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Location Australia, Victoria
Central coordinates 144o 57.28' East  36o 55.95' South
IBA criteria A1
Area 43,452 ha
Altitude 50 - 413m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

BirdLife Australia



Summary The IBA supports the largest known population of the near threatened Bush Stone-curlew in Victoria. The endangered Swift Parrot is a regular visitor, often in large numbers. The near threatened Diamond Firetail is a relatively common resident.

Site description The IBA comprises the Puckapunyal Military Area (PMA) and two areas at Managlore, about 100 km north of Melbourne in the Box-Ironbark ecosystem in central Victoria. The PMA is managed by the Department of Defence as an active training ground. The box-ironbark woodland at Puckapunyal is one of the largest discrete fragments of this ecosystem remaining in Victoria and lies south of the Rushworth Box-Ironbark Region IBA. Puckapunyal has cool to cold winters, during which most rainfall occurs, and warm to hot summers. It has an average annual rainfall of 596 mm. Winter droughts occur and summer and autumn droughts are frequent. The terrain is highest around Mount Puckapunyal (413 m) and Mount Kappe (384 m), with a series of rocky ridges and low hills (about 150 to 250 m) extending north to south. Soils are mostly of the duplex variety (relatively low natural fertility and water holding capacity) with smaller areas of deep, silty or sandy alluvium, and gravely to rocky ridges with skeletal soils. Most soils have high to extreme potential for accelerated erosion following disturbance. Surface drainage lines are oriented mostly north to north east with all systems flowing into the Goulburn River. All creeks on Puckapunyal are annual. The IBA also includes Mangalore, a 525 ha munitions storage site about about 15 km to the east, which is about half box-ironbark and half open grassland. Mangalore comes under some of the same management plans as Puckpunyl and supports regionally important numbers of Bush Stone-curlews. Furthermore, the IBA also includes a small box-ironbark remnant on public land at Mangalore, which has often supported Swift Parrots.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Bush Thick-knee Burhinus grallarius resident  1994-2008  11-47 individuals  good  A1  Least Concern 
Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor non-breeding  1992-2008  17-400 individuals  good  A1  Endangered 
Diamond Firetail Stagonopleura guttata resident  1992-2008  40-200 individuals  good  A1  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Mangalore Nature Conservation Reserve 79 protected area contained by site 64  
Puckapunyal Natural Features Reserve - Streamside Reserve 24 protected area contained by site 26  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Improved grassland & pasture  30%
Forest Eucalypt woodlands  55%
Wetlands (inland) Ephemeral  10%
Artificial - aquatic Other artificial wetlands  5%

Land ownership Federal Government with management by the Department of Defence.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
military 100%

Other biodiversity About 706 species of vascular plant (comprising 481 endemic and 225 introduced species) and 170 species of non-vascular plant (i.e. lichens, mosses and fungi) have been recorded at PMA. The on-site flora includes two species, Clover Glycine (Glycine latrobeana) and Trailing Hop-bush (Dodonaea procumbens), which are nationally threatened; 11 species of conservation significance at state level; and about 116 species of conservation significance at regional level. The non-avian fauna of PMA consists of 44 species of mammal (29 endemic and 15 introduced species; five species of conservation significance at state level), 18 species of reptile and 12 species of amphibian (one species of conservation significance at national level and three species of conservation significance at state level), 11 species of fish (seven endemic and four introduced species; four species of conservation significance at national or state level); and more than 140 species of invertebrate (one species of conservation significance at state level; Anderson et al. 2007).

Protection status Two small reserves are within the IBA - see separate section.

Access/Land-Owner requests Access to PMA is strictly regulated by the Department of Defence. Access is controlled due to a number of issues, including security requirements and its use as a Defence Practice Area involving ADF personnel, vehicles and use of live ammunition. All access requests must be directed to Narelle Liepa (Narelle.Liepa@defence.gov.au).

Acknowledgements Narelle Liepa (Environmental Officer; Department of Defence) wrote the nomination with input from Dr Bob Anderson (ecologist). Ian Davidson supplied details of Swift Parrots at Mangalore.

References Australian Army (1996) Flora and fauna survey of Puckapunyal Military Area.

Anderson, B., Bryce, M., Theobald, J., Oakley, J., Wilkes, T. and Harte, C. (2007) Habitat management for tanks and Tuans: evolving approaches at Puckapunyal Military Area. Ecological Management & Resoration 8(1): 11-25.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (2008) Puckapunyal Military Area: Seymour-Tooborac Rd., Puckapunyal, Vic. Australian Heritage Database, 2/06/099/0014. 2004 citation.

Environment Conservation Council (2000) Box-Ironbark Forest and Woodlands Investigation: Draft Report for Public Comment. DNRE, Melbourne.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Puckapunyal. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/09/2014

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