Arcoona Lakes

Country/territory: Australia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A3, A4i, A4iii (2016)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 12,066 ha

Protection status:

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

Site description
The Arcoona Lakes lie between Woomera and Roxby Downs in the central north of SA, ~500 km north of Adelaide. The climate is arid with erratic, variable rainfall (annual average ~150 mm at Roxby Downs and ~165 mm at Woomera).  The Arcoona Tableland, on which the lakes occur, has an area of ~10 000 km2. The lakes are diverse in their hydrology and water chemistry as a result of local catchment characteristics and provide a diverse array of sites. Some of the wetlands are large, shallow and highly saline, providing rich ephemeral shorebird habitat. Others provide deep (4-7 m) freshwater habitats which remain for several years following filling. By their nature, these ephemeral wetlands fill and remain inundated only after well above average rainfall.

Key biodiversity
These intact natural wetlands fill irregularly from local rainfall, providing great pulses of productivity to nomadic desert water birds. The extensive and diverse habitat supports the globally near-threatened Blue-billed Duck, large numbers of congregatory waterbirds such as Freckled Duck, Banded Stilt, Pink-eared Duck, Grey Teal, Hardhead, plus others, along with nesting habitat for biome-restricted terrestrial species such as the Bourke's Parrot.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Arcoona Lakes. Downloaded from on 10/07/2020.