Morehead River


Country/territory: Australia

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

Area: 135,560 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 Morehead River IBA is located in the south-east of Cape York. The IBA is defined as the properties supporting high numbers of Golden-shouldered Parrots but also supports many other savanna species. The land is mostly pastoral lease used for extensive cattle grazing, with a monsoonal climate. Low hills are covered with open savanna woodland and drained by largely ephemeral streams. Conservation agreements cover or are being negotiated over parts of the area.

Key biodiversity
The savanna woodlands support a range of woodland species through the Melaleucas, particularly when in flower. In the wet season Azure Kingfisher occurs along streams with the narrow strips of riparian forest supporting a small suite of rainforest birds like Fairy Gerygone and Pied Imperial-Pigeon. Wet grasslands are used by Latham's Snipe during the northern migration and by the Brolga for nesting. Raptors like Black-breasted Buzzard nest in some years and Red Goshawk has been seen on two occasions.

Non-bird biodiversity: The area falls surprisingly short in other significant fauna, although the Rufous Hare-wallaby has been recorded and several Macropus species occur at low densities.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Morehead River. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/12/2019.