Kakadu Savanna

Year of compilation: 2008

Site description
The savanna woodlands of Kakadu National Park extend from the coastal floodplains in the north to the southern hills 150 km to the south, and from the Arnhem Land sandstone plateau in the east, 120 km to its western boundary. The IBA excludes the sub-coastal riverine floodplains of the Alligator Rivers IBA and the sandstone country of the Arnhem Land Plateau IBA, which are partially in the Kakadu National Park. The residential and mining areas of Jabiru and Ranger are outside the National Park and are excluded. The western and southern IBA boundary follows that of the National Park as management of fire, weeds and ferals is better in the park than in adjacent unprotected land which is consequently assumed to support lower densities of the key bird species. Most of the IBA is on flat coastal plains, rising to low stony hillsides in the south. The area experiences a monsoonal climate with heavy rains from November to March.

Key biodiversity
The endangered Gouldian Finch is rare in southern Kakadu with an estimated population of 50-150 birds (O'Malley 2006). Small numbers of the restricted-range Chestnut-quilled Rock-Pigeon and White-lined Honeyeater occur on sandstone outliers but numbers are insignificant when compared to populations in the adjacent Arnhem Plateau IBA. Other notable species which have been recorded in the IBA include the near threatened Australian Bustard, Bush Stone-curlew and Star Finch (Atlas of Australian Birds database).

Non-bird biodiversity: About 60 species of mammal (including marsupial and placental species) and 117 species of reptiles have been recorded in the National Park (Kakadu National Park website).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The current Kakadu National Park Plan of Management should include specific actions for the threatened species and declining restricted-range species. The impacts of frequency and timing of fires must be better researched and management adjusted accordingly (see e.g. Fraser et al. 2003).

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
The entire area is a National Park and World Heritage Area.

Protected areas
The IBA is part of Kakadu National Park.

Land ownership
Leased by the Traditional Owners to Parks Australia and jointly managed.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kakadu Savanna. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/11/2020.