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Location Australia, Western Australia
Central coordinates 122o 7.53' East  16o 51.45' South
IBA criteria A4i, A4ii
Area 165 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

BirdLife Australia

Summary The IBA supports >1% of the global populations of Brown Booby and Roseate Tern. The breeding colony of Brown Booby is possibly the largest anywhere in the world.

Site description The IBA consists of the four islands - West Island, Middle Island, East Island and Sandy Island- that comprise the Lacepede Islands, these being located about 120 km north of Broome, 55 km west of Beagle Bay and about 25 km off the coast of northern Western Australia. The Lacepede Islands receive, on average, about 750 mm of rainfall per year. The islands are formed of coarse sand and coral rubble deposited atop a large platform reef. The islands are treeless but support scattered, low vegetation.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster resident  1982-2006  18,000 breeding pairs  good  A4ii  Least Concern 
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii unknown  1998-2006  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lacepede Islands Nature Reserve 180 protected area contains site 165  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Sand cays, islets & bars  100%

Land ownership Western Australian State Government with responsibility for management with the Department of Environment and Climate Change.

Land use

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

Other biodiversity The Lacepede Islands are the most significant breeding ground in Western Australia for the nationally vulnerable Green Turtle.

Protection status Site is within Lacepede Islands Nature Reserve.

Access/Land-Owner requests Permission to visit should be obtained from DEC.

Acknowledgements The nomination was prepared by Andrew Burbidge in consultation with DEC, Mike Carter and George Swann. Susan Forbes and Amelia Tandy kindly provided data.

References Burbidge, A.A., Fuller, P.J., Lane, J.A.K. and Moore, S.A. (1987) Counts of nesting boobies and Lesser Frigate-birds in Western Australia. Emu 87, 128-129.

Wilson, J.R. and Hassell, C. (1998) Wader counts on the Lacepede Islands, Western Australia. Stilt 33, 49-50.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lacepede Islands. Downloaded from on 22/10/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife