Lake Hawdon System Important Bird Area
The Lake Hawdon System Important Bird Area comprises a 374 km2 series of five coastal lakes on the Limestone Coast
Limestone Coast
The Limestone Coast is a name used since the early twentyfirst century for the geographical region and tourist region of the southeast coast of South Australia from the Victoria border to the towards the city of Adelaide.-Location and description:...

 of south-eastern South Australia
South Australia
South Australia is a state of Australia in the southern central part of the country. It covers some of the most arid parts of the continent; with a total land area of , it is the fourth largest of Australia's six states and two territories.South Australia shares borders with all of the mainland...

. They are the most important of a string of regional lakes occupying swale corridors between modern and historical sand dune
In physical geography, a dune is a hill of sand built by wind. Dunes occur in different forms and sizes, formed by interaction with the wind. Most kinds of dunes are longer on the windward side where the sand is pushed up the dune and have a shorter "slip face" in the lee of the wind...



The Important Bird Area
Important Bird Area
An Important Bird Area is an area recognized as being globally important habitat for the conservation of bird populations. Currently there are about 10,000 IBAs worldwide. The program was developed and sites are identified by BirdLife International...

 (IBA) lies between the towns of Robe
Robe, South Australia
Robe is a town and fishing port on the South East Limestone Coast of South Australia. The town's distinctive combination of historical buildings, ocean, fishing fleets, lakes and dense bush is widely appreciated. Robe lies on the southern shore of Guichen Bay, just off the Princes Highway. At the...

 and Beachport
Beachport, South Australia
Beachport is a small coastal town 379 kilometres south-east of Adelaide, South Australia, located in the Wattle Range Council. Known for its 772 metre long jetty , Beachport is located on the northern end of Rivoli Bay...

. It includes Lakes Hawdon, Robe, Eliza, St Clair and George with the area extending for one kilometre inland from each in order to include habitat used by critically endangered
Critically endangered
Version 2010.3 of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species identified 3744 Critically Endangered species, subspecies and varieties, stocks and subpopulations.Critically Endangered by kingdom:*1993 Animalia*2 Fungi*1745 Plantae*4 Protista-References:...

 Orange-bellied Parrot
Orange-bellied Parrot
The Orange-bellied Parrot is a small broad-tailed parrot endemic to southern Australia, and one of only two species of parrot which migrate. The adult male is distinguished by its bright grass-green upperparts, yellow underparts and orange belly patch. The adult female and juvenile are duller...

s. Characteristics of the lakes are:
  • Lake Hawdon – shallow, semi-permanent, brackish lake divided into a 6x6 km northern basin and a 9x4.5 km southern basin, with a maximum water depth of about a metre
  • Lake Robe – 406 ha, much smaller than Lake Hawdon
  • Lake Eliza – hypersaline coastal lake with maximum depth of 1.4 m;
  • Lake St Clair – 189 ha, similar to Lake Eliza but more saline
  • Lake George – about 13x8 km, maximum depth of 3.5 m, naturally hypersaline but functions as an estuary with an outlet to the sea


The wetland system was identified by BirdLife International
BirdLife International
BirdLife International is a global Partnership of conservation organisations that strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources...

 as an IBA because it regularly supports over 1% of the world populations of Red-necked Stint
Red-necked Stint
The Red-necked Stint is a small migratory wader.- Description :These birds are among the smallest of waders, very similar to the Little Stint, Calidris minuta, with which they were once considered conspecific...

, and often of Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Calidris acuminata is a small wader.- Taxonomy :More recently, a review of new data has indicated that this bird should perhaps better be placed into the genus Philomachus- as P...

s, Double-banded Plover
Double-banded Plover
The Double-banded Plover , known as the Banded Dotterel in New Zealand, is a small wader in the plover family of birds. It lives in beaches, mud flats, grasslands and on bare ground...

s and Banded Stilt
Banded Stilt
The Banded Stilt is a nomadic stilt from Australia. It belongs to the monotypical genus Cladorhynchus. It gets its name from the red-brown breast band found on breeding adults, but this is mottled or entirely absent in non-breeding adults and juveniles. Its remaining plumage is pied and the eyes...

s. It also provides habitat for Orange-bellied Parrots, Australasian Bittern
Australasian Bittern
The Australasian Bittern , also known as the Brown Bittern, is found in south-western and south-eastern Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, New Caledonia and Ouvea. Populations in Australia and New Zealand have declined in the 20th century.It is a large bittern, patterned and streaked brown, buff...

s, Rufous Bristlebird
Rufous Bristlebird
The Rufous Bristlebird is a species of bird in the Dasyornithidae family.It is endemic to Australia.Its natural habitat is temperate forests.It is threatened by habitat loss.-Australia:...

s and Striated Fieldwren
Striated Fieldwren
The Striated Fieldwren or Calamanthus is a species of bird in the Acanthizidae family, endemic to Australia.-References:* BirdLife International 2004. . Downloaded on 25 July 2007....

s. The adjacent beaches and offshore islets, from Cowrtie Island to Baudin Rocks, sometimes support breeding Fairy Tern
Fairy Tern
The Fairy Tern is a small tern which occurs in the southwestern Pacific.There are three subspecies:* Australian Fairy Tern, Sterna nereis nereis - breeds in Australia...

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