|Location||Australia, Western Australia|
|Central coordinates||121o 49.70' East 33o 50.52' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary The IBA regularly supports more than 1% of the global population of Banded Stilt and usually supports significant numbers of the near threatened Hooded Plover.
Site description The IBA consists of Pink Lake, a coastal brine lake located approximately 6 km west of Esperance in south-western Western Australia. It is 1 km south-west of Lake Warden IBA. The Esperance region experience a temperate Mediterranean-type climate with warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Pink Lake is inundated by surface inflow and groundwater. The lake is near-permanent with infrequent periods of drying in autumn. The bed of the lake is formed of silt and clay above underlying siltstone, claystone and sandstone. The waters of the lake sustain high concentrations of the salt-tolerant algae Dunaliella salina, the presence of which renders the lake a pinkish colour, and the cyanobacterium Microcoleus vaginatus. The margins of the lake support samphire vegetation including at least one species of Halosarcia. A small commercial salt-field consisting of eight salt evaporation ponds is located in the north-eastern section of the lake and sometimes supports Hooded Plovers. A buffer of native vegetation more than 1 km wide occurs in south-west parts of the site, but narrower elsewhere; this vegetation has supported some restricted-range species.
Key Biodiversity At least 14 species of bird waterbird occur at Pink Lake (Atlas of Australian Birds Database).
Non-bird biodiversity: A single invertebrate species, a protozoan in the genus Cladostricha, has been recorded at the lake (Handley 1991).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Banded Stilt Cladorhynchus leucocephalus||unknown||1997-2006||12-12,000 individuals||unknown||A4i||Least Concern|
|Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus||resident||1995-2005||5-68 individuals||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|2008||medium||not assessed||not assessed|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Energy production and mining||mining and quarrying||likely in long term (beyond 4 years)||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||recreational activities||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - aquatic||Other artificial wetlands||4%|
|Wetlands (inland)||Saline lakes||96%|
Land ownership Crown Land managed by state government (Department of Environment and Conservation and Department for Planning and Infrastructure) and local government; and private (leasehold) land managed by WA Salt Supply.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|energy production and mining||minor|
|Notes: Commercial salt harvesting.|
|nature conservation and research||major|
Protection status None.
Access/Land-Owner requests No access to commercial salt works.
Acknowledgements Stuart Halse kindly provided details of his 2006 surveys, and Ken Read commented on the nomination.
References Bureau of Meteorology (2007) Climate of Esperance. Downloaded from http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/wa/esperance/climate.shtml in November 2007.
DEWHA (2008) A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Pink Lake - WA029. Downloaded from http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/environmental/wetlands/database/ in November 2007.
Esperance Visitor Centre (2007) Natural Attractions. Downloaded from http://www.visitesperance.com/visitesperance.asp in November 2007.
Handley, M.A. (1991) The Biota of Inland Salt Lakes of the Kambalda Region and Coastal Salt Lakes of Esperance, Western Australia - a Comparative Study. Dissertation for Bachelor of Applied Science, Curtin University of Technology.
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 90.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Pink Lake (Esperance). Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/05/2015
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