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Location Australia, Western Australia
Central coordinates 115o 41.05' East  32o 54.75' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 5,935 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary This IBA supports the vulnerable Fairy Tern, large numbers of the near-threatened Hooded Plover and regularly supports more than 1% of the global population of Australian Shelduck, Red-necked Stint and Banded Stilt, and sometimes Musk Duck.

Site description The Yalgorup IBA includes the wetlands of the Yalgorup National Park, south of Mandurah and in the shires of Murray, Waroona and Harvey in Western Australia. This IBA lies as close as 2 km from the Peel-Harvey IBA but appears to be used by waterbirds as a distinct wetland system. The National Park was designated in February 1990 and extended in 2001 to comprise the major wetlands of Lakes Clifton, Preston, Boundary, Pollard, Martins Tank, Yalgorup, Hayward and Newnham, and adjacent bushlands. The Yalgorup lakes vary from about 1-4 metres in depth and are evaporative salt lakes principally supplied by fresh groundwater and precipitation. Lake Clifton has extensive areas of groundwater seepage, which result in pronounced horizontal salinity gradients; away from the shoreline the salinity varied from about 8 to 32 ppt during the 1980s, however, salinity measurements from the late 1990s ranged from 25 to 49 ppt. Median annual rainfall at Mandurah is 879 mm, mostly falling in May-August. Some of the lakes are fringed by samphire flats and rushes and sedges. Beyond this is a zone of trees dominated by Melaleuca around hyposaline lakes; and Melaleuca cuticularis and Acacia cyclops around hypersaline lakes. Large parts of the shoreline throughout Yalgorup have been cleared, mostly for agriculture. The IBA could be extended to include the bushland if it is shown to support significant numbers of Carnaby's Black-Cockatoos, which are relatively common non-breeding visitors. The IBA is part of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar site.

Key Biodiversity The IBA has supported more than 1% of the world population of two species, each on a single occasion: 2500 Red-capped Plovers in 2001 but max 6060 from 1994-1999 (Atlas of Australian Birds database; Russell 2000) and 2210 Red-necked Avocet at Lake Clifton in 1988 but max 304 in 1994-1999 (DEWHA 2008; Russell 2000). Other high counts from Lake Clifton include Pacific Black Duck (4308 in 1990), Little Black Cormorant (2007 in 1986) and breeding Great Crested Grebe (max 190); and at Lake Pollard, up to 2000 Black Swan (DEWHA 2008). Fairy Terns occur occasionally, recorded in four of 492 (0.8%) Atlas of Australian Birds surveys from 1998 to 2008 (Atlas of Australian Birds database), max 50 at Lake Clifton in 1988 (DEWHA 2008).

Non-bird biodiversity: The site also holds significant populations of three threatened mammals, Chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroii), Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) and Western Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Australian Shelduck Tadorna tadornoides resident  1986-2007  3,000-13,782 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Musk Duck Biziura lobata resident  1986-2007  50-2,302 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Banded Stilt Cladorhynchus leucocephalus non-breeding  1986-2008  2,500-18,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus resident  1998-2007  37-170 individuals  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis non-breeding  1986-2005  328-15,000 individuals  A4i  Near Threatened 

IBA Monitoring

2008 medium not assessed not assessed
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Yalgorup National Park 13,090 protected area overlaps with site 5,478  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Other shrublands  minor
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes & pools; Salt marshes  major
Coastline Estuarine waters; Lagoons  minor

Land ownership Western Australia state government with management the responsibility of DEC.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

Protection status Wetland portion of the Yalgorup National Park.

Acknowledgements Thanks to William Rutherford and Michael Craig for compiling the nomination and to Bill Russell for his comments.

References Davis, C. (2003) Mid Summer Wader Count 2003. WA Bird Notes 106: 9-11.

DEWHA (2008) Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Information Sheet on Ramsar Wetlands (RIS) for Peel-Yalgorup System, Western Australia. Downloaded from on November 2007.

DEWHA (2008) Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Yalgorup Lakes System - WA095. Downloaded from on November 2007.

Jaensch, R.P., Vervest, R.M. and Hewish, M.J. (1988) Waterbirds in nature reserves of south-western Australia, 1981-1985: reserve accounts. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union Report 30: 1-290.

Russell, B. (2000) Waders in Yalgorup National Park: A report on waders recorded on the lakes in the Yalgorup National Park from 1 January 1994 to 31 December 1999. WA Bird Notes 93: 12-16.

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

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