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Location Australia, Tasmania
Central coordinates 147o 28.98' East  43o 3.21' South
IBA criteria A4i, A4ii
Area 185 ha
Altitude 0 - 100m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary The Betsey Island IBA harbours over 1% of the global population of Short-tailed Shearwater, Black-faced Cormorant and Little Penguin.

Site description Betsey Island and Little Betsey Island are located just off the south-east coast of Tasmania between Tasman Peninsula and Bruny Island. Betsey Island (175 ha) has steep rocky cliffs on the east, south and west sides and a small rocky beach on the north. The west side has a gentler slope gradient and open sandy terrain which is more suitable for burrowing birds. Open woodlands consisting of Tasmanian Blue Gum cover most of the island. The main rock type is dolerite with some sandstone outcrops in the north-east. Little Betsey Island (0.75 ha) is a steep sided rock with a platform on the top. Old remains of buildings can be found from when the island was farmed (Brothers et al. 2001).

Key Biodiversity Other birds found on Betsey and Little Betsey Islands are the Kelp Gull (three pairs and 11 individuals recorded by Brothers et al. [2001] but higher numbers have been observed [E. Woehler in litt. 2008]) and White-bellied Sea-Eagle (one breeding pair recorded by Brothers et al. [2001]). Swamp Harriers also nest on the island (E. Woehler in litt. 2008).

Non-bird biodiversity: Other animals found on Betsey Island and Little Betsey Island are Rabbit, White's Skink and the She-oak Skink. Vegetation includes Eucalyptus globulus, Tetragonia implexicoma and the invasive weeds Cape Leeuwin Wattle and African Boxthorn (Brothers et al. 2001).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Little Penguin Eudyptula minor resident  1985-1999  15,085 breeding pairs  poor  A4ii  Least Concern 
Short-tailed Shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris resident  1985-1999  130,000-170,000 nests  medium  A4ii  Least Concern 
Black-faced Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscescens resident  1999-2003  232 breeding pairs  medium  A4i  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2008 medium not assessed not assessed
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Betsey Island Nature Reserve 181 protected area contained by site 181  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Sea cliffs, rocky shores & rocky islets  major
Forest Eucalypt woodlands  major
Shrubland Chenopod shrubs, samphire shrubs and forblands  minor

Land ownership State Government Nature Reserve

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

Protection status Betsey Island Nature Reserve

Access/Land-Owner requests Permission should be sought from DPIW before visiting this Nature Reserve.

Acknowledgements The nomination was prepared by Birds Australia. Rachael Alderman and Rosemary Gales of DPIW and Eric Woehler kindly commented on the nomination.

References Brothers, N., Pemberton, D., Pryor, H. & Halley, V. (2001) Tasmania's Offshore Islands: seabirds and other natural features. Tasmanian Museum and Art gallery: Hobart.

Skira, I.J., Brothers, N.P. & Pemberton, D. (1996) Distribution, abundance and conservation status of Short-tailed Shearwaters Puffinus tenuirostris in Tasmania, Australia. Marine Ornithology 24: 1-14.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Betsey Island. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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