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Location Australia, Victoria
Central coordinates 142o 2.02' East  38o 19.20' South
IBA criteria A1
Area 982 ha
Altitude 0 - 20m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary The IBA supports a non-breeding population of the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot, regular records of the endangered Australasian Bittern, and a breeding population of the near threatened Hooded Plover.

Site description The IBA is situated around Yambuk, between Portland and Port Fairy, in south-western Victoria. It comprises wetland vegetation around Lake Yambuk and adjacent protected areas which have suitable habitat for Orange-bellied Parrots. The coastal areas of the IBA are dominated by coastal dune scrub (i.e. a closed shrubland formation, featuring species such as Coast Wattle and Coastal Beard-Heath, with scattered emergent trees). Behind the coastal dune scrub lies Lake Yambuk, which receives freshwater inflows from the Eumeralla and Shaw Rivers, and from tidal seawater incursions. The estuary which connects Lake Yambuk to the ocean is sometimes closed by a build-up of silt, which causes the lake to be flooded by freshwater until the entrance of the estuary is opened manually according to local management prescriptions. The margins of Lake Yambuk support saltmarsh, reed beds and other forms of wetland vegetation. To the north of the lake lie some small patches of closed swamp scrub and low open eucalypt woodland. The IBA could be extended along a 40 km stretch of coast to Allestree to include a significant population of the near threatened Hooded Plover. A large part of the IBA is owned and managed as an Indigenous Protected Area (Deen Maar) by the Framlingham Aboriginal Trust.

Key Biodiversity More than 140 species of bird have been recorded from Yambuk Lake (including the wetlands and estuary), Deen Maar Indigenous Protected Area and Yambuk Beach. This figure includes a number of species listed under the China-Australia and/or Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreements (Moyne Shire Council 2007b). Eighteen records of Striated Fieldwren and one record each of Australian Painted Snipe, Fairy Tern and Flame Robin were obtained during 52 Atlas of Australian Birds surveys undertaken from 1998 to 2008 (Atlas of Australian Birds database).

Non-bird biodiversity: The Eumeralla River, which provides water to Lake Yambuk and its wetlands, is the primary stronghold for the Dwarf Galaxias (Department of Crown Lands and Survey 1981), a species of fish that is listed as threatened under both the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. Several species of plants considered to be rare or threatened in Victoria, including the Coast Ballart, are present on the margins of the Eumeralla River and Lake Yambuk (Moyne Shire Council 2007a).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Australasian Bittern Botaurus poiciloptilus unknown  1998-2009  common  A1  Endangered 
Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus resident  2000-2006  45-76 individuals  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Orange-bellied Parrot Neophema chrysogaster non-breeding  1999-2006  2-18 individuals  good  A1  Critically Endangered 

IBA Monitoring

2008 high not assessed not assessed
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially 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
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - abstraction of surface water (unknown use) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Deen Maar Indigenous Protected Area 453 protected area contained by site 453  
Yambuk Nature Conservation Reserve - Flora and Fauna Reserve 147 protected area overlaps with site 49  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Chenopod shrubs, samphire shrubs and forblands  major
Coastline Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Salt marshes  major

Land ownership State or local government; indigenous; private.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
rangeland/pastureland minor
Notes: Cattle grazing.

Protection status The IBA overlaps with Deen Maar Indigenous Protected Area and a section of the Yambuk Wetlands Nature Conservation Reserve.

Access/Land-Owner requests Yambuk Wetlands Nature Conservation Reserve and Eumeralla (Yambuk) Coastal Reserve are unrestricted public access. Access to Deen Maar Indigenous Protected Area and privately-owned areas is at the discretion of land-holders.

References Department of Crown Lands and Survey (1981) Western Coastal Study. Resource Document. Coastal Management and Coordinating Committee, Department of Crown Lands and Survey, Victoria.

DEWHA (2008) A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Yambuk Wetlands - VIC084. Accessed from on 10 September 2007.

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

Moyne Shire Council (2007a) Flora and Fauna. Accessed from on 10 September 2007.

Moyne Shire Council (2007b) The Birds at Yambuk. Accessed from on 10 September 2007.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Yambuk. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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