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Location Australia, Tasmania
Central coordinates 145o 54.85' East  43o 8.57' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, A4i
Area 231,533 ha
Altitude 0 - 771m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia



Summary The IBA supports the entire known global breeding population of the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot. The IBA also supports populations of 11 restricted-range (endemic) species, two biome-restricted species and more than 1% of the global populations of Pied and Sooty Oystercatchers and the near threatened Hooded Plover.

Site description The IBA encompasses the entire known breeding range of the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot as mapped in the Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Plan. The IBA comprises a mosaic of eucalypt forest, rainforest, and moorland and sedgeland plains, extending throughout coastal and near-coastal areas from Birchs Inlet to Louisa Bay in south-west Tasmania. Most of the IBA has a rugged topography with extensive coastal lowland plains rising to rocky mountains. The IBA overlaps with Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, Southwest Conservation Area and Southwest National Park. The islands of the Muttonbird, Swainson and Trumpeter groups, which lie offshore from the Melaleuca to Birchs Inlet IBA, and support globally significant numbers of one congregatory waterbird and three congregatory seabird species, comprise the separate Port Davey Islands IBA.

Key Biodiversity The buttongrass plains within the IBA support significant numbers of Ground Parrots. The restricted-range Tasmanian Native-hen and Yellow Wattlebird may occur in the IBA but no confirmed records are cited in Thomas (1979) or were submitted to the Atlas of Australian Birds for the period 1998 to 2008 (Atlas of Australian Birds database).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris resident  1989-1993  154-163 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Sooty Oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus resident  1989-1993  203-215 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus resident  1983-1989  292-296 individuals  medium  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Green Rosella Platycercus caledonicus resident  1998-2008  abundant  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Orange-bellied Parrot Neophema chrysogaster breeding  2005  150 individuals  good  A1, A2, A3  Critically Endangered 
Yellow-throated Honeyeater Lichenostomus flavicollis resident  1998-2008  abundant  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Black-headed Honeyeater Melithreptus affinis resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Strong-billed Honeyeater Melithreptus validirostris resident  1998-2008  common  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Scrubtit Acanthornis magna resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Striated Fieldwren Calamanthus fuliginosus resident  1998-2008  abundant  A3  Least Concern 
Tasmanian Scrubwren Sericornis humilis resident  1998-2008  abundant  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Tasmanian Thornbill Acanthiza ewingii resident  1998-2008  abundant  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Black Currawong Strepera fuliginosa resident  1998-2008  abundant  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Robin Melanodryas vittata resident  1998-2008  abundant  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Pink Robin Petroica rodinogaster resident  1998-2009  frequent  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park 446,479 protected area overlaps with site 19,697  
Southwest Conservation Area 185,731 protected area overlaps with site 44,770  
Southwest National Park 618,267 protected area overlaps with site 167,080  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Eucalypt open forests; Eucalypt tall open forests; Rainforest & vine thickets  minor
Grassland Tussock grasslands  minor
Shrubland Heath  minor
Coastline Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats  minor
Wetlands (inland) Permanent herbaceous swamps & bogs  major

Land ownership Tasmanian State Government and managed by the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

Protection status IBA overlaps two national parks and one conservation park - see separate section for details.

Acknowledgements Thanks to Eric Woehler as compiler.

References Brothers, N., Pemberton, D. Pryor, H. and Halley, V. (2001) Tasmania’s Offshore Islands: seabirds and other natural features. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery: Hobart.

Commonwealth of Australia (2005) Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Plan. Commonwealth of Australia: Canberra.

Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Team (1998) Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Plan 1998-2002. Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Team, Parks and Wildlife Service: Hobart.

Schultz, M. (1990) Repeat Survey of the Waders of South-West Tasmania. Stilt 16: 52-54.

Schultz, M. and Kristensen, K. (1993) A Survey of Shorebirds of Western Tasmania, Part Two, North Head, Port Davey to Cape Sorell. Stilt 23: 26-29.

Skira, I.J., Brothers, N. P. and Pemberton, D. (1996) Distribution, abundance and conservation status of Short-tailed Shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris in Tasmania, Australia. Marine Ornithology 24:1-14.

Parks and Wildlife Service (1999) Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan. Parks and Wildlife Service: Hobart.

Thomas, D. Tasmanian Bird Atlas. Fauna of Tasmania Handbook No. 2. University of Tasmania: Hobart.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Melaleuca to Birchs Inlet. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/12/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife