|Location||Australia, South Australia,Victoria|
|Central coordinates||141o 13.29' East 38o 10.74' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||0 - 15m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary The IBA provides non-breeding habitat for the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot, breeding habitat for the endangered Australasian Bittern, and supports populations of the near threatened Hooded Plover, the restricted-range Rufous Bristlebird and the biome-restricted Striated Fieldwren.
Site description The IBA extends along the coast from Green Point in South Australia to eastern Bridgewater Bay in Victoria. It includes the wetland along the drain to Green Point, Pick Swamp, Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park, a small parcel of private land to the north of Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park, and Discovery Bay Coastal Park east to the end of Discovery Bay (the remaining sections along Bridgewater Bay and Nelson Bay only support Rufous Bristlebirds amongst the key bird species). The most prominent ecological community in the IBA is coastal scrub, which is dominated in most places by emergent Moonah, and is otherwise comprised of medium-sized shrubs (e.g. Coast Wattle, Coast Beard-heath, Seaberry Saltbush and Coast Daisy-bush) above a ground cover of grasses, herbs and sedges. The IBA includes a long stretch of exposed sandy beaches and sand dunes. The IBA also includes the Glenelg River estuary, Long Swamp and other freshwater swamps, some small permanent freshwater lakes and pools, and some small patches of herb-rich eucalypt woodland. Piccaninnie Ponds contain clear water upwelling from limestone aquifers.
Key Biodiversity Discovery Bay supports regionally important numbers of Sanderling with a count of 2000 in 2006 (Christie 2006). Small numbers of Little Terns nest at the mouth of the Glenelg River (Christie 2006). The Bush Stone-curlew is rare to uncommon in the IBA (Emison et al. 1987). The vulnerable Fairy Tern and near threatened Flame Robin are occasionally recorded in the IBA but no counts are available for either species (Atlas of Australian Birds database).
Non-bird biodiversity: Discovery Bay Coastal Park supports 66 species (23 species of flora and 43 species of fauna) which are considered to be threatened in Victoria, including nine species that are nationally threatened and 14 species that are listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. One species, the Coast Gum, is restricted in Victoria to Discovery Bay Coastal Park. Discovery Bay Conservation Park is considered to be of high conservation value to 15 species, including seven that are listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Parks Victoria 2000).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Australasian Bittern Botaurus poiciloptilus||resident||2007-2008||2-3 breeding pairs||-||A1||Endangered|
|Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus||resident||2000-2006||15-51 individuals||good||A1||Vulnerable|
|Orange-bellied Parrot Neophema chrysogaster||non-breeding||1979-2007||17 individuals||-||A1, A3||Critically Endangered|
|Rufous Bristlebird Dasyornis broadbenti||resident||1998-2008||frequent||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Striated Fieldwren Calamanthus fuliginosus||resident||1998-2008||uncommon||-||A3||Least Concern|
|2008||medium||not assessed||not assessed|
|Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||recreational activities||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|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|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Discovery Bay||Marine National Park||2,770||protected area overlaps with site||0|
|Discovery Bay Coastal Park||Other Park||10,460||protected area overlaps with site||9,170|
|Piccaninnie Ponds||Conservation Park||547||protected area contained by site||543|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats||minor|
|Wetlands (inland)||Freshwater lakes & pools||minor|
Land ownership South Australian and Victorian State governments (Parks Victoria, Department for Environment and Heritage) and private holdings.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||major|
Protection status Several - see separate section.
Acknowledgements Bob Green, Glenn Ehmke and Grainne Maguire helped provide data and background information.
References Christie, M. (2006) Wader sites in the lower south east, South Australia. Stilt 50: 259-262.
DEWHA (2008) A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/environmental/wetlands/database/ accessed June 2008
Emison, W. B., Beardsell, C. M., Norman, F. I., Loyn, R. H. and Bennett, S.C. (1987) Atlas of Victorian Birds. Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands and Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union Melbourne.
Parks Victoria (2000) State of the Parks 2000. Volume 2 - Park Profiles. Parks Victoria Melbourne.
Parks Victoria (2006) Discovery Bay Parks (Mount Richmond National Park, Cape Nelson State Park and Discovery Bay Coastal Park) and Cape Nelson Lighthouse Reserve Management Plan. Parks Victoria Melbourne.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Discovery Bay to Piccaninnie Ponds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/12/2014
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