Discovery Bay to Piccaninnie Ponds


Country/territory: Australia

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

Area: 10,121 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 extends along the coast from Green Point in South Australia to eastern Bridgewater Bay in Victoria. It includes the wetland along the drain to Green Point, Pick Swamp, Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park, a small parcel of private land to the north of Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park, and Discovery Bay Coastal Park east to the end of Discovery Bay (the remaining sections along Bridgewater Bay and Nelson Bay only support Rufous Bristlebirds amongst the key bird species). The most prominent ecological community in the IBA is coastal scrub, which is dominated in most places by emergent Moonah, and is otherwise comprised of medium-sized shrubs (e.g. Coast Wattle, Coast Beard-heath, Seaberry Saltbush and Coast Daisy-bush) above a ground cover of grasses, herbs and sedges. The IBA includes a long stretch of exposed sandy beaches and sand dunes. The IBA also includes the Glenelg River estuary, Long Swamp and other freshwater swamps, some small permanent freshwater lakes and pools, and some small patches of herb-rich eucalypt woodland. Piccaninnie Ponds contain clear water upwelling from limestone aquifers.

Key biodiversity
Discovery Bay supports regionally important numbers of Sanderling with a count of 2000 in 2006 (Christie 2006). Small numbers of Little Terns nest at the mouth of the Glenelg River (Christie 2006). The Bush Stone-curlew is rare to uncommon in the IBA (Emison et al. 1987). The vulnerable Fairy Tern and near threatened Flame Robin are occasionally recorded in the IBA but no counts are available for either species (Atlas of Australian Birds database).

Non-bird biodiversity: Discovery Bay Coastal Park supports 66 species (23 species of flora and 43 species of fauna) which are considered to be threatened in Victoria, including nine species that are nationally threatened and 14 species that are listed under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. One species, the Coast Gum, is restricted in Victoria to Discovery Bay Coastal Park. Discovery Bay Conservation Park is considered to be of high conservation value to 15 species, including seven that are listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Parks Victoria 2000).


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Discovery Bay to Piccaninnie Ponds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/10/2019.