Country/territory: Australia

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

Area: 114,818 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife Australia
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2018 low very unfavourable low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
This IBA combines ephemerally flooded lower floodplain wetlands with swamp forests used by Swift Parrots and Regent Honeyeaters. It is bounded to the south by the Camden Haven River, west to the Pacific Highway, then north along the Pacific Highway north of Kempsey to Barraganyatti and across to the coast at Stuart's Point. This includes the lower floodplain of the Belmore and Macleay Rivers between Kempsey and Gladstone, a series of wetlands along the Belmore River including the Seals Road swamp, Rainbow beach, Jerseyville wetlands and the Swan Pool at Kinchela, the coastal forests of Maria River, Laurieton, Lake Cathie and trees in the towns of Port Macquarie, Kempsey and South West Rocks. Wetlands that appear suitable for Australasian Bittern include Limeburners Creek NR (extensive reed swamps, lake and wet heathlands), Pelican Island (reed swamp), Belmore Swamp (extensive wetlands, reed & paperbark swamps), Swan Pool HHNP (extensive reed and paperbark swamps) and the Maria River wetlands (reed and paperbark swamps). In wet years, the reedbeds and wetlands extend from the Hastings River north along the Maria River, behind Crescent head north to Ryans Cut and into Belmore Swamp, then along the Belmore River into Kinchela Creek and the Swan Pool, and north to the Macleay River wetlands and South West Rocks. The forests used by Swift Parrots are those dominated by Swamp Mahogany in wetlands and adjacent Forest Red Gums. Otherwise, the area is mostly cattle-grazed with large blocks of native hardwoods State Forest, protected areas and areas of tea-tree plantation.

Key biodiversity
Also supports thousands of Black Swans (including 1000 at Belmore Swamp alone on 30/6/05 and 5/3-12/4/2007 and at Camden Haven and Lake Cathy/Innes), up to 1000 Black-winged Stilt, possibly thousands of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers (counts of 780 on Lower Macleay wetlands 28/10-6/11/03; 1250 at Pelican Island (Jerseyville) 9-12/12/06, 800 at Pelican Island (Jerseyville) and 300 at Rainbow Reach 1/1-14/4/2007), up to 3000 Grey Teal (at Seale Rd Swamp, part of Belmore Swamp 25/8-2/12/2006), up to 1000 Chestnut Teal (Camden Haven estuary), small numbers of nesting Black-necked Storks, Brolgas, Bush Stone-curlews, Little Terns, Glossy Black-Cockatoos and Grass Owls, high densities, perhaps 10 pairs, of Square-tailed Kites, and small or infrequent numbers of Australian Painted Snipe, Australian Little Bittern, Paradise Riflebird, Regent Bowerbird, Green Catbird, Logrunner and Pale-yellow Robin (A. Morris pers. comm. 2007; Atlas of Australian Birds database).

Non-bird biodiversity: Important population of koalas for NSW.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hastings-Macleay. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/10/2019.