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Location Australia, Western Australia
Central coordinates 128o 8.79' East  15o 27.61' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 2,810 ha
Altitude 10 - 270m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

BirdLife Australia



Summary The ranges next to the town of Wyndham support one of the largest known populations of the endangered Gouldian Finch, breeding in old-growth eucalypt savannas. The IBA also supports populations of the range-restricted Yellow-rumped Mannikin and seven species restricted to the tropical savanna biome.

Site description The IBA consists of hills next to the town of Wyndham in north-east Western Australia. The IBA boundary currently only includes the nature reserve on the Bastion Hills which is known to support breeding Gouldian Finches, although the reserve's current protection status is unknown. The water-holes around the town of Wyndham itself are not mapped. Further fieldwork is likely to discover additional breeding areas in more distant hills. The general region of the north Kimberley (including along the Ord, Dunham, Keep, Drysdale and Gibb and Durack Rivers and the Ellenbrae, Campbell and Dawn Creeks) probably supports pockets of breeding Gouldian Finches but this is the best-documented site and supports the largest known population. The IBA is dominated by gently sloping ranges with sandstone outcrops, with an exceptionally high density of cavity-bearing eucalyptus trees suitable as Gouldian Finch nest-sites, and seeding native grasses for Gouldian Finch food. The area is characterised by its prevalence of old-growth eucalypt stands providing natural hollows suitable for Gouldian Finch nesting. The close proximity of Wyndham township also provides a consistent supply of drinking water sources. Wyndham has a population of about 800 people. The mean minimum temperature is 17 Celsius in July, mean maximum temperature is 40 Celsuis in November and mean annual rainfall is 780 mm, mostly between November-March.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Rosella Platycercus venustus resident  2007-2008  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
White-gaped Honeyeater Lichenostomus unicolor resident  2007-2008  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-tinted Honeyeater Lichenostomus flavescens resident  2007-2008  common  A3  Least Concern 
Silver-crowned Friarbird Philemon argenticeps resident  2007-2008  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-breasted Honeyeater Ramsayornis fasciatus resident  2007-2008  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Gouldian Finch Erythrura gouldiae resident  2007-2008  800-1,000 individuals  A1, A3  Near Threatened 
Masked Finch Poephila personata resident  2007-2008  6-31 individuals  A3  Least Concern 
Long-tailed Finch Poephila acuticauda resident  2007-2008  208-269 individuals  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-rumped Munia Lonchura flaviprymna resident  2007-2008  50-100 individuals  A2, A3  Least Concern 

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Savanna Tropical eucalypt woodlands & grasslands  major

Land ownership West Australian State government with management the responsibility of the Shire of Wyndham.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
not utilised 100%
Notes: Unallocated Crown Land.

Protection status The IBA is identical to the Bastion Hill Reserve no. 33896, the status of which is unknown.

Acknowledgements Sarah Pryke and James Brazill-Boast wrote the nomination. Save the Gouldian Fund has supported various research projects and provided research facilities. The local residents and Shire of Wyndham have also supported research and conservation activities.

References Birchenough, A.C., Douglas, G.W. and Evans, S.E (2002) The status of Estrilid finches in North-western Australia. Australian Bird Watcher 19: 147-160.

O'Malley, C. (2006a) National Recovery Plan for the Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae). [Online]. WWF-Australia, Sydney and Parks and Wildlife NT, Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts, NT Government, Palmerston. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/pubs/e-gouldiae.pdf.

O'Malley, C. (2006) Appendix to the National Recovery Plan for the Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae) Background Information. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/pubs/e-gouldiae-background.pdf.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Wyndham. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/07/2014

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