email a friend
printable version
Location Australia, Victoria
Central coordinates 142o 22.86' East  38o 21.55' South
IBA criteria A1
Area 1,408 ha
Altitude 0 - 20m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary The IBA regularly supports a non-breeding population of the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot and a breeding population of the near threatened Hooded Plover.

Site description The IBA is comprised of a 17 km length of beach and associated coastal dune scrub from between Port Fairy and Warrnambool in western Victoria. The IBA extends along the coast from Reef Point to Levy's Beach (approximately 17 km) and inland to include Ruttledge's Cutting, Kelly Swamp and surrounding pasture. The IBA supports two prominent vegetation types: dense coastal dune scrub comprised of medium shrubs (e.g. Coast Wattle, Coast Beard-heath) above a ground cover of grasses, herbs and sedges; and a mosaic of aquatic herbland, coastal saltmarsh and damp saline pasture supporting species such as Beaded Glasswort, Creeping Brookweed, Shiny Swamp-mat, Buck's-horn Plantain and Fathen. The stretches of beach west of Port Fairy from Taylor Bay to Griffith Island (approximately 7 km) and east of Warrnambool from eastern Lady Bay to Gaul's Cave (approximately 5 km), could also be added to the IBA for their relatively high population densities of Hooded Plovers.

Key Biodiversity Small numbers of Pacific Gull occur along this stretch of coast (Dodd & Woodrow 2007; G. Maguire pers. comm. 2007; C. Tzaros pers. comm. 2007). One count of 500 Sanderling (Australasian Wader Studies Group database). Surveys suggest that Striated Fieldwrens are abundant in coastal scrub and saltmarsh habitats (Dodd and Woodrow 2007; Atlas of Australian Birds database). Flame Robins are uncommon non-breeding visitors to the IBA (Atlas of Australian Birds database).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus resident  2006-2008  15 breeding pairs  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Orange-bellied Parrot Neophema chrysogaster non-breeding  1991-2007  17 individuals  good  A1  Critically Endangered 

IBA Monitoring

2008 medium not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - agro-industry grazing, ranching or farmin happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Port Fairy-Warrnambool Coastal Reserve 1,500 protected area overlaps with site 150  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Improved grassland & pasture  minor
Introduced vegetation   major
Shrubland Other shrublands  major
Coastline Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats  minor
Wetlands (inland) Permanent herbaceous swamps & bogs  minor

Land ownership State or local government; private.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
rangeland/pastureland minor

Protection status IBA overlaps with the Port Fairy-Warrnambool Coastal Reserve.

Acknowledgements Chris Tzaros and Glenn Ehmke of the Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Team and Grainne Maguire of the Hooded Plover project provided data and helped define the boundaries.

References Dodd, P. and Woodrow, R. (2007) Survey 22787: Rutledge's Cutting (Kelly Swamp). accessed on 11 September 2007.

Moyne Shire Council (2001) 'Moyne Shire Coastal Action Plan'. (Western Coastal Board: Geelong and Moyne Shire Council: Port Fairy.)

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Port Fairy to Warrnambool. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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