Richmond Woodlands Important Bird Area (IBA)

Shanes Park Airservices site is very close to the loosely defined eastern boundary of the Richmond Woodlands Important Bird Area (IBA). This IBA presently covers about 33,000 ha, extending from Wilberforce, Pitt Town and Scheyville in the north-east to south of Penrith in the south-west. A map is available here. It is one of 10,000 IBAs identified in over 200 countries, one of 314 in Australia, and one of 45 in NSW. All these IBAs have been identified using a set of clearly defined global criteria under the auspices of BirdLife International.

The Shanes Park Airservices site contains stands of suitable eucalypt trees which, when flowering heavily, are likely to attract the nationally Endangered Swift Parrot and the Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeater during their post-breeding dispersal. These are the two key ‘flagship species’ of this IBA, and in recent years they have occurred from time to time within it. Indeed, there have also been numerous records of Swift Parrots in a variety of other locations just to the east of the present IBA in the last few years. Other notable regionally rare bird species that the Richmond Woodlands IBA aims to protect, which also occur at Shanes Park, include Speckled Warbler, Scarlet Robin, Square-tailed Kite, and Little Eagle.

In the light of the current high bird diversity and good quality habitat at the Shanes Park Airservices site, serious consideration is likely to be given in the near future to a proposal to extend the eastern boundary of the Richmond Woodlands IBA to include this site. Particularly if reserved as Nature Reserve, it would form a very important extension to the existing network of woodland conservation reserves that currently extends from Scheyville National Park in the north, through Windsor Downs and Agnes Banks Nature Reserves, to Castlereagh Nature Reserve and the proposed Cranebrook Nature Reserve (ex-Airservices site).