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Location Australia, Victoria
Central coordinates 144o 54.37' East  36o 44.95' South
IBA criteria A1
Area 50,982 ha
Altitude 135 - 300m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary The IBA supports significant numbers of non-breeding Swift Parrots (endangered) in suitable flowering conditions. The IBA also supports small numbers of the near threatened Diamond Firetail and non-breeding Flame Robin.

Site description This IBA includes all the box-ironbark woodland remnants that are significant for Swift Parrots in the Rushworth region of central Victoria (as defined by Kennedy and Tzaros 2005). This is situated between the Bendigo and the Warby-Chiltern Box-Ironbark Region IBAs and north of the Puckapunyal IBA. Where only one area within a forest patch is known to be significant the whole patch is taken, as this is the usual management unit and Swift Parrots are likely to use the remaining woodland in smaller numbers or less regularly. This IBA includes Cornella (SF), Crosbie (NCR), Heathcote (Spring Plains NCR and SF) and Rushworth (Heathcote-Graytown NP, Whroo NCR, Spring Creek NCR and Rushworth SF). Other adjacent areas of woodland are dominated by trees less suitable for these bird species and are excluded from the IBA, although these areas are still important for other woodland birds and support small numbers of the key IBA species. Most of the IBA is within protected areas or state forests, with only small forest blocks on private land.

Key Biodiversity Other declining woodland birds including Brown Treecreeper, Speckled Warbler, Hooded Robin, Grey-crowned Babbler, Crested Bellbird and Gilbert's Whistler; and occasional records of migrant Black Honeyeater and Pink Robin. The near threatened Bush Stone-curlew was recorded three times in 640 Atlas of Australian Birds surveys undertaken from 1998 to 2008 (Atlas of Australian Birds database).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor non-breeding  1996-2006  70 individuals  medium  A1  Critically Endangered 
Flame Robin Petroica phoenicea non-breeding  1998-2008  uncommon  A1  Near Threatened 
Diamond Firetail Stagonopleura guttata resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A1  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2008 high not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: large scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather drought happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Baileston Natural Features Reserve - Bushland Reserve 35 protected area contained by site 40  
Crosbie Nature Conservation Reserve 2,022 protected area contained by site 2,022  
Gobarup Nature Conservation Reserve 310 protected area contained by site 324  
Heathcote National Park 2,747 protected area contained by site 0  
Heathcote-Graytown National Park 12,700 protected area contained by site 12,700  
Murchison - Rushworth rail line Nature Conservation Reserve 69 protected area overlaps with site 5  
Pink Cliffs Natural Features Reserve - Geological Reserve 38 protected area contained by site 38  
Rushworth - Colbinabbin rail line Natural Features Reserve - Bushland Reserve 55 protected area overlaps with site 12  
Spring Creek Nature Conservation Reserve 495 protected area contained by site 495  
Spring Plains Nature Conservation Reserve 1,361 protected area contained by site 1,361  
Waranga H116 Natural Features Reserve - Bushland Reserve 265 protected area contained by site 265  
Whroo Nature Conservation Reserve 2,298 protected area contained by site 2,298  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Eucalypt woodlands  major

Land ownership Protected areas and state forests are owned and managed by the Victorian state government; the IBA also contains small areas of private land.

Land use

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

Protection status Numerous - see separate section.

Access/Land-Owner requests Some of the forest remnants are on private land without public access.

Acknowledgements Chris Tzaros, Simon Kennedy and Gary Cheers provided data and comments.

References Environment Conservation Council (2001) Box-ironbark forests and woodlands investigation. Final Report. Melbourne: Environment Conservation Council.

Johnson, G. and Baker-Gabb, D. (1994) The Bush Stone-curlew in Northern Victoria (Part 1): Conservation and Management. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Technical Report Series No. 129. Melbourne: Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Kennedy, S. (2000) Swift Parrot priority foraging and roost sites in Central Victoria. Bendigo, Victoria: Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

Kennedy, S. (2001) Swift Parrots. Results of winter surveys on mainland Australia, 1995-2000. Melbourne: Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

Kennedy, S.J. and Tzaros, C.L. (2005) Foraging ecology of the Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor in the box-ironbark forests and woodlands of Victoria. Pacific Conservation Biology 11: 158-173.

Tzaros, C. (2005) Wildlife of the box-ironbark country. Collingwood, Victoria: CSIRO Publishing.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Rushworth Box-Ironbark Region. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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