Barrington Tops and Gloucester Tops This is an IBA in danger! 


Country/territory: Australia

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

Area: 127,478 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife Australia
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2019 very high favourable high
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here


Site description
Barrington Tops, which also includes the nearby hills of Gloucester Tops, is in the central Great Dividing Range of New South Wales north of Newcastle. The IBA includes Barrington Tops National Park, Stewarts Brook, Chichester, Masseys Creek and Fosterton State Forests, and the majority of Barrington Tops State Forest. The park is located in a region that receives substantial rainfall (average 1325 mm per year at 200 m altitude, much higher at high altitudes). Temperatures in the park are cooler than on nearby lowlands, e.g. sub-zero temperatures are common and the upper regions of the park occasionally receive snowfall in winter. The park is situated on a broad plateau or tableland of volcanic rock (granodiorite and basalt). The vegetation of the park is dominated by sub-tropical and cool temperate rainforests - the latter dominated by Antarctic Beech - and tall eucalypt forests. These communities are replaced on the elevated plateau by sub-alpine eucalypt woodlands, tussock grasslands dominated by Snow Grass, and montane bogs and swamps. This IBA also includes the majority of Barrington Tops State Forest and completely includes Stewarts Brook, Chichester, Masseys Creek and Fosterton State Forests. The National Park rainforests are included in the 'Gondwana Rainforests of Australia' World Heritage Area and about 75% of the park is declared as wilderness area(s).

Key biodiversity
One hundred and sixteen species of bird have been recorded in Barrington Tops National Park. This total includes the endangered Australasian Bittern (recorded in one of 278 Atlas surveys from 1998 to 2008) and nine other species (Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Glossy Black-Cockatoo, Gang-gang Cockatoo, Powerful Owl, Barking Owl, Sooty Owl, Masked Owl, Rufous Scrub-bird and Olive Whistler) which are classified as threatened in New South Wales under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (NSW NPWS 2008).

Non-bird biodiversity: One hundred and twelve identified species of non-avian terrestrial vertebrates have been recorded in Barrington Tops National Park. This total consists of 21 species of amphibian, 31 species of reptile and 60 species of mammal (eight mammal species are introduced). Twenty-three of the 112 identified species of non-avian terrestrial vertebrates are classified as threatened in New South Wales under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (NSW NPWS 2002). Six of these 23 taxa (Stuttering Frog, Hastings River Mouse, Grey-headed Flying Fox, Spotted-tailed Quoll, Long-nosed Potoroo and Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby) are also classified as threatened at the national level under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The park also supports a diverse range of plant life and is the only site at which the plant Leucopogon pilifer is known to occur.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Barrington Tops and Gloucester Tops. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/05/2020.