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Location Australia, New South Wales (and ACT)
Central coordinates 150o 45.16' East  33o 38.48' South
IBA criteria A1
Area 32,926 ha
Altitude 30 - 50m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary The IBA regularly supports significant numbers of the endangered Swift Parrot and Regent Honeyeater.

Site description The Richmond Woodlands IBA is located about 50 km north-west of central Sydney, close to the Hawkesbury River, on the edge of the Cumberland Plain and Blue Mountains. The boundary is defined by patches of woodland used by Swift Parrots and Regent Honeyeaters, centred on the woodlands between Agnes Banks Nature Reserve (122 ha), Castlereagh Nature Reserve (490 ha) and Windsor Downs Nature Reserve (363 ha), but extending north-east to Scheyville National Park and south to Penrith. The western boundary abuts the forested hills of the Blue Mountains. The northern and southern boundaries are poorly-defined and currently follow the known records of Swift Parrots, but could be refined with better survey work. These species also use suitable trees within the towns of Richmond, Windsor, Wilberforce, Penrith and Blaxland, and many smaller areas of residential development and scattered woodland fragments and isolated trees within agricultural land, all of which are included in the IBA. The woodland fragments are the largest remnants of the Cumberland Plain Woodland, an endangered vegetation community, which has largely been cleared for the development of western Sydney. The average annual rainfall at Richmond is 807 mm, with temperatures ranging from 17-29 Celsius in summer to 3-17 Celsius in winter. The wetlands of Bushells Lagoon and Pitt Town Nature Reserve are also included. The area consists of low-lying, gently undulating land on Wianamatta Group shales, sandstones and Tertiary alluviums. Land within Pitt Town Nature Reserve was completely cleared of native vegetation before the site was declared a protected area in 1976; however replanting of native flora has begun in recent times. Scheyville National Park was grazed extensively from the 1800s onwards and so supports modified natural vegetation. Pitt Town Lagoon and Longneck Lagoon are both found within this IBA and are important wetland areas for western Sydney.

Key Biodiversity The Richmond Woodlands IBA is believed to support one of two remaining populations of the Red-capped Robin in the Sydney region (NSW NPWS 1999). Other birds recorded within the IBA include the Flame Robin (rare in the IBA), Turquoise Parrot (listed as vulnerable under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995), Painted Honeyeater, Laughing Kookaburra, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Noisy Miner, Golden Whistler, Willie Wagtail, Grey Butcherbird and Australian Magpie. The lagoons of the IBA support wetland birds including Australian Little Bittern, Red-necked Stint, Royal Spoonbill and Red-necked Avocet. Eight wetland birds found in the area are listed as vulnerable under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, these being Comb-crested Jacana, Black Bittern, Black-necked Stork, Freckled Duck, Painted Snipe, Mongolian Plover and Black-tailed Godwit (NSW NPWS 2000; Atlas of Australian Birds database). A small numbers of the endangered Australasian Bittern have been reported.

Non-bird biodiversity: Richmond Woodlands supports a variety of vegetation types including ground cover of Themeda australis, Echinopogan caespitosus, Astrida vagans, Microlaena stipodes and Cymbopogan refractus, and understorey of Busaria spinosa, Pultenaea violacea and Allocasuarina littoralis. Cumberland Plain Grey Box/Ironbark Woodlands dominated by Eucalyptus moluccana, Eucalyptus creba and Eucalyptus tereticornis (NSW NPWS 2000). Also found in the IBA are Euclayptus sclerophylla, Allocasuarina glareicola and Angophora bakeri. The reserves support the endangered green and golden bell frog Littoria aurea. Mammals found within the Richmond Woodlands IBA are the Sugar Glider, Brushtail Possum and Eastern Grey Kangaroo, along with Rattus fuscipes and the Little Red Flying Fox; no mammals have been recorded in Pitt Town NR due to the absence of decent vegetation (NSW NPWS 2000). Over 20 species of reptiles have been recorded within the IBA including the Long-necked Tortoise and the Blue-tongued Lizard (NSW NPWS 2000).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor non-breeding  1997-2007  100 individuals  medium  A1  Critically Endangered 
Regent Honeyeater Xanthomyza phrygia non-breeding  1981-2007  26 individuals  medium  A1  Critically Endangered 

IBA Monitoring

2008 high not assessed not assessed
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases 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 - trend unknown/unrecorded happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Agnes Banks Nature Reserve 125 protected area contained by site 107  
Castlereagh Nature Reserve 494 protected area contained by site 490  
Greater Blue Mountains Area World Heritage Site 1,030,000 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Penrith Lakes Regional Park 0 protected area contained by site 1  
Pitt Town Nature Reserve 46 protected area contained by site 46  
Scheyville National Park 935 protected area contained by site 920  
Windsor Downs Nature Reserve 365 protected area contained by site 363  
Yellomundee Regional Park 484 protected area overlaps with site 29  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Improved grassland & pasture  minor
Forest Eucalypt open forests; Eucalypt woodlands  major
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes & pools  minor

Land ownership Residential (Hawkesbury Local Government, Penrith Local Government), leasehold and NSW Parks and Wildlife Service.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
tourism/recreation minor
Notes: Pitt Town NR is to be used for bird watching and have signs erected for this purpose.
urban/industrial/transport major

Protection status Agnes Banks Nature Reserve

Castlereagh Nature Reserve

Pitt Town Nature Reserve

Scheyville National Park

Windsor Downs Nature Reserve

Acknowledgements Thanks to Alan Morris as compiler and Hawkesbury Shire Council and the Cumberland BOC; Keith Brandwood for assistance during the process.

References NSW NPWS (1999) Castlereagh, Agnes Banks and Windsor Downs Nature Reserves Plan of Management. Hurstville: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

NSW NPWS (2000) Scheyville National Park and Pitt Town Nature Reserve Plan of Management. Hurstville: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

NSW NPWS (2007) Proposed amendments to Scheyville National Park and Pitt Town Nature Reserve Plan of Management. Hurstville: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Richmond Woodlands. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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