Biologically important areas

  • Flatback Turtle Natator depressus
  • Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus
  • Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii
  • Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii

The Australian Government is undertaking a review of the Biologically Important Areas for protected marine species (BIAs). The BIA review includes update of the Protocol for the Designation of Biologically Important Areas for Protected Marine Species (the BIA Protocol) and the geospatial data for priority protected marine species including marine mammals (whales, dolphins, Australian sea lions, dugongs), marine turtles and seabirds. Updated BIA maps can be viewed on the Conservation Values Atlas. The southern right whale BIAs have been updated and shapefiles are available for download from Find Environmental Data. For further information on the BIA review contact the BIA review team at

Biologically important areas are regions where aggregations of individuals of a particular species are known or likely to display important behaviours such as breeding, foraging, nesting or migration. They have been identified from the literature and using expert scientific knowledge about species' distribution, abundance and behavior. Biologically important areas were created to inform decision making under the Environmental Protection and Biovidersity Conservation Act 1999, and have been defined for a selection of protected species only. These selected species were chosen based on their conservation status and the availability of reliable spatial and scientific information.

Biologically important areas are not representative of the total known biodiversity within a marine park. For more information about biodiversity and the biodiversity we know to exist in our marine parks see biodiversity.

How to use the map

Click this button (third from top on the left hand side of the map) to see the map metadata.