|Location||Australia, South Australia|
|Central coordinates||137o 44.79' East 30o 59.66' South|
|Altitude||30 - 64m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary When inundated, the IBA has supported significant breeding numbers of Banded Stilt.
Site description Lake Torrens is a very large, and usually dry, saline playa lake in north-eastern South Australia. Its catchment is bounded by the western slopes of the Flinders Ranges to the east and the low, rounded hills east of Andamooka and Roxby Downs to the west. The lake has been filled only once in the past 150 years, during a major flooding event in 1989, but it has held smaller volumes of water on many occasions. The huge numbers of Banded Stilts nesting on two small island groups within the lake during this flood justifies the lake's status as an IBA. One island group consists of four small islands situated in the north of the lake off Andamooka Island. The other group consists of three small islands situated in the south of the lake. The northern group is composed of red clay topped with gibber rock and vegetated with a moderate cover of mixed salt-bush shrubs. The southern group is composed of sand deposits on a stone base with sparse, low samphire vegetation.
Key Biodiversity The IBA probably sporadically supports more than 1% of the global population of the congregatory Red-capped Plover, which was very common on all islands in the lake in 1989, with approximately 100 birds on one island in the southern group and one pair per 100m on shoreline on Andamooka Island. Approximately 6000 individuals and 1200 nests of the congregatory Silver Gull were observed in the IBA in 1989 (Bellchambers and Carpenter 1990). Cinnamon Quail-thrush are common on Andamooka Island (Bellchambers and Carpenter 1990).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Banded Stilt Cladorhynchus leucocephalus||breeding||1989||100,000 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|2008||medium||not assessed||not assessed|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Energy production and mining||mining and quarrying||likely in long term (beyond 4 years)||small area/few individuals (<10%)||very rapid to severe deterioration||low|
|Energy production and mining||renewable energy||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||very rapid to severe deterioration||low|
|Invasive and other problematic species and genes||problematic native species/diseases - named species||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Lake Torrens||National Park||567,668||protected area contained by site||570,745|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Desert||Semi-desert (includes gibber plains)||minor|
|Shrubland||Chenopod shrubs, samphire shrubs and forblands||minor|
|Wetlands (inland)||Ephemeral; Saline lakes||major|
Land ownership The lake is managed by South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage; Andamooka Island is a pastoral property.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||major|
Protection status Lake Torrens National Park is contained within the IBA.
Access/Land-Owner requests Road access is through Andamooka and Mulgaria Stations at the discretion of the station managers. Vehicles must not be driven on the surface of the lake.
Acknowledgements Keith Bellchambers provided comments.
References Bellchambers, K. and Carpenter, G. (1990) Birds recorded at Lake Torrens during its 1989 flooding. South Australian Ornithologist 31: 1-7.
Robinson, T. and Minton, C. (1989) The enigmatic Banded Stilt. Birds International 1: 72-85.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Torrens. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/12/2014
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