Greater Blue Mountains

Country/territory: Australia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A3, A4ii (2009)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 1,040,407 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife Australia
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2017 high favourable medium
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The IBA includes the whole Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area which is comprised of eight protected areas: Blue Mountains, Kanangra-Boyd, Gardens of Stone, Wollemi, Nattai, Yengo and Thirlmere Lakes National Parks and the Jenolan Karst Conservation Reserve. This area includes most of the Hawkesbury Sandstone massif 60 to 180 km inland of Sydney, which supports most of the world population of the Rock Warbler. Another 12 adjacent protected areas could be included but the World Heritage Area supports a sustainable population of Rock Warblers. A number of peripheral valleys supporting Regent Honeyeaters and other woodland birds could be considered for inclusion within this IBA or as separate IBAs: the Capertee and Burragorang valleys are categorised as separate IBAs but the Howes Valley in the Wollemi National Park has not supported significant numbers of Regent Honeyeaters since 1994. Within the World Heritage Area, 542,000 ha has been designated as Wilderness Areas, and another 245,000 ha could be listed. The area is dominated by eucalypt forest between rugged sandstone cliffs, with an exceptional diversity of habitats. Because of the intrinsic beauty, natural features and accessibility from the major population centres, the area has high recreational values, and hosts more than three million visitors annually.

Key biodiversity
A total 265 bird species have been recorded in the IBA (DEH 2005) including the vulnerable Painted Honeyeater and the Australian Little Bittern (Atlas of Australian Birds database).

Non-bird biodiversity: Wollemi Pine Wollemia nobilis and the Dwarf Mountain Pine Microstrobos fitzgeraldii. About 1500 plant species including 102 eucalypt species and more than 70 plant communities, including approximately 127 rare or threatened plants, of which almost half are confined to the Greater Blue Mountains. Fifty-two native mammals, 63 reptiles and more than 30 frogs.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Greater Blue Mountains. Downloaded from on 06/08/2020.