Bunya Mountains and Yarraman

Country/territory: Australia

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

Area: 61,127 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife Australia
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2016 high not assessed low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
This IBA is triggered by the presence of a large population of Black-breasted Button-quail and is defined as the following national parks: Bunya Mountains, Tarong, Mt Binga, Pidna and The Palms, and Bunya Mountains National Park (Recovery) and Conservation Park; and the following state forests: Archookoora, Benarkin, East Nanango, Gibson, Googa, Mt Binga, Pidna, South Nanango, Tarong and Yarraman. The Black-breasted Button-quail population within the IBA is thought to be the largest in the world. The presence of this species at more than 1000 m above sea level in the adjacent Bunya Mountains is unusual as the species is not generally found over 500 m elsewhere. The Bunya Mountains are part of the Great Dividing Range with the Yarraman region on its eastern flanks, the entire area being the remnant of an ancient shield volcano. The now deeply weathered basaltic soils which dominate the IBA support a number of rainforest-vine thicket ecosystems as well as some rare grassland (Bunya Mountains only) and eucalypt communities. The Bunya Mountains are entirely protected whereas the Yarraman forests are comprised primarily of state forests supporting large tracts of Hoop Pine plantations as well as a variety of native forests. The IBA straddles two IBRA bioregions: the Brigalow Belt South and Southeast Queensland. The Bunya Mountains are of cultural significance to the indigenous peoples of the area. Triennial gatherings were held in the area, the people feasting on the seeds of the Bunya Pine Araucaria bidwillii. The tussock grasslands (balds) found in these mountains are an example of a culturally maintained landscape, the aboriginal peoples maintaining them and preventing the encroachment of the surrounding forests with the periodic use of fire.

Key biodiversity
Sightings have been reported of Grey Goshawk (rare), Glossy Black-Cockatoo (vulnerable), Powerful Owl (vulnerable) and Sooty Owl (rare). There are historical records of the presence of the now critically endangered Coxen's Fig-Parrot (Coxen's Fig-Parrot Recovery Team 2001). Pale Yellow Robin was reported twice in the 1960s but these records are considered erroneous (M. Mathieson pers. comm. 2008). The Atlas of Australian Birds database contains a single record of the endangered Swift Parrot for the period 1998 to 2008 (Atlas of Australian Birds database).

Non-bird biodiversity: In addition to the Black-breasted Button-quail, a further twelve fauna species listed under Queensland's Nature Conservation Act (1992) have been recorded within the Bunya Mountains IBA boundary: Four of these additional species are birds and are reported in 'Other Birds'. The others are Tusked Frog (Adelotus brevis) (vulnerable), Giant Barred Frog (Mixophyes iteratus) (endangered), Spot-tailed Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) (vulnerable), Little Pied Bat (Chalinolobus picatus) (rare), Golden-tipped Bat (Kerivoula papuensis) (rare), Collared Delma (Delma torquata) (vulnerable), Golden-tailed Gecko (Strophurus taenicauda) (rare) and the grass skink (Lampropholis colossus) (rare). Many plant species listed as threatened under the Nature Conservation Act (1992) are also found within this IBA inclunding the vulnerable Bunya Mountains Bluegrass (Bothriochloa bunyensis). Numerous ecosystem types that are listed as either of concern or endangered under Queensland's Vegetation Management Act (1999) are also found within the IBA boundary, many of these being vine thicket or rain forest communities considered suitable habitat for Black-breasted Button-quail (Environmental Protection Agency 2007; Mathieson and Smith 2007).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bunya Mountains and Yarraman. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/08/2020.