Keep River

Country/territory: Australia

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

Area: 98,257 ha

Protection status:

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

Site description
This IBA is an area of the upper Keep River straddling the Western Australia - Northern Territory border about 400 km south-west of Darwin. The IBA is defined by the area known to support Gouldian Finches but much of the area is poorly surveyed and further fieldwork is needed to better define the boundaries. The area is dominated by open savanna woodland with an understorey of native grasses on sandstone, and areas of open grassland. The area is highly monsoonal, with rain falling mostly from December to March, averaging 873 mm annually at Newry Station. The hills are drained by a network of ephemeral creeks, and the larger rivers retain pools of water through the dry season. The key features supporting the Gouldian Finches are the low grazing pressure and history of few extensive hot fires, which allow grasses to seed, persistent waterholes for drinking and hollow-bearing trees for nesting. The 400 ha Newry Station Gouldian Finch site is on the Register of the National Estate and about half of the IBA is in the Keep River National Park. The Northern Territory portion of the IBA, and additional land immediately to the north of the IBA, is classified as a site of conservation significance by the Northern Territory Government (Ward and Harrison 2009).

Key biodiversity
Small numbers of the restricted-range White-quilled Rock-Pigeon and the biome-restricted Sandstone Shrike-thrush have been recorded (NRETA 2007). The near threatened Australian Bustard is rare in the IBA (Atlas of Australian Birds database). The near threatened Chestnut-backed Button-quail and Partridge Pigeon are also likely to occur in the Keep River region, but no definitive records are available.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Keep River. Downloaded from on 07/07/2020.