Repulse Bay to Ince Bay

Country/territory: Australia

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

Area: 13,388 ha

Protection status:

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

Site description
This IBA consists of a series of beaches from Repulse Bay south through Mackay to Ince Bay in central Queensland. It is defined as all of the coastal habitat known by Queensland Wader Study Group to support significant numbers of feeding or roosting shorebirds, including the following: Proserpine River Sand Spit, Deadmans Creek New Beach and O’Connel River mouth in Repulse Bay, then excludes less suitable habitat past Midge Point to the bay north of St Helens Beach, then including from this bay past Stone Island North, Port Newry and Finlaysons Point to Seaforth Beach and Creek, then excluding the rocky coast around Cape Hillsborough, then including Sand Bay to Shoal Point (including Williamson's Beach, Belmunda Beach south, Habana Wharf and Nells Beach), Sunset Bay and Blacks Beach / Slade Bay, then excluding rocky coast from Slade Point to Mackay Harbour , then including Pioneer River mouth, Town Beach, Far Beach, Shellgrit Creek, Baker's Creek, McEwan's Beach, Dunrock South Arm and Alligator Creek to Dudgeon Point, then excluding less suitable habitat to Freshwater Point near Sarina, then including Ince Bay, including Armstrong Beach, Llewellyn Bay and Hogans Camp to Rocky Island at Cape Palmerston. Most of the IBA is intertidal mudflats and estuaries, with some sandy areas and backing mangroves. The IBA also includes the following islands which support roosting shorebirds: Temple Island, Rocky Island at Cape Palmerston (also know as Deadman’s Island), Irving Island, Cullen Island, Taffy Island, Victor Island, Round Top Island, Flat Top Island, Slade Island, Green Island, Wedge Island, South Red Cliff Island, Mausoleum Island, Acacia Island, Outer Newry Island, Newry Island, and Rabbit Island. The excluded areas are mostly exposed rocky or sandy coasts. The extent of shorebird movement between beaches and roosts is poorly known and some sections of this IBA, notably Ince Bay, may better be treated as separate IBAs.

Key biodiversity
The maximum number migratory waders recorded during a single survey was 23,140 in 2007. Actual numbers are likely to higher than counts indicate because surveys do not cover the entire area of the IBA. During the northward migration in April, Lesser Sand Plover (maximum count 2637 in 2006), Red-necked Stint (maximum 3692 in 2007), Grey-tailed Tattler and Whimbrel (maximum count 1960 in 2008) stage in the area. During the southward migration in October, Greater Sand Plover (maximum count 2732 in 2007), Grey-tailed Tattler, Pacific Golden Plover (maximum count 677 in 2008) and Whimbrel stage in the area. Other species recorded in the IBA include the near threatened Bush Stone-curlew (maximum count 12 in 2003). Surveys have targeted wader roosts and as such have excluded bushland habitat.) and Black-tailed Godwit (maximum count 331 in 2003), and the Bar-tailed Godwit (maximum count 4360 in 2003), Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (maximum count 1030 in 2003), Sooty Oystercatcher (maximum count 77 in 2008) and Red-capped Plover (maximum count 542 in 2008) (Queensland Wader Study Group database).

Non-bird biodiversity: The seas off the IBA are an important calving ground for migrating humpback whales. Significant numbers of dugongs are present. Flatback turtles nest on the mainland beaches, while flatback and green turtles nest on the offshore islands.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Repulse Bay to Ince Bay. Downloaded from on 29/05/2020.