|Central coordinates||149o 5.44' East 21o 3.49' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A4i|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary The IBA regularly supports more than 1% of the global populations of Eastern Curlew, Great Knot, Grey-tailed Tattler and Pied Oystercatcher, and significant numbers of the near-threatened Beach Stone-curlew and the restricted-range Mangrove Honeyeater.
Site description This IBA consists of a series of beaches from Repulse Bay south through Mackay to Ince Bay in central Queensland. It is defined as all of the coastal habitat known by Queensland Wader Study Group to support significant numbers of feeding or roosting shorebirds, including the following: Proserpine River Sand Spit, Deadmans Creek New Beach and O’Connel River mouth in Repulse Bay, then excludes less suitable habitat past Midge Point to the bay north of St Helens Beach, then including from this bay past Stone Island North, Port Newry and Finlaysons Point to Seaforth Beach and Creek, then excluding the rocky coast around Cape Hillsborough, then including Sand Bay to Shoal Point (including Williamson's Beach, Belmunda Beach south, Habana Wharf and Nells Beach), Sunset Bay and Blacks Beach / Slade Bay, then excluding rocky coast from Slade Point to Mackay Harbour , then including Pioneer River mouth, Town Beach, Far Beach, Shellgrit Creek, Baker's Creek, McEwan's Beach, Dunrock South Arm and Alligator Creek to Dudgeon Point, then excluding less suitable habitat to Freshwater Point near Sarina, then including Ince Bay, including Armstrong Beach, Llewellyn Bay and Hogans Camp to Rocky Island at Cape Palmerston. Most of the IBA is intertidal mudflats and estuaries, with some sandy areas and backing mangroves. The IBA also includes the following islands which support roosting shorebirds: Temple Island, Rocky Island at Cape Palmerston (also know as Deadman’s Island), Irving Island, Cullen Island, Taffy Island, Victor Island, Round Top Island, Flat Top Island, Slade Island, Green Island, Wedge Island, South Red Cliff Island, Mausoleum Island, Acacia Island, Outer Newry Island, Newry Island, and Rabbit Island. The excluded areas are mostly exposed rocky or sandy coasts. The extent of shorebird movement between beaches and roosts is poorly known and some sections of this IBA, notably Ince Bay, may better be treated as separate IBAs.
Key Biodiversity The maximum number migratory waders recorded during a single survey was 23,140 in 2007. Actual numbers are likely to higher than counts indicate because surveys do not cover the entire area of the IBA. During the northward migration in April, Lesser Sand Plover (maximum count 2637 in 2006), Red-necked Stint (maximum 3692 in 2007), Grey-tailed Tattler and Whimbrel (maximum count 1960 in 2008) stage in the area. During the southward migration in October, Greater Sand Plover (maximum count 2732 in 2007), Grey-tailed Tattler, Pacific Golden Plover (maximum count 677 in 2008) and Whimbrel stage in the area. Other species recorded in the IBA include the near threatened Bush Stone-curlew (maximum count 12 in 2003). Surveys have targeted wader roosts and as such have excluded bushland habitat.) and Black-tailed Godwit (maximum count 331 in 2003), and the Bar-tailed Godwit (maximum count 4360 in 2003), Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (maximum count 1030 in 2003), Sooty Oystercatcher (maximum count 77 in 2008) and Red-capped Plover (maximum count 542 in 2008) (Queensland Wader Study Group database).
Non-bird biodiversity: The seas off the IBA are an important calving ground for migrating humpback whales. Significant numbers of dugongs are present. Flatback turtles nest on the mainland beaches, while flatback and green turtles nest on the offshore islands.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Beach Thick-knee Esacus magnirostris||resident||2003-2008||18 individuals||medium||A1||Near Threatened|
|Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris||resident||2002-2008||302-662 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Grey-tailed Tattler Tringa brevipes||non-breeding||2002-2008||358-1,312 individuals||good||A4i||Near Threatened|
|Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis||non-breeding||2002-2008||294-1,324 individuals||good||A4i||Vulnerable|
|Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris||non-breeding||2002-2008||4,407-6,701 individuals||good||A4i||Vulnerable|
|Mangrove Honeyeater Lichenostomus fasciogularis||resident||2003-2007||frequent||-||A2||Least Concern|
|2008||low||not assessed||not assessed|
|Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||recreational activities||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Residential and commercial development||housing and urban areas||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Bakers Creek||Conservation Park||572||protected area contained by site||46|
|Ball Bay - Sand Bay||Dugong Protection Area (B)||7,461||protected area overlaps with site||1,801|
|Bassett Basin||Fish Habitat Area B||671||protected area overlaps with site||134|
|Cape Palmerston||Fish Habitat Area A||8,834||protected area overlaps with site||1,582|
|Cape Palmerston||National Park||7,200||protected area overlaps with site||53|
|Great Barrier Reef||Marine Park||34,440,000||protected area overlaps with site||8,009|
|Ince Bay (Cape Palmerston - Allom Point)||Dugong Protection Area (A)||6,985||protected area overlaps with site||1,553|
|Llewellyn Bay||Dugong Protection Area (B)||12,714||protected area overlaps with site||229|
|Mackay / Capricorn||Marine Park||3,400,190||protected area overlaps with site||8,145|
|Repulse||Fish Habitat Area A||69,755||protected area overlaps with site||1,965|
|Sand Bay||Fish Habitat Area A||11,482||protected area overlaps with site||3,278|
|Sandringham Bay||Conservation Park||534||protected area overlaps with site||162|
|Skull Knob||Conservation Park||28||protected area overlaps with site||11|
|Stewart Peninsula - Newry Island - Ball Bay||Dugong Protection Area (A)||16,294||protected area overlaps with site||1,197|
|Townsville / Whitsunday||Marine Park||767,027||protected area overlaps with site||1,510|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Mangrove wetlands; Salt marshes; Sand cays, islets & bars; Sea cliffs, rocky shores & rocky islets||100%|
Land ownership Mackay City, Sarina and Whitsunday Shire Councils.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||major|
Protection status Several - see separate section.
Acknowledgements Dez Wells of Birds Australia Southern Queensland prepared the nomination with the help of the Queensland Wader Study Group who collected all of the data.
References Driscoll, P.V. (1996) The distribution of waders along the Queensland coastline. Report to the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage.
Harding, S. and Milton, D. (2003) Mackay Shorebird Project Final Report. Unpublished report. Queensland Wader Study Group.
Queensland Wader Study Group (2008) QWSG goes surveying in Mackay again. Queensland Wader 63: 7-9.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Repulse Bay to Ince Bay. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/01/2015
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