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Location Australia, New South Wales (and ACT)
Central coordinates 150o 5.82' East  33o 1.98' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 70,641 ha
Altitude 280 - 900m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia



Summary The IBA is the most important breeding area for the endangered Regent Honeyeater. It also supports the vulnerable Painted Honeyeater and restricted-range Rockwarbler and the endangered Swift Parrot during the non-breeding season of this species.

Site description The IBA consists of the entire Capertee Valley, a distinct ecological region surrounded by granitic hills and sedimentary plateaux, located about 45 km north of Lithgow in central-eastern New South Wales. The IBA is defined by the boundary of the Capertee Valley IBRA sub-region to the west and the Blue Mountains & Wollemi IBA to the east. Capertee Valley has a temperate climate characterised by warm, dry summers and cool, damp winters; mean temperatures (minimum-maximum) vary from 2-15 Celsius (June) to 16-30 Celsius (January) and mean annual rainfall is 634 mm at Glen Davis. The valley is extensively cleared for cattle grazing with remnant woodland patches on low rolling hills, and is surrounded by timbered scree slopes and sandstone cliffs on the western side of the Blue Mountains & Wollemi National Parks and IBA. The remnant native vegetation of the valley consists mostly of dry sclerophyll forest and grassy woodland with smaller stands of wet sclerophyll forest and some patches of montane heath. Changes to land use in recent years have resulted in an increase in the extent of natural regrowth and revegetation by landholders.

Key Biodiversity Two hundred and forty-two bird species have been recorded in Capertee Valley, which forms a zone of overlap between species typical of western and eastern New South Wales. This total includes at least 18 species that are listed as being threatened at state and/or global level. Fifteen of the 18 threatened species are regularly observed in the valley. Capertee Valley supports good populations of many of the declining woodland birds of temperate Australia such as Glossy Black-Cockatoo, Turquoise Parrot, Brown Treecreeper, Speckled Warbler, Hooded Robin and Grey-crowned Babbler (Geering 2006; D. Geering pers. comm.). The globally near threatened Flame Robin is an uncommon winter migrant to the valley (Geering 2006) and there have been occasional sightings of the restricted-range Pilotbird (Atlas of Australian Birds database).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor non-breeding  1990-2007  250 individuals  medium  A1  Endangered 
Regent Honeyeater Xanthomyza phrygia resident  1990-2007  800 individuals  medium  A1  Critically Endangered 
Painted Honeyeater Grantiella picta resident  1998-2008  150 males only  A1  Vulnerable 
Rockwarbler Origma solitaria resident  1998-2008  common  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Diamond Firetail Stagonopleura guttata resident  1998-2008  common  A1  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2008 medium not assessed not assessed
unset
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - agro-industry grazing, ranching or farmin happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Improved grassland & pasture  30%
Forest Eucalypt open forests  30%
Savanna Eucalypt open woodlands  40%

Land ownership State or local government (Crown Land, State Forest) with agriculture and grazing privately owned.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture minor
Notes: Limited agricultural cropping in the lower Capertee Valley (DEC 2006).
rangeland/pastureland major

Protection status None.

Access/Land-Owner requests Most birds can be seen from public roads and land: don't climb fences or enter properties without an invitation from the owner and don't park dangerously on roads. See http://www.bmbirding.com.au/valley3.html for more details.

Acknowledgements David Geering and Carol Probets wrote, commented on and provided data for the nomination.

References DEC (2006) The Vegetation of the Western Blue Mountains. Unpublished report funded by the Hawkesbury-Nepean Catchment Management Authority. Department of Environment and Conservation: Hurstville.

Geering, D. (2006) Birds of the Capertee Valley. http://www.bmbirding.com.au/index.html accessed on 7 November 2007.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Capertee Valley. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/12/2014

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