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Location Australia, New South Wales (and ACT)
Central coordinates 148o 11.21' East  34o 21.04' South
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 2,565,348 ha
Altitude 180 - 1,033m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia



Summary The IBA supports a significant wintering population of the endangered Swift Parrot, most of the largest known population of the vulnerable Superb Parrot, and populations of the vulnerable Painted Honeyeater and near threatened Diamond Firetail.

Site description This exceptionally large IBA is defined by the distribution of the south-west slopes population of Superb Parrots and key areas for wintering Swift Parrots. The boundary has been drawn around the core distribution of Superb Parrots and approximates to a 80 km-wide length of the inland slopes of the Great Dividing Range from Wagga Wagga in the south to Orange in the north, extending south-east through Boorowa and Yass to Queanbeyan, with an extension south to include the important Swift Parrot sites of Livingstone NP, Tarcutta, Gundagai, Tumut and Adelong. The majority of the IBA is highly modified wheat and sheep country with few natural vegetation remnants. Within this huge area, all agricultural land with scattered large trees is considered as potential habitat for Superb Parrots. Swift Parrots occur in woodland dominated by Mugga Ironbark and/or Grey Box and sometimes White Box, Yellow Box, Yellow Gum, River Red Gum and Blakely's Red Gum, especially the biggest trees (greater than 60 cm in diameter at breast height) remaining in largely cleared areas. The few remnant blocks of forest are often on ranges and outcrops where the soils are unsuitable for the key tree species required by either parrot species, and many have had box and ironbark selectively removed. Known important remnants for Swift Parrots include Combaning State Forest (741 ha), Ingalba Nature Reserve (3200 ha), Charcoal Tank Nature Reserve (86 ha), Weddin Mountains National Park (8360 ha) and State Forest, Jindalee State Forest (1080 ha), Tarcutta (432 ha; a Bush Heritage reserve), Mates’ Gully and the largely unprotected roadside, Travelling Stock and Camping Reserves. Superb Parrots require large trees with suitable nest hollows, especially Blakely's Red Gum, but also River Red Gum, Apple Box, Grey Box, White Box and Red Box, but these must be within 10 km (and ideally within 3 km) of box-gum woodlands for foraging, and connected by treed flight corridors. Trees do not develop suitable nesting hollows until they exceed 120 years of age, and trees containing larger hollows used by Superb Parrots are likely to be more than 220 years of age. The annual mean temperature of the region ranges from 10-16 Celsius and annual mean precipitation ranges from 500-1150 mm.

Key Biodiversity A handful of records of the endangered Regent Honeyeater include two at Jindalee State Forest in May 1998, three at Gunning in November 1998, two at Jindalee State Forest in September 1999 and two at Tumbarumba Cemetery in July 2000 (New South Wales Bird Reports). Other notable species recorded in the IBA include the endangered Australasian Bittern, the near threatened Bush Stone-curlew, the biome-restricted Pink Robin, the Australian Little Bittern and the regionally threatened Turquoise Parrot and Barking Owl. The near threatened Flame Robin and biome-restricted Black Honeyeater are rare visitors to the IBA (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  1996-2005  150 individuals  poor  A1  Endangered 
Superb Parrot Polytelis swainsonii resident  2,000-5,000 individuals  A1, A2  Least Concern 
Painted Honeyeater Grantiella picta resident  1997-2008  uncommon  A1  Vulnerable 
Diamond Firetail Stagonopleura guttata resident  1980-2008  frequent  A1  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2008 high not assessed not assessed
unset
-

