|Central coordinates||142o 21.58' East 25o 37.42' South|
|Altitude||110 - 135m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2008|
Summary This floodplain was estimated to support 200,000 waterbirds in the 2004 flood, including more than 1% of the world population of Straw-necked Ibis (breeding), Glossy Ibis and the Australian population of Black-winged Stilt (=White-headed Stilt). The IBA is poorly-known and is likely to support significant numbers of other waterbirds and terrestrial birds.
Site description The IBA contains the floodplains and swamps associated with the Cooper Creek overflow floodplains between Windorah and Tanbar stations in the Channel Country of inland central Queensland. The exact IBA boundaries were based on expert opinion of R. Jaensch of Wetlands International to include the most important areas for birds, including and major floods of Cooper Creek, and Whitula Creek is an important contributor in some years. Major floods occur about once every five years. The IBA largely lacks major deep channels and, with complex micro-scale drainage networks, it tends to retain water for several to many months after floods and thus provide excellent waterbird habitat. Vegetation includes short forbs, grasses and sedges to tall tussock grass, vast legume thickets, and bluebush and lignum and belalie swamps. Waterholes are few and relatively small but are fringed by lignum, belalie and coolibahs. There are isolated pockets of low sand dunes and mounds. Average rainfall is 292 mm at Windorah Station. The IBA could be extended past Lake Yamma Yamma IBA and along the whole floodplain, downstream to Nappa Merrie near the South Australian border, where waterbirds have been recorded in lower densities, if further surveys better quantify breeding and non-breeding populations.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Straw-necked Ibis Threskiornis spinicollis||resident||2000-2004||14,500-20,000 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus||non-breeding||2004||25,000-60,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|White-headed Stilt Himantopus leucocephalus||unknown||2004||5,000-13,000 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||-||-||-||-|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Shrubland||Chenopod shrubs, samphire shrubs and forblands||major|
Land ownership Three leasehold cattle stations; Mayfield - Ourdel, South Galway and Tanbar Stations.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Protection status None.
Access/Land-Owner requests Land-owner permission must be sought if leaving public roads.
Acknowledgements Roger Jaensch of Wetlands International provided unpublished data, review comments and interpretation on the habitat and waterbird information.
References Costelloe, J.F., Hudson, P.J., Pritchard, J.C., Puckridge, J.T. and Reid, J.R.W. (2004) ARIDFLO Scientific Report: Environmental Flow Requirements of Arid Zone Rivers with Particular Reference to the Lake Eyre Drainage Basin. School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide. Final Report to South Australian Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation and Commonwealth Department of Environment and Heritage.
DEWHA (2008) Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Cooper Creek Overflow Swamps - Windorah - QLD025. Downloaded from http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/environmental/wetlands/database/ in November 2008.
Jaensch, R.P. (2004) Waterbird breeding colonies, populations and migration in the Channel Country, south-western Queensland, in the 2004 flood season. Unpublished report to the Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cooper Floodplain Below Windorah. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/03/2014
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