The IBA comprises Binya State Forest and the southern half of the adjacent Cocoparra National Park, about 25 km northeast of Griffith in the Riverina District of southern NSW. The IBA is defined by the distribution of the Painted Honeyeater and extends as far north as the Mt Bingar Track; habitat north of this is unsuitable. Further work may support the inclusion of private Yarran woodlands to the east of Cocoparra NP and along various roadsides. The area occurs at the margin of the semi-arid zone in a region in with mean monthly temperatures from 14 Celsius (June) to 32 Celcius (January) and mean annual rainfall about 400 mm. The IBA is a remnant of native vegetation on dry hills, surrounded by cleared agricultural land. Cocoparra is centred on a range of hills that begins at 330m above the riverine plain and climbs to 460 m. The higher ridges of Cocoparra are largely unsuitable for Painted Honeyeaters and Diamond Firetails, being timbered with Black Cypress pine and mallees, whereas the wider valleys such as Woolshed Flat and Pleasant Valley support White Cyprus Pine / Bimble Box woodland with an open and grassy understorey. Selective logging of cypress pine and ironbark previously occurred on the flats and lower slopes, and most of the flats were also cleared for grazing and cropping. Some of these logged and cleared areas are now covered with dense tree and shrub regrowth, particularly Acacia deanei, but large open areas remain and are being revegetated. Binya State Forest is dominated by White Cypress Pine - box (most commonly Bimble Box) woodland. Yarran trees are most common in Binya; these support grey mistletoe which supports Painted Honeyeater. Many of the key species are particularly common in compartment five. Binya is managed as a working forest whereas Cocoparra has larger trees and more hollow-nesting birds.
Sporadic records of the vulnerable Superb Parrot in the non-breeding season. More than 50 species have been recorded in Binya State Forest (Morris 2003) and 169 species have been recorded in Cocoparra National Park including 110 sightings of Speckled Warbler out of 6899 total bird records 1980-June 2008 (NSW NPWS 2007). Two vulnerable Maleefowl were sighted in 2003. The near threatened Flame Robin and Diamond Firetail and the biome-restricted Black Honeyeater are rare to uncommon in the IBA (NSW NPWS 2005; K. Hutton pers. comm. 2008; Atlas of Australian Birds database). A number of locally threatened species breed here including Glossy Black-Cockatoo, Turquoise Parrot, White-browed Treecreeper and Shy Heathwren.
Non-bird biodiversity: Nine species of amphibian, 18 species of mammal and 26 species of reptile have been recorded in Cocoparra.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Advocate for future forestry practices to conserve Painted Honeyeater and Diamond Firetail habitat. Investigate impact of grazing on Diamond Firetails. Eradicate or control invasive plants.
Southern half of Cocoparra National Park.
New South Wales State Government with management the responsibility of the Department of Environment and Climate Change and the Department of Primary Industries.
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Binya and Cocoparra. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 18/11/2019.