Cradle Mountain


Country/territory: Australia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A3 (2009)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 161,443 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 IBA is identical to Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, which is located approximately 80 km south of Burnie in north-western Tasmania. The IBA is chosen as the central/northern representative of a series of protected areas that support populations of most of Tasmania's endemic birds across a wide altitudinal range, including large areas of old-growth tall eucalyptus forest. The climate is cool to cold with heavy rainfall: mean maximum temperatures range from about 15-17oC in summer to around 5oC in winter with mean annual rainfall exceeding 2600 mm. The IBA features a series of mountain peaks, formed of dolerite rock, with a number of high-altitude lakes and tarns, the largest of which is Lake St Clair, the deepest lake (maximum depth 200 m) in Australia. The region was extensively shaped by glacial erosion and deposition with artifacts of this process (e.g. moraines, meltwash channels, outwash deposits) still present today. The vegetation in the IBA grades from dense forests on the lower slopes, to stunted forests at higher altitudes, to alpine grasslands and rocky outcrops around the summits of the various peaks.

Key biodiversity
At least 74 species of bird which are endemic to Australia, including 10 species which are endemic to Tasmania, have been recorded in the IBA. Three introduced species (Common Blackbird, Common Starling and European Goldfinch) also have been recorded (Parks and Wildlife 2008).

Non-bird biodiversity: The IBA is a strong-hold for Tasmanian endemic flora (e.g. 40-55% of alpine plant species in the IBA are endemic to Tasmania). The resident flora includes several species of Gondwanan origin such as the long-lived endemic conifers (e.g. King Billy Pine, Pencil Pine, the hybrid Athrotaxis laxifolia and Celery Top Pine), members of the families Cunoniaceae (Bauera rubioides), Winteraceae (Tasmannia lanceolata) and Stylidiaceae (Stylidium graminifolium), and other species with Gondwanan links such as Deciduous Beech and Myrtle Beech. Non-avian faunal species present in the IBA include a number of Tasmanian endemic invertebrates and mammals, including an assemblage of the world's largest marsupial carnivores (e.g. Tasmanian Devil, Spotted-tailed Quoll and Eastern Quoll), and two of the three surviving species of monotremes, Platypus and Echidna (Parks and Wildlife Service 2008).


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cradle Mountain. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 14/11/2019.