Lake Bindegolly

Country/territory: Australia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A3, A4i (2009)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 31,778 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
The Lake Bindegolly IBA is located about 145km west of Cunnamulla and 40km east of Thargomindah, in south-west Queensland. The IBA captures the main waterbodies and numerous ephemeral claypan wetlands on the surrounding drainage basin. Climate is arid, with low and very variable summer-dominant rainfall; the long-term mean annual rainfall at Thargomindah is 287mm. The IBA includes several large, shallow ephemeral waterbodies: Lakes Hutchinson, Toomaroo and Bindegolly. These are filled by local run-off and contain freshwater when full, becoming more saline as they dry. Complete drying occurs in protracted drought periods. The lake shores support samphire, lignum, canegrass and bluebush communities which flood seasonally, hence both open water and vegetated wetland habitats are present. Above the lakes are sand sheets and dunes, over clay soils with numerous small seasonally-flooded claypans. These areas support several shrubland communities. The Bindegolly Lakes are a series of arid-zone ephemeral water bodies in which water levels fluctuate greatly, with corresponding changes in salinity and turbidity. The lakes are fringed by a variety of shallow-water vegetated wetlands and seasonally dry samphire flats.

Key biodiversity
Bindegolly Lakes flutuate seasonally and therefore the diverse waterbird community reflects this: large numbers of piscivores/insect-crustacean feeders/macrophyte-eaters that forage in open water, as well as a large diversity and numbers of herons and allies, crakes, rails and waders. The main species found here, with maximum counts, include Black Swan (1100), Australasian Shoveler (320), Pink-eared Duck (3000), Hardhead (3000), Great Crested Grebe (500), Little Pied Cormorant (3500), Pied Cormorant (800), Little Black Cormorant (4000), Great Cormorant (2500), Australian Pelican (3000), Eurasian Coot (11,000), Sharp-tailed Sandpipers (800), Gull-billed Tern (230) and Caspian Tern (500). The endangered Australasian Bittern and near threatened Grey Falcon and Australasian Bustard are rarely sighted in IBA (Atlas of Australian Birds database).

Non-bird biodiversity: The vulnerable small tree Acacia ammophila is present on sand dunes adjacent to the lake. Sub-fossil remains of Lesser Stick Nest Rat Leporillus apicalis nests, containing material from a further 12 mammal species, now globally or locally extinct and otherwise unknown in Qld (SA Museum), are present on the adjacent rocky areas of the National Park, hence of high biogeographic value. Diverse frog and reptile fauna recorded.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lake Bindegolly. Downloaded from on 28/02/2020.