|Central coordinates||139o 16.37' East 16o 16.09' South|
|Altitude||0 - 16m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary The islands support more then 1% of the global populations of Brown Booby and Lesser Frigatebird.
Site description Rocky and Manowar Islands are both small islands in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria about 40 km distant from the nearest substantial land on Mornington Island. The two slightly raised islands support large numbers of breeding seabirds, particularly Brown Booby on both islands and Lesser Frigatebird on Manowar Island. The climate is monsoonal with an extended dry season from May to November and a hot wet season from December to April.
Key Biodiversity Large numbers of Australian Pelican and small numbers of Eastern Reef Egret, Osprey and White-bellied Sea-Eagle breed on the islands.
Non-bird biodiversity: The islands are notable for basking by Green Turtle between breeding attempts in the winter (Garnett et al. 1985). An undescribed legless lizard, Lerista aff. orientalis, has been recorded from Rocky Island (Garnett and Crowley 1987a), and must be a relic from the Pleistocene when lower sea level meant the islands were connected to the mainland.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel||breeding||1991||7,700 breeding pairs||good||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Brown Booby Sula leucogaster||breeding||1991||9,000-12,000 breeding pairs||medium||A4ii||Least Concern|
|2008||high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||recreational activities||happening now||whole area/population (>90%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases||invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||slow but significant deterioration||high|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Sand cays, islets & bars; Sea cliffs, rocky shores & rocky islets||20%|
Land ownership Traditional owners are Lardil people: Rocky Island known as Kalamburriya, Manowar Island known as Delmerriya or Wudma. http://www.environment.gov.au/indigenous/publications/pubs/thuwathu-bujimulla-plan.pdf. Native title exists over the islands.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Indigenous land use|
Access/Land-Owner requests Permission to visit islands should be sought from Mornington Island Shire Council.
Acknowledgements THe nomination was prepared by Stephen Garnett.
References Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (2006) Thuwathu/Bujimulla Sea Country Plan: Aboriginal Management of the Wellesley Islands Management Region of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Department of Environment and Heritage, Canberra. http://www.environment.gov.au/indigenous/publications/pubs/thuwathu-bujimulla-plan.pdf
Garnett, S.T. and Crowley, G.M. (1987a) Rocky Island. Corella 11, 75-76.
Garnett, S.T. and Crowley, G.M. (1987b) Manowar Island. Corella 11, 73-74.
Garnett, S.T., Crowley, G.M. and Goudberg, N.J. (1985) Non-nesting emergence by Green Turtles in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Copeia 1984, 262-264.
Walker, T.A. (1992) A record Crested Tern Sterna bergii colony and concentrated breeding by seabirds in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Emu 92, 152-156.
White, H.L. (1917) North Australian birds. Emu 16, 117-158.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Manowar and Rocky Islands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/07/2015
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