|Central coordinates||141o 40.21' East 34o 47.39' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A3|
|Altitude||0 - 100m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary This large mallee reserve supports populations of three globally threatened species, Malleefowl, Black-eared Miner and Mallee Emu-wren, the near threatened Red-lored Whistler, and two species restricted to the mallee biome, Regent Parrot and Purple-gaped Honeyeater. It also contains ephemeral wetlands, which sometimes support significant numbers of waterbirds.
Site description The Murray-Sunset, Hattah & Annuello IBA captures a large area of contiguous mallee in north-western Victoria. It encompasses seven protected areas and the contiguous uncleared native vegetation. This entire area is incorporated into a single IBA because it supports a suite of threatened mallee bird species, some of which occur in very small numbers scattered across vast distances. A large area of patchy and degraded habitat in the north-west of Murray-Sunset NP and extending north from the park is excluded because it supports none of the key bird species. The IBA captures the protected Hattah Lakes and wetland systems along the Murray River, but waterbird numbers at these sites are insufficient to justify nomination as an independent IBA. The IBA could be expanded to include a length of the Murray River which supports large numbers of breeding Regent Parrots.
Key Biodiversity Occasional records of Black, Pied and Purple-gaped Honeyeaters and at least one record of Scarlet-chested Parrot (Atlas of Australian Birds database). Up to 288 Hoary-headed Grebes, 101 Freckled Duck, 1960 Pacific Black Duck, 15,053 Grey Teal, 5797 Hardhead, 1280 Pink-eared Duck, 128 Black-fronted Dotterel and 1000 Australian Pelicans have been counted at the Hattah Lakes (DEWHA 2008; Hattah Lakes Ramsar Site Information Sheet) and a maximum 254 Black-fronted Dotterel in 1990 (AWSG database). The endangered Australasian Bittern may occur in small numbers when ephemeral wetlands are inundated. An estimated 1-2 pairs of Grey Falcon were present in 1998-2003 (R. Clarke in litt. 2006).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Malleefowl Leipoa ocellata||resident||1998-2003||30-100 breeding pairs||medium||A1||Vulnerable|
|Regent Parrot Polytelis anthopeplus||resident||1998-2008||uncommon||-||A3||Least Concern|
|Mallee Emuwren Stipiturus mallee||resident||1998-2003||50-200 breeding pairs||medium||A1, A3||Endangered|
|Black-eared Miner Manorina melanotis||resident||1998-2003||20-40 breeding pairs||medium||A1, A3||Endangered|
|Purple-gaped Honeyeater Lichenostomus cratitius||resident||1998-2003||50-200 individuals||medium||A3||Least Concern|
|Red-lored Whistler Pachycephala rufogularis||resident||1998-2003||30-100 breeding pairs||medium||A1, A3||Vulnerable|
|2014||very high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Natural system modifications||fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||very rapid to severe deterioration||very high|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Annuello||Nature Conservation Reserve - Flora and Fauna Reserve||35,284||protected area contained by site||36,014|
|Bell||Nature Conservation Reserve||1,051||protected area contained by site||1,051|
|Bockie||Natural Features Reserve - Bushland Reserve||23||protected area contained by site||23|
|Gnarr I237||Natural Features Reserve - Bushland Reserve||49||protected area overlaps with site||21|
|Hattah - Kulkyne||National Park||48,000||protected area contained by site||48,000|
|Murray - Kulkyne||Other Park||3,530||protected area contained by site||3,530|
|Murray - Sunset||National Park||633,000||protected area overlaps with site||536,774|
|Nowingi||Natural Features Reserve - Bushland Reserve||138||protected area contained by site||138|
|Nurnurnemal||Natural Features Reserve - Bushland Reserve||51||protected area contained by site||72|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Desert||Semi-desert (includes gibber plains)||minor|
|Forest||Callitris forests & woodlands; Casuarina forests & woodlands; Eucalypt low open forests||major|
|Savanna||Eucalypt open woodlands||major|
|Shrubland||Chenopod shrubs, samphire shrubs and forblands; Heath; Mallee shrublands & woodlands||major|
|Wetlands (inland)||Ephemeral; Freshwater lakes & pools||minor|
Land ownership Victorian State Government.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||minor|
Protection status Numerous - see separate section.
Acknowledgements Thanks to Tim Dolby for drafting the nomination.
References Baker-Gabb, D. (2004) Recovery Plan for the Mallee Emu-wren, Red-lored Whistler, Western Whipbird and other threatened mallee birds. Natural Heritage Trust, Canberra.
Burbidge, A.H. (1985) The Regent Parrot. A report on the breeding distribution and habitat requirements along the Murray River in south-eastern Australia. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Report Series No. 4.
Clarke, R.H. and Clarke, M.F. (1998) Field management of the Black-eared Miner. Final report to Dept of Natural Resources and Environment, Vic. July 1998.
Clarke, R.H., Boulton, R.L. and Clarke, M.F. (in press) Estimating population size of the black-eared miner, with an assessment of landscape-scale habitat requirements. Pacific Conservation Biology.
Clarke, R.H. (2005) Ecological requirements of birds specialising in mallee habitats. Modelling the habitat suitability for threatened mallee birds La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia.
Clark, R.H (2007) Surveys for Mallee Emu-wrens within the Murray Mallee Reserve System, Victoria, Spring 2006. Internim Report to the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne.
DEWHA (2008) A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. http://www.environment.gov.au/water/publications/environmental/wetlands/database/ accessed August 2008.
DSE (2003) Hattah-Kulkyne Lakes Ramsar Site: Strategic Management Plan. Melbourne: Department of Sustainability and Environment.
Garnett S.T. and Crowley, G.M. (2000) The action plan for Australian birds 2000. Canberra: Environment Australia.
Luck, G.W., Possingham, H.P. and Paton, D.C. (1999a) Bird responses at inherent and induced edges in the Murray Mallee, South Australia. 1. Differences in Abundance and Diversity. Emu 99: 157-69.
Luck, G.W., Possingham, H.P. and Paton, D.C. (1999b) Bird responses at inherent and induced edges in the Murray Mallee, South Australia. 2. Nest predation as an edge effect. Emu 99:170-75.
Silveira, C.E. (1990) Mallee Emu-wren. Pp. 107-109 In Threatened birds of Australia - an annotated list. Brouwer, J. & Garnett, S. (Eds). Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union Report number 68. Moonee Ponds: RAOU.
Silveira, C.E. (1993) The recovery plan for Australia’s threatened mallee birds – addressing fire as a threatening process: research phase. Report to the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service. Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union, Melbourne.
Silveira, C.E. (1999) Mallee Emu-wren Stipiturus mallee. Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement. Natural Resources and Environment, Melbourne.
Webster, R. and Leslie, D. (1997) Assessment of Regent Parrot Polytelis anthopeplus breeding habitat in south-western New South Wales. Unpublished report to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and State Forests of New South Wales.
Webster, R. (2002) Surveys of Regent Parrot Polytelis anthopeplus monarchoides breeding colonies in Victoria between Piambie State Forest and Nangiloc. Unpublished Report to Mallee Catchment Management Authority.
Webster, R. (2003) Further surveys of Regent Parrot Polytelis anthopeplus monarchoides breeding colonies in Victoria between Piambie State Forest and Nangiloc. Unpublished Report to Mallee Catchment Management Authority.
Webster, R. (2004) Surveys of potential Regent Parrot Polytelis anthopeplus monarchoides nesting habitat in Victoria between Piambie State Forest and Lambert Island. Unpublished Report to Mallee Catchment Management Authority.
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