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Location Australia, Victoria
Central coordinates 141o 49.02' East  36o 49.80' South
IBA criteria A4i
Area 6,545 ha
Altitude 130 - 150m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

BirdLife Australia



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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

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 

Protected areas

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  

Habitats

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

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting major
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.
rangeland/pastureland minor
Notes: Grazing included for management purposes.
tourism/recreation major
Notes: Duck hunting, fishing, swimming, boating.

Other 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).

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 (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Natimuk-Douglas Wetlands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/04/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife