Narran Wetlands This is an IBA in danger! 

Country/territory: Australia

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

Area: 22,439 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife Australia
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2019 very high very unfavourable medium
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The IBA comprises the floodplain of three open water areas, Clear Lake, Back Lake (and Long Arm) in the north and Narran Lake in the south, which are connected by expanses of vegetation subject to inundation. The Narran floodplain wetland complex is a terminal system of the Narran River in the Condamine-Balonne Catchment River, in the central north of NSW between Walgett and Brewarrina, in the Murray-Darling Basin. The wetland supports extensive dense stands of Meuhlenbeckia florulenta with, in places, an overstorey of Eucalyptus camaldulensis and/or Acacia stenophylla, which together comprise the main substrate on which the waterbird breeding colonies form and which require regular inundation for their survival. They are all at risk because of the reduced incidence of inundation because of extraction of water upstream of the wetland for agriculture. A small natural flood in 2008 was extended to allow successful nesting of ibis, by the purchase of 11,000 ML of water from upstream irrigation storages. This was the first breeding event since 1999/2000. The surrounding district is part of the semi-arid pastoral zone and is used mainly for sheep and cattle grazing. The average annual rainfall is 495 mm.

Key biodiversity
Fifty-seven species of waterbirds have been recorded from the wetlands of which 36 have been recorded breeding. Large numbers of Pied Cormorant (up to 1500), Little Black Cormorant (up to 5000), Freckled Duck (up to 200), Black Swan (up to 3200), Pink-eared Duck (up to 6000), Great Cormorant (up to 800), Glossy Ibis (up to 1323), Whiskered Tern (up to 1200) and Royal Spoonbill (up to 7000) have been recorded (Ley 1988; (Atlas of Australian Birds database). 50-150 pairs of Royal Spoonbills, 50-100 pairs darter and smaller numbers of other waterbirds nested in 2007/8 (Terrill 2008). Other species of national or state conservation concern include Magpie Goose, Blue-billed Duck, Brolga, Latham's Snipe, Grey Falcon, Major Mitchell's Cockatoo, Barking Owl and White-throated Treecreeper. 400,000 Straw-necked Ibis were reported in 1983 (Lindsey 1985).

Non-bird biodiversity: The site supports world-class stands of Phragmites and Lignum.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Narran Wetlands. Downloaded from on 10/07/2020.