|Central coordinates||146o 28.84' East 38o 44.35' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Altitude||0 - 10m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary The Corner Inlet IBA contains the most extensive intertidal mudflats in Victoria which support >1% of the world populations of Red-necked Stint, Eastern Curlew, Chestnut Teal, Pied and Sooty Oystercatchers and the near threatened Hooded Plover. It may prove to regularly support the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot (two were seen in 2004).
Site description The Corner Inlet Ramsar site is the most southerly marine embayment and tidal mudflat system of mainland Australia. The site is of international zoological significance as habitat for migratory wading birds. The barrier islands are of national botanical significance due to their biogeographic importance, and national geomorphological significance as an example of barrier island formation. Corner Inlet is bounded to the west and north by the South Gippsland coastline, in the south-east by a series of barrier islands and sandy spits lying end to end and separated by narrow entrances, and to the south by the hills of Wilsons Promontory. The chain of barrier islands are a westward extension of the Ninety Mile Beach and are of complex form and origin. They provide an outstanding example of the processes involved in barrier island formation including the development of multiple beach ridges, lagoons and swamps, tidal creeks, tidal deltas, and tidal washovers. The main channels of the Inlet are continuous with the Franklin, Albert and Tarra Rivers which drain the catchment area of some 2300 km2 into the embayment and out into Bass Strait through the Main, Port Albert, Kate Kearney, Shoal and McLoughlins Beach Entrances (Ramsar Site Information Sheet 2006). Close to 90% of the site is designated marine and coastal park with Nooramunga Marine & Coastal Park to the east and Corner Inlet Marine & Coastal Park to the west. The Corner Inlet Marine National Park (covering part of the Bennison Channel) resides within the larger Corner Inlet designated area.
Key Biodiversity The site also supports large numbers of the following species but they do not 'regularly' exceed the thresholds: Bar-tailed Godwit, Red Knot, Double-banded Plover Grey Plover (AWSG database), Little Pied Cormorant, Black-faced Cormorant and White-faced Heron (P. Dann pers. comm 2007). Every year typically 100 non-breeding Little Tern from the northern hemisphere are present from November to March. Little Tern do not ordinarily breed but occasionally a pair does breed. Up to 100 Common Terns also occur from November to March. Satellite tracking has identified the inlet is an important feeding area for the Little Penguin colony at Rabbit Island. The site is important also for Black Swan; however count data is only available for the western section of the IBA, which supports 4000-7000 swans. Several thousand pairs of Short-tailed Shearwater used to nest on small granitic islands (Norman 1977). The near threatened Flame Robin and biome-restricted Striated Fieldwren are uncommon at Corner Inlet (Atlas of Australian Birds database).
Non-bird biodiversity: Three mammal species listed as threatened in Victoria have been recorded at Corner Inlet: Spot-tailed Quoll (vulnerable), New Holland Mouse (endangered) and Swamp Antechinus (rare).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Chestnut Teal Anas castanea||resident||2001-2006||562-1,764 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris||resident||2000-2005||531-914 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Sooty Oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus||resident||2000-2005||160-400 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus||resident||1986-1998||22-35 individuals||good||A1||Vulnerable|
|Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis||non-breeding||2001-2005||552-1,971 individuals||good||A4i||Vulnerable|
|Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis||non-breeding||2001-2005||12,663-22,720 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Pacific Gull Larus pacificus||resident||2001-2006||204-543 individuals||good||A4i||Least Concern|
|Fairy Tern Sternula nereis||resident||1998-2008||20-50 breeding pairs||medium||A1, A4i||Vulnerable|
|Orange-bellied Parrot Neophema chrysogaster||non-breeding||-||2 individuals||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|2008||medium||not assessed||not assessed|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||recreational activities||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Invasive and other problematic species and genes||invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Pollution||agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Residential and commercial development||commercial and industrial development||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Corner Inlet||Marine and Coastal Park||28,483||protected area contained by site||30,174|
|Corner Inlet||Marine National Park||1,550||protected area contained by site||1,550|
|Corner Inlet||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||67,186||protected area contained by site||67,186|
|Nooramunga||Marine and Coastal Park||30,093||protected area overlaps with site||29,827|
|Wilsons Promontory||Marine and Coastal Park||6,193||protected area overlaps with site||59|
|Wilsons Promontory||National Park||49,049||protected area overlaps with site||730|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Mangrove wetlands; Sand cays, islets & bars||major|
Land ownership Victorian State Government - 58,670 hectares of parks and reserves including Corner Inlet and Nooramunga Marine and Coastal Parks (within the Corner Inlet Marine & Coastal Park is the Marine National Park of 1550 hectares); 6,473 hectares - other public land; 1,824 hectares - freehold land (Dog, Little Dog, Bullock, Hunter & Sunday Islands). The public lands are managed as follows:- the parks & reserves by Parks Victoria, foreshores at Port Welshpool & Port Albert by Committees of Management, port facilities by Gippsland Ports and the shipping channels by NRE.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: commercial fishing, recreational fishing, intertidal collecting (for bait.|
|Notes: Sunday Island is a hunting reserve, owned by a hunting syndicate.|
|nature conservation and research||major|
|Notes: Snake Island is grazed in summer.|
|Notes: recreational fishing including impact of boat ramps, car parks, moorings etc.|
|Notes: ports with servicing facilities for off-shore oil and natural gas exploration|
Protection status The IBA overlaps with six protected areas.
Access/Land-Owner requests The various parks are readily accessed but permission should be sought to access private holdings.
Acknowledgements Bird data was supplied by the AWSG Victorian Branch and Hooded Plover information obtained from 'Managing the Hooded Plover in Victoria' by M. Weston. Waterfowl data for western section of Corner Inlet was provided by P. Dann. The Ramsar Strategic Management Plan produced by Parks Victoria and the Department of Natural Resources & Environment was a valuable source of information. The following individuals contributed to the completion of the nomination:- Andrew Corrick and Ian Norman, Department of Conservation and Environment, Arthur Rylah Institute, Peter Dann, Research Biologist, Phillip Island Penguin Reserve and Clive Minton - AWSG.
References AWSG wader count database (accessed 2006).
Minton, C. (1997) Breeding season census of Pied Oystercatchers in Corner Inlet, Victoria. Stilt 30: 35-38.
Minton, C., Dann, P. and Ewing, A. (in prep) Twenty Seven Years of wader counts in Corner Inlet.
Murlis, M. (1988) Biennial Hooded Plover and Pied Oystercatcher survey, Victoria. Stilt 14: 33-36.
Norman, F.I (1977) Granite, Benison and Doughboy islands, Corner Inlet, Victoria. Corella 1: 54-59.
Ramsar Information Sheet and Strategic Management Plan for Corner Inlet (accessed 2006).
Taylor, S., Minton, C. (2005) Aerial Survey of Corner Inlet. Stilt 49: 41-43.
Weston, M. (2003) Managing the Hooded Plover in Victoria. Unpublished report to Parks Victoria, Melbourne.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Corner Inlet. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/12/2014
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