|Location||Australia, Northern Territory|
|Central coordinates||130o 20.00' East 11o 7.04' South|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary Seagull Island supports the largest colony of Crested Terns in the world.
Site description Seagull Island is a large sand island mostly covered by grass and vines, about 4 km off the north-western coast of Melville Island, north of Darwin. Island ref S009 in Chatto (2001).
Key Biodiversity Small numbers of Silver Gulls (maximum 800 birds) also nest, and possibly Roseate and Bridled Terns. Large numbers of migrant Little and Common Terns use the island for roosting, as do smaller numbers of Brown Boobies and frigatebirds.
Non-bird biodiversity: Important Olive Ridley Turtle nesting site (Chatto 2001).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii||breeding||1999-2006||25,000-29,000 nests||medium||A4i||Least Concern|
|2008||high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Climate change and severe weather||storms and floods||likely in long term (beyond 4 years)||whole area/population (>90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species||direct mortality of trigger species - hunting and trapping||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Sand cays, islets & bars||100%|
Land ownership Tiwi ALT.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Traditional Use|
Protection status The traditional owners have a basic system of monitoring the harvest of Crested Tern eggs and sometimes close the island to harvesting. Egg harvests of >1,000 eggs per season are extremely rare. Watanabe (1999) concluded that predation by Silver Gulls was a much greater threat to breeding success.
Access/Land-Owner requests This IBA is on Traditionally Owned land.
Acknowledgements Cyril Kalippa gave permission and Jack Long, Caji Dunn, Kate Hadden and the Tiwi Land Council kindly arranged a visit to the island by Guy Dutson. Nomination endorsed by Tiwi LC in 2006.
References Chatto, R. (2001) The distribution and status of colonial breeding seabirds in the NT. Technical Report 70. Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory, Palmerston. Dutson, G. (2006) Crested Terns at Seagull Island, Tiwis, NT. Unpublished report.
Harrison, L., McGuire, L., Ward, S. Fisher, A., Pavey, C., Fegan, M. and Lynch, B. (2009) An inventory of sites of international and national significance for biodiversity values in the Northern Territory. Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts & Sport, Darwin, NT.
Ward, S. and Harrison, L. (2009) Recognising sites of conservation significance for biodiversity values in the Northern Territory. Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts & Sport, Darwin, NT.
Watanabe, Y. (1999) The breeding biology of Crested Tern Sterna bergii on Seagull island, Northern Territory, in relation to egg harvest by Aboriginal people. Northern Territory University.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Seagull Island (Tiwi Islands). Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/11/2014
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