The IBA consists of the entire coastline of Buckingham Bay (which supports significant numbers of waders; Chatto 2003) and the seasonally inundated floodplain located immediately behind the bay (which supports significant numbers of waterbirds; Chatto 2006). The coastal habitat captured by the IBA consists of mud and salt flats with pockets of mangrove around Buckingham River (Harrison et al. 2009).
The intertidal mudflats of Buckingham Bay have supported up to 6000 near threatened Black-tailed Godwit (Chatto 2006). A waterbird nesting colony in the south-west corner of Buckingham Bay had about 2250 Intermediate Egrets, 450 Little Egrets, 240 Great Egrets, 60 Cattle Egrets, 2000 Pied Herons and 500 Rufous Night-Herons in March 1999 (Chatto 2000; waterbird breeding colony ref W040). The largest count of waders was 31,000 in February 1983 (Garnett 1983) and Chatto (2003) recorded 19,000 in January 1996 and 15,000 in March 1992 and April 1994, but Garnett (1987) estimates the average summer count as a little over 20,000.
Non-bird biodiversity: Buckingham Bay and associated coastal floodplains support seven plant species which are endemic to the Northern Territory (Harrison et al. 2009).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
More research is needed to identify threats and management actions but the area is likely to be susceptible to the impacts of sea-level rise.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Buckingham Bay and associated coastal floodplains are classified as a site of conservation significance by the Northern Territory Government (Harrison et al. 2009; Ward & Harrison 2009).