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Location Australia, South Australia
Central coordinates 139o 23.43' East  29o 3.70' South
IBA criteria A2, A3, A4i
Area 234,155 ha
Altitude 0 - 20m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

BirdLife Australia



Summary The IBA has supported significant numbers of eight waterbird species. It also supports populations of one restricted-range (endemic) and four biome-restricted species.

Site description The Strzelecki Desert Lakes IBA is comprised of a chain of lakes on lower Cooper Creek and Strzelecki Creek in north-east South Australia. The IBA is defined here as the maximum extent of the ephemerally flooded Cooper Creek floodplain from Lakes Hope (or Pando) and Appadare to Lakes Killalpaninna, Kooperamanna and Killamperpunna, and also Lake Gregory, Lake Blanche and Lake Callabonna. The creek systems flood irregularly but water persists in these lakes for several years (e.g. after a flood in 2000, Lake Hope remained wet until 2004). The lakes vary in their salinity. Cooper Creek is probably the longest and most important dryland river in Australia and one of the largest endorheic catchments in the world. Kingsford et al. (1999) estimated a total of 100,000 waterbirds in the Lower Cooper system in 1990-91 in addition to 50,000 unidentified small waders on Lake Blanche. The IBA partially overlaps with Strzelecki Regional Reserve.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Freckled Duck Stictonetta naevosa unknown  1983-2005  1,998 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Pink-eared Duck Malacorhynchus membranaceus unknown  1983-2005  81,306 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Grey Teal Anas gracilis unknown  1983-2005  46,207 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Hardhead Aythya australis unknown  1983-2005  29,575 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus unknown  1983-2005  10,000 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Banded Stilt Cladorhynchus leucocephalus unknown  1983-2005  14,861 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Red-necked Avocet Recurvirostra novaehollandiae unknown  1983-2005  10,000 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia unknown  1983-2005  6,095 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Eyrean Grasswren Amytornis goyderi resident  1998-2008  frequent  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Black Honeyeater Certhionyx niger unknown  1998-2008  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Banded Whiteface Aphelocephala nigricincta resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Chirruping Wedgebill Psophodes cristatus resident  1998-2008  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Cinnamon Quail-thrush Cinclosoma cinnamomeum resident  1998-2008  common  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Strzelecki Regional Reserve 810,422 protected area overlaps with site 57,892  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Rocky areas Scree & boulders  minor
Shrubland Chenopod shrubs, samphire shrubs and forblands  minor
Wetlands (inland) Ephemeral; Saline lakes  major

Land ownership Strzelecki Regional Reserve is managed by the Department for Environment and Heritage. The remaining land is under pastoral lease.

Land use

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

Protection status The IBA overlaps with the Strzelecki Regional Reserve.

Acknowledgements Richard Kingsford provided access to unpublished data.

References Badman, F.J. (1979) Birds of the southern and western Lake Eyre drainage. South Australian Ornithologist 28: 29-55, 57-81.

Badman, F.J. (1989) The birds of middle and lower Cooper Creek in South Australia. Adelaide: Nature Conservation Society of South Australia.

Badman, F.J. and May, I.A. (1983) Waders in northern South Australia. South Australian Ornithologist 29: 29-39.

Barrett, G, Silcocks, A., Barry, S., Cunningham, R. and Poulter, R. (2003) The new atlas of Australian birds. Melbourne: Birds Australia.

Barter, M.A. and Harris, K. (2002) Occasional count no.6 Shorebird counts in the NE South Australia - SW Queensland region in September-October 2000. Stilt 41: 44-47.

Cox, J.B. and Pedler, L.P. (1977) Birds recorded during three visits to the far north-east of South Australia. South Australian Ornithologist 27: 231-250.

Kingsford, R. and Porter, J. (2006) Eastern Australian aerial survey database. Accessed 2006.

Kingsford, R.T., & Porter, J.L. (1992). Section 2. Distribution and abundance of waterbirds in the Lake Eyre-Cooper Creek Basin of north eastern South Australia August 1990-February 1991. In G. Drewien and L. Best, eds. A survey of the waterbirds in northeast South Australia 1990-1991. Adelaide: South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Kingsford, R.T., Curtin, A.L. and Porter, J.L. (1999) Water flows on Cooper Creek in arid Australia determine boom and bust periods for waterbirds. Biological Conservation 88: 231-248.

Kingsford, R.T., Porter, J.L., Smith, J.D.B. and Lawler, R. (1990) An aerial survey of wetland birds in eastern Australia - October 1989. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service Occasional Paper 9.

Kingsford, R.T., Porter, J.L. and Ahern, A.D. (2003) Aerial surveys of wetland birds in eastern Australia - October 2000-2002. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service Occasional Paper 33.

May, I.A. (1986) Appendix V. Birds of Innamincka Station. Pp. 123-137 in Rangeland Assessment Manual, Innamincka Station. Adelaide: South Australian Department of Land.

McGilp, J. and Morgan, A.M. (1931) The nesting of the Banded Stilt. South Australian Ornithologist 11: 37-53.

Parker, S.A. (1980) Birds and conservation parks in the north-east of South Australia. South Australian Parks and Conservation 3: 11-18.

Porter, J.L., Kingsford, R.T. and Hunter, S.J. (2006) Aerial surveys of wetland birds in eastern Australia - October 2003-2005. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service Occasional Paper 37.

Reid, J.R.W. (1984) Appendix S. A checklist of birds of the north-east of South Australia, with annotations on general status and abundance and comments on occurrence or the possibility of occurrence in 8.4.4. Pp. S1-S41 in F.H. Mollenmans, J.R.W. Reid, M.B. Thompson, L. Alexander and L.P. Pedler, eds. Biological survey of the Cooper Creek Environmental Association (8.4.4.), north eastern South Australia. Adelaide: South Australian Department of Environment and Planning.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Strzelecki Desert Lakes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/08/2014

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