The heathland of Barren Grounds, Budderoo and Red Rocks is one of only four large areas of heath along this section of coast. The heaths and sedgelands of the plateau grade into warm temperate rainforest and subtropical rainforest on the slopes, gullies and ridges below the escarpment. The area is a typical hanging swamp plateau, dominated by heathland and almost completely encircled by sheer cliffs. Red Rocks is a nearby area of heath and this IBA may warrant expansion if Bristlebirds establish themselves in other pockets of habitat in the vicinity. The climate is temperate with damp winters and warm, humid summers moderated by proximity to the coast.
Approximately 160 bird species have been recorded in Barren Grounds Nature Reserve of which nearly a third breed in the reserve. This includes counts of 20-40 Ground Parrots in recent surveys (which are probably under-estimates).Eastern Bristlebirds have been recorded some 15 km west at Fitzroy Falls and Upper Kangaroo Valley with a small population about 5 km SE at Red Rocks NR indicating that there is some dispersion of birds through suitable corridor habitat.
Non-bird biodiversity: Threatened species include the Tiger Quoll, Dasyurus maculatus, Long-nosed Potoroo, Potorous tridactylus, Common Bent-wing Bat, Miniopterus schreibersii, Red-crowned Toadlet, Pseudophryne australis, Giant Barred Frog, Mixophyes iteratus or M. balbus, and Giant Burrowing Frog, Heleioporus australiacus. The Broad-headed Snake, Hoplocephalus bungaroides, is also likely to occur. A rare, undescribed species of frog, Litoria sp., similar to the Jervis Bay Tree Frog, Litoria jervisiensis, has been recorded in heath at Barren Grounds.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Implement the management plan aims, notably management of fire to ensure habitat diversity and long term habitat maintenance; and control of introduced species that have significant impacts on the natural values of the areas. Note that high priority will be given to maintenance of habitat for the Ground Parrot and Eastern Bristlebird on the Barren Grounds and Budderoo plateau and precedence will be given to conservation of the Eastern Bristlebird.
Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
The University of Wollongong students conduct numerous projects in the area. There are bird banding projects by members of the Australian Bird Study Association. There were educational programs arranged/conducted by the wardens of Barren Grounds for about 20 years prior to its closing in 2003.
The IBA contains Barren Grounds Nature Reserve and significant portions of Budderoo National Park and Cambewarra Range Nature Reserve.
State and local government.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Budderoo and Barren Grounds. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 08/04/2020.