|Location||Australia, Western Australia|
|Central coordinates||121o 30.62' East 33o 47.16' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary The IBA supports more than 1% of the population of the near threatened Hooded Plover and has also supported more than 1% of the global populations of the congregatory Australian Shelduck and Banded Stilt. However, recent counts suggest that all species are declining and the system may not continue to meet IBA thresholds.
Site description This IBA is located 35 km west-north-west of Esperance in south-western Western Australia. The IBA consists of Lake Gore (740 ha), four named satellite lakes (Lake Gidong, Lake Kubitch and Lake Carbul, each 25 to 30 ha, and Quallilup Lake, 200 ha) and about ten unnamed satellite lakes around Lake Gore, and a large (400 ha) swamp, unofficially termed Overflow Swamp, which connects Lake Gore and Quallilup Lake. Mean annual rainfall at Esperance is 568 mm with most falls from May to August. Wetlands in the Lake Gore system are saline to varying degrees. Lake Gore, Lake Gidong and Quallilup Lake are permanent or near-permanent. The remaining wetlands are generally seasonal although after heavy rainfall they may retain water for two or three consecutive dry seasons. Lake Gore receives water from the Dalyup River system and, when full, overflows to Quallilup Lake via Overflow Swamp. Lake Gidong, Lake Kubitch and Lake Carbul receive water from the Coobidge Creek system. In years of exceptional rainfall (e.g. 1986, 1989), overflows from both systems may merge and flow from Overflow Swamp westward via an ill-defined watercourse to Barker Inlet and the ocean. The larger wetlands in the system are fringed by narrow bands, often only one tree in breadth, of Saltwater Paperbark above understorey plants such as Gahnia trifida and Schoenus brevifolius. The saltmarsh areas support samphires (e.g. Suaeda australis, Sarcocornia quinqueflora), grasses (e.g. Sporobolus virginicus) and herbs (e.g. Samolus repens) (DEWHA 2008).
Key Biodiversity Fairy Tern appears to be an irregular non-breeding visitor: maximum was a colony of 25 which bred at Lake Kubitch in 1984-85 (DEWHA 2008) and 12 counted in 2001 and 2002 at Lake Gore (Atlas of Australian Birds database), but none observed during surveys of Lake Carbul, Lake Kubitch, Lake Gore and Lake Quallilup in November 2002 (Buchanan 2003), and no subsequent published records. At least 55 species of waterbird have been recorded in the Lake Gore system. This figure includes 18 species listed under international conservation agreements, 14 migratory species and 12 species which breed in the system (DEWHA 2008). Lake Gore alone supports more than 10,000 (and probably more than 20,000) waterbirds in most years with a maximum count of 29,273 waterbirds in 1988. Other large wetlands in the system can each support up to 5000 waterbirds. At Lake Gore, there have been notable sub-threshold counts of 3500 Grey Teal, 1000 Hoary-headed Grebe and 625 Red-necked Stint (DEWHA 2008); 4000 Black Swan in 2001 and four counts of 2000-2500 in 2002-2004 (Atlas of Australian Birds database).
Non-bird biodiversity: The beaches of Lake Gore contain shell deposits from a species of ostracod that is abundant at the lake (DEWHA 2008).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Australian Shelduck Tadorna tadornoides||unknown||1981-2002||12,000 individuals||unknown||A4i||Least Concern|
|Banded Stilt Cladorhynchus leucocephalus||non-breeding||1981-1998||20-20,000 individuals||unknown||A4i||Least Concern|
|Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus||unknown||1995-2002||1,570 individuals||medium||A1, A4i||Vulnerable|
|2008||high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Agricultural expansion and intensification||annual & perennial non-timber crops - agro-industry farming||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Un-named (No. 26885)||Nature Reserve||5,200||protected area overlaps with site||366|
|Un-named (No. 32419)||Nature Reserve||792||protected area overlaps with site||704|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Wetlands (inland)||Saline lakes||major|
Land ownership Western Australian State government with management the responsibility of DEC and some private ownership (freehold).
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||major|
Protection status Two Unnamed Nature Reserves - see separate section.
Acknowledgements Stuart Halse kindly commented on the nomination and provided data.
References Buchanan, B. (2003) Waterbirding at Esperance. Western Australian Bird Notes 105: 18-20.
Clarke, A.G. and Lane, J.A.K. (2003) A waterbird census of selected wetlands along the coastal margins of Esperance District, Feb-Mar 2003. Unpublished report: WA Dept of CALM.
DEWHA (2008) A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Information sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS): Lake Gore, Western Australia - 55 and Lake Gore System - WA026. http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/environmental/wetlands/database/ accessed October 2007.
Halse, S.A., Jaensch, R.P., Munro, D.R. and Pearson, G.B. (1990) Annual waterfowl counts in south-western Australia - 1988-89. Technical report 25. Perth: Department of Conservation and Land Management.
Newbey, B.J. (1996) Report on Hooded Plover project June 1994 to March 1996 RAOU (WA group). Supplement to Western Australian Bird Notes 79.
Singor, M. (1999) Hooded Plover report no. 2 1996-1999. Supplement to Western Australian Bird Notes 99.
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