|Location||Australia, New South Wales (and ACT)|
|Central coordinates||152o 54.47' East 31o 13.08' South|
|Altitude||0 - 669m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary This IBA regularly supports significant numbers of the endangered Australasian Bittern, Swift Parrot and Regent Honeyeater and probably more than 1% of the world population of Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.
Site description This IBA combines ephemerally flooded lower floodplain wetlands with swamp forests used by Swift Parrots and Regent Honeyeaters. It is bounded to the south by the Camden Haven River, west to the Pacific Highway, then north along the Pacific Highway north of Kempsey to Barraganyatti and across to the coast at Stuart's Point. This includes the lower floodplain of the Belmore and Macleay Rivers between Kempsey and Gladstone, a series of wetlands along the Belmore River including the Seals Road swamp, Rainbow beach, Jerseyville wetlands and the Swan Pool at Kinchela, the coastal forests of Maria River, Laurieton, Lake Cathie and trees in the towns of Port Macquarie, Kempsey and South West Rocks. Wetlands that appear suitable for Australasian Bittern include Limeburners Creek NR (extensive reed swamps, lake and wet heathlands), Pelican Island (reed swamp), Belmore Swamp (extensive wetlands, reed & paperbark swamps), Swan Pool HHNP (extensive reed and paperbark swamps) and the Maria River wetlands (reed and paperbark swamps). In wet years, the reedbeds and wetlands extend from the Hastings River north along the Maria River, behind Crescent head north to Ryans Cut and into Belmore Swamp, then along the Belmore River into Kinchela Creek and the Swan Pool, and north to the Macleay River wetlands and South West Rocks. The forests used by Swift Parrots are those dominated by Swamp Mahogany in wetlands and adjacent Forest Red Gums. Otherwise, the area is mostly cattle-grazed with large blocks of native hardwoods State Forest, protected areas and areas of tea-tree plantation.
Key Biodiversity Also supports thousands of Black Swans (including 1000 at Belmore Swamp alone on 30/6/05 and 5/3-12/4/2007 and at Camden Haven and Lake Cathy/Innes), up to 1000 Black-winged Stilt, possibly thousands of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers (counts of 780 on Lower Macleay wetlands 28/10-6/11/03; 1250 at Pelican Island (Jerseyville) 9-12/12/06, 800 at Pelican Island (Jerseyville) and 300 at Rainbow Reach 1/1-14/4/2007), up to 3000 Grey Teal (at Seale Rd Swamp, part of Belmore Swamp 25/8-2/12/2006), up to 1000 Chestnut Teal (Camden Haven estuary), small numbers of nesting Black-necked Storks, Brolgas, Bush Stone-curlews, Little Terns, Glossy Black-Cockatoos and Grass Owls, high densities, perhaps 10 pairs, of Square-tailed Kites, and small or infrequent numbers of Australian Painted Snipe, Australian Little Bittern, Paradise Riflebird, Regent Bowerbird, Green Catbird, Logrunner and Pale-yellow Robin (A. Morris pers. comm. 2007; Atlas of Australian Birds database).
Non-bird biodiversity: Important population of koalas for NSW.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Australasian Bittern Botaurus poiciloptilus||resident||1997-2008||12-20 breeding pairs||poor||A1||Endangered|
|Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor||non-breeding||1997-2007||150 individuals||-||A1||Endangered|
|Regent Honeyeater Xanthomyza phrygia||non-breeding||2000-2007||1-6 individuals||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|2008||low||not assessed||not assessed|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Natural system modifications||dams & water management/use - abstraction of ground water (unknown use)||likely in long term (beyond 4 years)||small area/few individuals (<10%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||low|
|Residential and commercial development||housing and urban areas||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||low|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Arakoon||State Conservation Area||145||protected area contained by site||145|
|Fishermans Bend||Nature Reserve||161||protected area contained by site||160|
|Fishermans Bend State||Conservation Area||39||protected area contained by site||39|
|Hat Head||National Park||7,421||protected area contained by site||7,363|
|Kattang||Nature Reserve||69||protected area contained by site||58|
|Lake Innes||Nature Reserve||3,376||protected area contained by site||3,526|
|Lake Innes||State Conservation Area||323||protected area contained by site||323|
|Limeburners Creek||Nature Reserve||9,256||protected area contained by site||9,224|
|Macquarie||Nature Reserve||12||protected area contained by site||12|
|Maria||National Park||2,320||protected area contained by site||2,335|
|Queens Lake||Nature Reserve||1,374||protected area contained by site||991|
|Queens Lake||State Conservation Area||1,014||protected area contained by site||1,014|
|Sea Acres||Nature Reserve||71||protected area contained by site||76|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - terrestrial||Improved grassland & pasture; Other urban & industrial areas||major|
|Forest||Eucalypt tall open forests; Melaleuca forests & woodlands; Rainforest & vine thickets||major|
|Wetlands (inland)||Ephemeral; Freshwater lakes & pools||major|
|Coastline||Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Lagoons; Mangrove wetlands||minor|
Land ownership State Forest, State protected areas, freehold and leasehold properties.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: State forests and tea tree plantations.|
|nature conservation and research||major|
Protection status Numerous - see separate section for details.
Acknowledgements Thanks to Alan Morris for compiling the nomination and to the following for their assistance:- Ken Shingleton, South West Rocks; Hastings Bird Observers Club; Macleay Valley Bird Observers; and Tim Morris, Clive Meadows and Tony Bischoff, resident birders in Port Macquarie.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hastings-Macleay. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/05/2015
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