Mount Paitchau and Lake Iralalaro

Country/territory: Timor-Leste

IBA criteria met: A1, A2 (2007)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 55,797 ha

Site description (baseline)
“A wild area of moist deciduous lowland forest with some mixed evergreen forest on the hills. The area [also] contains the interesting lake and swamps of Ira Lalaro” (FAO/UNDP 1982). There is an extensive intact range of habitats from the coast to karst hills lakes, rivers and swamps. Forest types include semi-evergreen, moist deciduous, dry deciduous, swamp forest and coastal strand vegetation. Sandlund et al. (2001) identified this area as having the best remaining ‘primary’ forest in Timor-Leste, based on a rapid reconnaissance by helicopter.

Key biodiversity
Twenty-four restricted-range species have been recorded in this IBA, including the Endangered Timor Green-pigeon, and the Critically Endangered Yellow-crested Cockatoo also occurs there (Ora 2000, Trainor et al. 2004). Lake Iralalaro (c.1,500 ha) is the most significant freshwater site in Timor-Leste and Nusa Tenggara, supporting at least 50 waterbird species including large populations of ducks and rails (Trainor 2005).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Mount Paitchau and Lake Iralalaro. Downloaded from on 30/05/2023.