|Location||Australia, Northern Territory|
|Central coordinates||132o 7.85' East 14o 5.50' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||150 - 210m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary The hills support populations of the endangered Gouldian Finch, the near threatened Chestnut-backed Button-quail, the restricted-range Hooded Parrot, and another seven species restricted to the Australian tropical savannas biome.
Site description This IBA is an area of hills 45 km north of Katherine in the southern Top End of the Northern Territory. The IBA is defined as the area known to support a breeding population of Gouldian Finches, bounded by Nitmiluk National Park and the Arnhem Plateau in the east. It is a series of rolling hills of skeletal sandy loams overlaid by angular cobbles. Mean annual precipitation is about 1000 mm, falling mostly from December to March. The hills are drained by a network of ephemeral creeks, which retain water through the dry season in scattered small pools. The rocky wooded hills are dominated by smooth-barked gums with an understorey of annual and perennial native grasses. The key features supporting the Gouldian Finches are the lack of grazing and few extensive hot fires, which enables native grasses to seed, persistent waterholes and springs for drinking, hollow-bearing trees for nesting, and perennial grasses on adjacent lowlands for feeding in the wet season. The site has been used by Traditional Owners and more recently for gold mine exploration.
Key Biodiversity Small numbers of the near threatened Australasian Bittern and Partridge Pigeon and the northern subspecies of the Crested Shrike-tit have been recorded (Woinarski and Tidemann 1991; NRETA 2007). The restricted-range (endemic) Yellow-rumped Mannikin is occasionally encountered within the IBA (Atlas of Australian Birds database).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Chestnut-backed Buttonquail Turnix castanotus||resident||1986-1987||uncommon||-||A1, A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Bush Thick-knee Burhinus grallarius||unknown||1998-2008||uncommon||-||A1||Least Concern|
|Varied Lorikeet Psitteuteles versicolor||unknown||1986-2008||uncommon||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Northern Rosella Platycercus venustus||resident||1986-2008||uncommon||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Hooded Parrot Psephotellus dissimilis||resident||1986-2008||uncommon||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|White-gaped Honeyeater Lichenostomus unicolor||unknown||1998-2008||frequent||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow-tinted Honeyeater Lichenostomus flavescens||unknown||1986-2008||frequent||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Silver-crowned Friarbird Philemon argenticeps||resident||1986-2008||uncommon||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Bar-breasted Honeyeater Ramsayornis fasciatus||unknown||1998-2008||uncommon||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Banded Honeyeater Certhionyx pectoralis||unknown||1986-2008||abundant||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Gouldian Finch Erythrura gouldiae||resident||1986-2006||150-250 individuals||medium||A1, A3||Near Threatened|
|Masked Finch Poephila personata||resident||1986-2008||frequent||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Long-tailed Finch Poephila acuticauda||resident||1986-2008||frequent||-||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%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|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||whole area/population (>90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge)||National Park (Aboriginal)||180,190||protected area overlaps with site||8,529|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
Land ownership Predominantly Aboriginal freehold land (Wagiman Aboriginal Land Trust and Barnjarn Aboriginal Corporation). West of the Stuart Highway there are some parcels of privately owned freehold land and a small area of Nitmiluk National Park.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Traditional use. Gold mine exploration.|
Protection status IBA includes a small area of Nitmiluk National Park.
Access/Land-Owner requests Access off the roads requires permission from the Traditional Owners.
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 and the Arts, NT Government, Palmerston. O’Malley, C. (2006) National Recovery Plan for the Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae). 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. WWF-Australia, Sydney and Parks and Wildlife NT, Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts, NT Government, Palmerston. Woinarski, J.C.Z. and Tidemann, S.C. (1991) The bird fauna of a deciduous woodland in the wet-dry tropics of northern Australia. Wildlife Research 18: 479-500. 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 (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Yinberrie Hills. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/12/2014
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