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Location Australia, Victoria
Central coordinates 145o 12.76' East  38o 31.18' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4ii
Area 2,042 ha
Altitude 0 - 112m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary The IBA supports more than 1% of the global populations of the Little Penguin, Short-tailed Shearwater and Pacific Gull. The IBA has also infrequently supported small numbers of the Orange-bellied Parrot.

Site description The IBA is comprised of the Phillip Island Nature Park, along the south coast of the island in central Victoria. It includes a number of sandy beaches, patches of coastal vegetation (herblands, grasslands and scrub) and the offshore rock formations of The Nobbies and Seal Rocks, each of which provide habitat for one or more of the Hooded Plover, Little Penguin, Short-tailed Shearwater and Pacific Gull. The IBA does not include (1) inter-tidal areas of north-eastern Phillip Island [these are instead included in the Westernport Bay IBA]; (2) scattered stands of woodland that are irregularly used, for short periods of time, by small numbers of migrating Swift Parrots; or (3) agricultural lands that cumulatively support significant but widely scattered numbers of Cape Barren Geese.

Key Biodiversity Occasional records of the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot: recorded in 1985 (seven birds on 30/5/85 and 17 birds on 1/6/85) and 2000 (one bird on 23/6/00 and three birds on 4/7/00 and 5/7/00) (Orange-bellied Parrot Winter Count and Re-sights Database). The IBA supports one of the largest breeding colonies of Crested Terns in Victoria (2800 pairs in 2005-2006; Minton et al. 2006). It also supports small numbers of Pied Oystercatchers (0-76 birds in 2001-2007) and Sooty Oystercatchers (8-36 birds in 2001-2007) (Phillip Island Nature Park Shorebird Surveys). Small numbers of the endangered Swift Parrot occur in most years on Phillip Island, although more often inland of the IBA. Small numbers of the near-threatened Flame Robin occur across the island, including within the IBA. A few pairs of Peregrine Falcon and Wedge-tailed Eagle and one pair of White-bellied Sea-Eagle nest.

Non-bird biodiversity: The IBA supports the second largest colony in the world of the Australian Fur Seal (20,000-25,000 individuals, or 25-30% of the global population, breed or haul-out at Seal Rocks).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Little Penguin Eudyptula minor resident  2007  26,000 individuals  A4ii  Least Concern 
Short-tailed Shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris resident  2007  450,000 nests  A4ii  Least Concern 
Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus resident  2000-2007  21-42 individuals  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Pacific Gull Larus pacificus non-breeding  2001-2007  52-490 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2008 high not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
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
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - trend unknown/unrecorded 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)  
Phillip Island Phillip Island Nature Park 2,118 protected area overlaps with site 991  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Tussock grasslands  major
Shrubland Chenopod shrubs, samphire shrubs and forblands; Other shrublands  major

Land ownership State Government with management the responsibility of Parks Victoria.

Land use

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

Protection status Part of Phillip Island Nature Park.

Access/Land-Owner requests The rock platform at the Nobbies is closed to the general public. Access to Seal Rocks is restricted to permit holders and is only permitted for research purposes.

Acknowledgements The nomination was prepared by Scott Chambers with assistance from Roz Jessop and Peter Dann.

References Minton, C., Jessop, R., Collins, P., & Taylor, C. (2006). Tern breeding and banding report 2005/06. Victorian Wader Study Group Bulletin 29: 49-51.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Phillip Island. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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