Cadell and Blyth Floodplains

Country/territory: Australia

IBA Criteria met: A4i (2009)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 43,224 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife Australia
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2008 medium not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The boundary follows the coastal floodplains of the Cadell and Blyth rivers, and the adjacent length of Boucaut Bay. This IBA is situated between the Maningrida community to the west and the Milingimbi community to the east. The seasonal flooding comes from flows down the Blyth and Cadell Rivers and various creeks. Most of the floodplain is more than 1 m deep in wetter years.

Key biodiversity
Boucaut Bay has supported up to 5000 near threatened Black-tailed Godwit (Chatto 2003). The floodplains also support large numbers of other waterbirds including counts of 1000 Little Pied Cormorant, 1000 Great Egret, and total counts of waterbirds include 26,000 in 80-90% of area counted; 19,500 in 80-90% of area counted in 1992; 17,000 in 25-50% of area counted in 1999 (Chatto 2003). A waterbird nesting colony in coastal mangroves had 2000 herons, including 1000 Pied Herons in 1999; and one on the Blyth River had 1000 herons and 1000 Little Pied Cormorants in 1999 (Chatto 2000 waterbird breeding colony ref W039 and W045). More than 15,000 waders regularly recorded in the area 10 km either side of the mouth of the Blyth River; the most abundant shorebird species are Great Knot (up to 4895), Black-tailed Godwit (1099), Red-necked Stint (722) and Pied Oystercatcher (up to 311). At least 10,000 Magpie Geese and 100,000 whistling-ducks occur at times in the Maningrida-Milingimbi district; a large proportion of these birds would use the Blyth-Cadell floodplain. The near threatened Asian Dowitcher is a non-breeding visitor in small numbers, with a count of 15 in 1990 (DEWHA 2008). Chestnut Rails have been recorded on the floodplains but their local abundance is poorly known (Chatto 2006). Other species recorded at the site include the biome-restricted White-gaped Honeyeater, Bar-breasted Honeyeater and Long-tailed Finch (Atlas of Australian Birds database).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cadell and Blyth Floodplains. Downloaded from on 29/05/2020.