Towerrining Lake and Moodiarrup Swamps

Country/territory: Australia

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

Area: 180 ha

Protection status:

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

Site description
The IBA consists of Towerrining Lake, a highly modified medium-sized (160 ha) brackish lake, and adjacent brackish swampland to the north-west, unofficially termed Moodiarrup Swamp NW. The IBA is located 45 km north-west of Kojonup in south-western Western Australia. The region experiences a temperate Mediterranean-style climate characterized by warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Towerrining Lake is a permanent wetland that receives water from Moodiarrup Swamp NW, precipitation and local streams. The lake consists of open water bordered by a narrow band of paperbark. Moodiarrup Swamp NW is a semi-permanent wetland that receives water from direct precipitation and local streams. When inundated, the swamp consists of open water interspersed with a few isolated shrubs and stands of dead trees. Additional adjacent swamplands east and south-east of Towerrining Lake, which supported good numbers of waterbirds in the early 1980s, have been excluded from the IBA because hydrological changes over the past two decades have reduced the importance of these sites for waterbirds. Hydrological changes (increased water levels and salinity) have also had an adverse effect on Towerrining Lake and Moodiarrup Swamp NW but these areas continue to support significant numbers of Blue-billed Duck. The IBA includes a single protected area, Towerrining Nature Reserve.

Key biodiversity
At least 53 species of bird, including 50 species of waterbird, have been recorded at Towerrining Lake and Moodiarrup Swamps (Jaensch et al. 1988; D. Secomb and W. Zadow at; WetlandBase 2007). At least 21 species of bird, including 20 species of waterbird, have been recorded breeding at the site. Counts of up to 450 and 173 Musk Duck have been made at Towerrining Lake (Atlas of Australian Birds database; WetlandBase 2007). Species occasionally recorded in sizeable but sub-threshold numbers are Australian Shelduck (counts of 850 in 1988, 1000 in 1992, 1032 in 2001 and 2200 in 2004 and 2006 at Towerrining Lake); Grey Teal (counts of 913 in 1983, 850 in 1984 and 1600 in 2004, and a maximum count of 3400 between 2004 and 2008, at Moodiarup Swamps, and counts of 1110 in 1988 and 2000 in 1992 at Towerrining Lake); and Hoary-headed Grebe (count of 949 in 2002) (Jaensch et al. 1988; WetlandBase 2007; B. Buchanan unpubl. data). Terrestrial species recorded in the IBA include Western Rosella, Western Thornbill, Western Wattlebird and Western Yellow Robin (Atlas of Australian Birds database).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Towerrining Lake and Moodiarrup Swamps. Downloaded from on 02/06/2020.