Riverland Mallee

Country/territory: Australia

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

Area: 1,221,766 ha

Protection status:

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

Site description
This IBA consists of the Riverland (previously Bookmark) Biosphere Reserve on the South Australia/New South Wales border, with extensions to include contiguous uncleared mallee in New South Wales and a corridor along the Murray River downstream to Morgan. This includes the mallee on the following properties: Taylorville, Lunn, Gluepot, Parcoola, Teonga, Calperum, Pooginook Conservation Park, Danggali Conservation Park, Chowilla Regional Reserve and Chowchilla Game Reserve in South Australia; Scotia, Tarawi and Nanya in New South Wales. Also included are areas of native vegetation mapped as Deep Sand Mallee, East West Dune Mallee, Chenopod Mallee and Mallee Mosaic by Val et al. (2001). The IBA also captures the following wetlands: Lake Merreti, Hart Lagoon and Stockyard Plains within the 1956 floodline along the Murray River; and a stretch of the Murray River which has high densities of breeding Regent Parrots and a series of important seasonally flooded wetlands. The Murray River around Renmark and from Loxton down to Morgan supports large numbers of breeding Regent Parrots; these are dependent on mallee and woodland fragments within 10 km of nest sites for use as foraging grounds; includes a 10 km 'buffer' along this stretch of river (smaller numbers downstream of Morgan are excluded from the IBA). This large IBA includes many protected areas managed by various bodies and private stations inside and outside the Biosphere Reserve, many of which are lightly grazed. The corridor along the river includes large areas of intensively farmed and settled land but the whole area is traversed by foraging Regent Parrots and many small fragments of native habitat are important for this species.

Key biodiversity
The IBA is important for several other mallee bird species which are listed as threatened in New South Wales: Grey Falcon (few records), Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo, Purple-crowned Lorikeet (few records), Striated Grasswren (100s estimated in Gluepot; P. Waanders in litt. 2007), Shy Heathwren, Southern Scrub-robin, Hooded Robin, Chestnut Quail-thrush and Gilbert’s Whistler. Other notable species recorded in the IBA include Australasian Bittern, Australian Painted Snipe, Scarlet-chested Parrot, Banded Whiteface, Chirruping Wedgebill, Diamond Firetail, Black Honeyeater and Painted Honeyeater. There have been two significant counts of Red-necked Avocet, 1500 in 1999 and 1220 in 2003 (Atlas of Australian Birds database). A series of ephemeral wetlands between the IBA and the Murray River support hundreds of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and up to 150 Freckled Ducks every few years when water levels are suitable (P. Waanders pers. comm. 2007).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Riverland Mallee. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/07/2020.