natural Resources, Environment & the Arts, Palmerston NT http://www.nt.gov.au/nreta/wildlife/animals/requests.html (accessed December 2007). O’Malley, C. (2006) National Recovery Plan for the Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae). WWF-Australia, Sydney and Parks and Wildlife NT, Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts, NT Government, Palmerston. Ward, S. and Harrison, L. (2009) Recognising Sites of Conservation Significance for Biodiversity Values in the Northern Territory. Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts & Sport, Darwin, NT. Woinarski, J.C.Z. and Tidemann, S.C. (1992) Survivorship and some population parameters for the enadangered Gouldian Finch Erythrura gouldiae and two other finch species at sites in tropical northern Australia. Emu 92: 33-38.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Keep River. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/03/2015
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