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - agro-industry farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale 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)  
Aranda Bushland Nature Reserve 115 protected area contained by site 115  
Barton Nature Reserve 519 protected area contained by site 529  
Big Bush Nature Reserve 646 protected area contained by site 640  
Black Mountain Nature Reserve 461 protected area contained by site 461  
Boginderra Hills Nature Reserve 550 protected area contained by site 554  
Borenore Karst Conservation Reserve 136 protected area contained by site 136  
Bruce Ridge Nature Reserve 94 protected area contained by site 94  
Conimbla National Park 7,988 protected area contained by site 7,590  
Cooleman Ridge Nature Reserve 193 protected area contained by site 193  
Crace Grassland Nature Reserve 165 protected area contained by site 165  
Dananbilla Nature Reserve 2,448 protected area contained by site 2,242  
Dunlop Grassland Nature Reserve 105 protected area contained by site 105  
Flagstaff Memorial Nature Reserve 17 protected area contained by site 18  
Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve 986 protected area contained by site 266  
Gossan Hill Nature Reserve 47 protected area contained by site 47  
Gungaderra Grassland Nature Reserve 274 protected area contained by site 274  
Gungewalla Nature Reserve 141 protected area contained by site 141  
Hattons Corner Nature Reserve 3 protected area contained by site 4  
Illunie Nature Reserve 734 protected area contained by site 734  
Ingalba Nature Reserve 4,197 protected area contained by site 4,012  
Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve 214 protected area contained by site 214  
Koorawatha Nature Reserve 1,117 protected area contained by site 961  
Livingstone National Park 1,923 protected area contained by site 1,919  
Livingstone State Conservation Area 485 protected area contained by site 485  
Lower Molonglo River Corridor Nature Reserve 657 protected area overlaps with site 373  
Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area 1,607 protected area contained by site 1,607  
Mount Pleasant Nature Reserve 57 protected area contained by site 57  
Mt Ainslie Nature Reserve 640 protected area contained by site 640  
Mt Majura Nature Reserve 482 protected area contained by site 482  
Mt Painter Nature Reserve 91 protected area contained by site 91  
Mulanggari Grassland Nature Reserve 124 protected area contained by site 124  
Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve 792 protected area contained by site 792  
Mundoonen Nature Reserve 1,367 protected area contained by site 1,359  
Nangar National Park 9,406 protected area contained by site 9,196  
O'Connor Ridge Nature Reserve 55 protected area contained by site 55  
Oakey Hill Nature Reserve 65 protected area contained by site 65  
Percy Hill Nature Reserve 79 protected area contained by site 79  
Pucawan Nature Reserve 287 protected area contained by site 274  
Red Hill Nature Reserve 253 protected area overlaps with site 226  
Tarcutta Hills Other Conservation Area 434 protected area contained by site 434  
The Pinnacle Nature Reserve 135 protected area contained by site 135  
Weddin Mountains National Park 8,740 protected area contained by site 8,361  
Woodstock Nature Reserve 343 protected area overlaps with site 25  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Improved grassland & pasture  major
Forest Eucalypt woodlands  major

Land ownership Mostly private leasehold and freeholds; also some Commonwealth (Australian National Botanic Gardens) and state government, NSW NPWS, State Forests, Rural Lands Protection Board and Travelling Stock and Camping Reserves.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture major
rangeland/pastureland major
forestry minor
nature conservation and research minor

Protection status Numerous - see separate section.

References Christie, P. (2004) Extension of the known breeding range of the Superb Parrot. Corella 28: 75-78.

Davey, C. (1997) Observations on the Superb Parrot within the Canberra district. Canberra Bird Notes 22: 1-14.

Davey, C. and Purchase, D. (2004) A survey of the Superb Parrot Polytelis swainsonii and potential nesting tree hollows along roads of the South-western Slopes, New South Wales. Corella 28: 1-3.

DSE (2007) National Recovery Plan for the Superb Parrot Polytelis swainsonii. Victorian Government Department of Sustainability and Environment: Melbourne.

Kennedy, S. J. and Overs, A. E. (2001) Foraging ecology and habitat use of the Swift Parrot on the south-western slopes of New South Wales. Corella 25: 68-74.

Manning, A. D., Lindenmayer, D. B. and Barry, S. C. (2004) The conservation implications of bird reproduction in the agricultural "matrix": a case study of the vulnerable superb parrot in south-eastern Australia. Biological Conservation 120: 367-378.

Manning, A. D., Lindenmayer, D. B., Barry, S. C. and Nix, H. A. (2006) Multi-scale site and landscape effects on the vulnerable superb parrot of south-eastern Australia during the breeding season. Landscape Ecology 21: 1119-1133.

NSW NPWS (2008) Atlas of NSW Wildlife. http://wildlifeatlas.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/wildlifeatlas/watlasSpecies.jsp accessed 11 June 2008.

NSW NPWS (in press). Superb Parrot Polytelis swainsonii Recovery Plan. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service: Hurstville.

Webster, R. (1988) The Superb Parrot - A survey of the breeding distribution and habitat requirements. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service Report Series No. 12. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service: Canberra.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: South-west Slopes of NSW. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/12/2014

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