|Central coordinates||141o 49.02' East 36o 49.80' South|
|Altitude||130 - 150m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary The IBA has supported more than 1% of the global populations of Australian Shelduck, Banded Stilt, Red-necked Avocet and Red-capped Plover.
Site description The IBA consists of a chain of brackish, saline and freshwater wetlands extending from near Olivers Lake (approximately 12 km north of Natimuk) south to Ti Tree Lake (approximately 8 km south of Douglas) in western Victoria. The IBA is situated in the semi-arid Wimmera region, which experiences hot and dry summers and mild and wet winters. Waterbird numbers are greatest between July and November of most years, but particularly when there has been good rainfall in the region and when inland Australia is dry. Most of the wetlands captured by the IBA are subject to seasonal or otherwise episodic flooding, but some (e.g. Saint Marys Lake) are permanent and retain water throughout the year. The wetlands collectively receive water from a variety of sources including direct precipitation, groundwater, run-off, drainage lines, local catchments and overflows. Many of the wetlands are fringed by saltmarsh, but other vegetation communities such as sedgeland and Paper Bark forest are also prominent.
Key Biodiversity At least 81 species of bird have been recorded around the Natimuk-Douglas wetlands (Birds Australia 2002). This figure includes twenty species listed under one or more of the Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA), China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA) and Bonn Convention (CMS); ten species listed as threatened in Victoria under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1998; and one species (Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo) listed as nationally threatened under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Birds Australia 2002). Species recorded in moderate but sub-threshold numbers are Musk Duck (maximum 91 birds), Black Swan (maximum 3902 birds), Grey Teal (maximum 10,074 birds), Hoary-headed Grebe (maximum 3334 birds) and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (maximum 488 birds). The saltmarshes that surround the wetlands provide foraging habitat for Blue-winged Parrots (maximum 61 birds) (Birds Australia 2002). The near threatened Flame Robin and Diamond Firetail are occasionally observed in the IBA (Atlas of Australian Birds database).
Non-bird biodiversity: More than 360 species of plant have been recorded around the Natimuk-Douglas wetlands. This figure includes five species (Buloke, Bead Glasswort, Salt Paperbark, Hairy Tails and Dwarf Yellowheads) listed as threatened in Victoria under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and three species (Bead Glasswort, Dwarf Yellowheads and Western Water-starwort) listed as nationally threatened under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Nine species of reptile and six species of mammal (including the introduced House Mouse and European Rabbit) have been recorded around the wetlands (Birds Australia 2002).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Australian Shelduck Tadorna tadornoides||unknown||-||5,016 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Banded Stilt Cladorhynchus leucocephalus||non-breeding||1989-2007||60,389 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Red-necked Avocet Recurvirostra novaehollandiae||non-breeding||-||4,296 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|Red-capped Plover Charadrius ruficapillus||non-breeding||-||1,488 individuals||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|2008||high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Climate change and severe weather||drought||happening now||whole area/population (>90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|Invasive and other problematic species and genes||invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Natural system modifications||dams & water management/use - abstraction of ground water (agricultural use)||happening now||whole area/population (>90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species||hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target)||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Arapiles||Natural Features Reserve - Bushland Reserve||19||protected area overlaps with site||4|
|Bitter Swamp||Natural Features Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (hunting)||34||protected area overlaps with site||24|
|Bow Lake||Natural Features Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (hunting)||196||protected area overlaps with site||164|
|Grassflat Swamp||Nature Conservation Reserve - Flora and Fauna Reserve||35||protected area overlaps with site||23|
|Hateleys Lake||Natural Features Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (hunting)||94||protected area contained by site||94|
|Heard Lake||Natural Features Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (hunting)||135||protected area overlaps with site||146|
|Jacka Lake & lakes to north||Natural Features Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (hunting)||111||protected area overlaps with site||70|
|Jilpanger||Nature Conservation Reserve||12,098||protected area overlaps with site||232|
|Lake Carchap||Nature Conservation Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (no hunting)||95||protected area contained by site||95|
|Lake Clarke||Natural Features Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (hunting)||104||protected area contained by site||104|
|Lake Coyrahilla (Copper Colour)||Natural Features Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (hunting)||180||protected area overlaps with site||154|
|Lake Wyn Wyn||Natural Features Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (hunting)||705||protected area overlaps with site||648|
|McClures Swamp||Natural Features Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (hunting)||38||protected area overlaps with site||29|
|McGlashin Swamp||Natural Features Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (hunting)||36||protected area overlaps with site||20|
|Mitre Lake||Nature Conservation Reserve - Flora and Fauna Reserve||784||protected area overlaps with site||559|
|North, Centre and other Lakes||Natural Features Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (hunting)||631||protected area overlaps with site||453|
|Oliver's Lake||Nature Conservation Reserve - Flora and Fauna Reserve||400||protected area overlaps with site||353|
|Ti Tree Swamp||Nature Conservation Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (no hunting)||63||protected area overlaps with site||49|
|White Lake, Douglas||Natural Features Reserve - Wildlife Reserve (hunting)||620||protected area overlaps with site||567|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Shrubland||Chenopod shrubs, samphire shrubs and forblands||minor|
|Wetlands (inland)||Ephemeral; Freshwater lakes & pools; Saline lakes||major|
Land ownership State government and private. Most of the lakes in the IBA are situated within reserves managed by Parks Victoria.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Hunting is permitted in many of the wildlife reserves contained within the IBA.|
|nature conservation and research||major|
|Notes: Most of the lakes in the IBA are situated within reserves.|
|Notes: Grazing included for management purposes.|
|Notes: Duck hunting, fishing, swimming, boating.|
Protection status Numerous - see separate section.
Acknowledgements Euan Moore wrote the nomination with input from Margaret Alcorn, Richard Alcorn and Dr Sutherland.
References Alcorn, M. and Alcorn, R. (2000) Seasonal migration of Banded Stilt Cladorhynchus leucocephalus to the Natimuk-Douglas salt pans in western Victoria, Australia. Stilt 36: 7-10.
Birds Australia (2002) Management Plan for the Natimuk-Douglas Saline Wetland System. Melbourne: Birds Australia.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Natimuk-Douglas Wetlands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/02/2015
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