Moreton Bay and Pumicestone Passage This is an IBA in danger! 

Country/territory: Australia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A4i (2009)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 57,500 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife Australia
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2017 very high not assessed low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Moreton Bay is a large bay north of Brisbane, extending about 100 km in a north-south direction and between 2-35 km east-west. The IBA is defined as the intertidal area and coastal strip in the strait between the mainland and Bribie Island, and the intertidal area of Moreton Bay from the level of the south of Bribie island to Coombalah Lake and Corrigee, including the whole of Moreton Island but not North or South Stradbrooke Islands. Moreton Island is included as it has much less human impact, significant numbers of roosting birds and unknown numbers of birds in a large swamp on the north of the island. This area is defined by the feeding and roosting areas of migratory shorebirds and is regarded as one of three significant areas for migratory shorebirds in eastern Australia. Large numbers of waders occur in the maze of estuaries and rich tidal flats that are sheltered by the large, inshore sand islands of Bribie, Moreton, North and South Stradbroke. Roughly two-thirds of the waterway is intertidal mudflat or sandflat, and the remainder includes mangroves, seagrass, saltmarsh, sandy spits and forested islands. At high tide, waders rest and digest their food, and these suitable roosting sites near their feeding grounds are usually open areas above high tide (claypans, saltmarshes, sandbars, spits and mangroves), where they can see predators easily. Moreton Bay has been listed as a Ramsar Site since 1999.

Key biodiversity
Greater Sand Plovers and Little Tern come close to threshold numbers. Chestnut Teal may regularly exceed the threshold of 1000 birds based on counts of 1100 in 1999 and 2001 (Atlas of Australian Birds database). There have been counts of up to 1122 near threatened Black-tailed Godwit. The site regularly contains in excess of 40,000 waders. A maximum 25 Beach Stone-curlew have been observed during surveys of 145 wader roost sites between Caloundra and Wave Break Island.

Non-bird biodiversity: Whales - Humpback, Southern Right, Killer, Sperm, Melon-headed and Minke all visit Moreton Bay. Dugongs feed on the extensive seagrass beds. Grey nurse sharks congregate around particular rocky grottos. Hawksbill, Green and Loggerhead Turtles are three species that extensively use Moreton Bay as a hatchery for young. A number of species of dolphins are found in Moreton Bay such as two species of Indo-pacific Bottlenose, Indo-pacific Humpback, Common Dolphin and Irrawaddy Dolphin. Seven species of mangroves are found in Moreton Bay. A high density of marine plants exist in the bay including seven species of seagrass belonging to five different families.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Moreton Bay and Pumicestone Passage. Downloaded from on 29/05/2020.