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Location Australia, Tasmania,Victoria
Central coordinates 146o 18.11' East  39o 6.63' South
IBA criteria A4i, A4ii
Area 658 ha
Altitude 0 - 112m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary The IBA supports more than 1% of the global populations of Short-tailed Shearwater and Pacific Gull. It possibly also supports more than 1% of the global population of Black-faced Cormorant.

Site description The IBA is comprised of 19 small granitic islands off the coast of Wilsons Promontory, Victoria. Of the 19 islands, 16 are under Victorian jurisdiction and three are under Tasmanian jurisdiction. The 16 islands under Victorian jurisdiction are Shellback Island, Norman Island, Great Glennie Island, Dannevig Island, Citadel Island and McHugh Island (all of these islands and the waters extending 300m from the low water mark on each are part of Wilsons Promontory Marine Park); Cleft Island, Kanowna Island, Anser Island and Wattle Island (all of these islands are within Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park); and Rabbit Rock, Rabbit Island, Rag Island, Cliffy Island, Seal Island and Notch Island (protection status unknown). The three islands under Tasmanian jurisdiction are Rodondo Island (Rodondo Island Nature Reserve), West Moncoeur Island (West Moncoeur Island Nature Reserve) and East Moncoeur Island (unallocated Crown Land). The habitat of the IBA mainly consists of shrubland, tussock grassland or a mixture of each, with extensive areas of exposed rock around the shorelines of some of the smaller islands. The mainland portion of Wilsons Promontory National Park has many fewer nesting seabirds and as such does not qualify as an IBA, with the exception of intertidal areas on the northern shore of the promontory, which are included in the Corner Inlet IBA.

Key Biodiversity It is possible that the IBA supports more than 1% of the global population of Black-faced Cormorant. There have been no counts or estimates of total numbers of Black-faced Cormorant in the IBA, but approximately 20 unfledged and 100 juvenile birds were observed on Notch Island in 1978 (Harris & Norman 1981), 30 birds were observed on nests on Dannevig Island in 1979 (Harris & Norman 1981; Lane & Battam 1980) and a third breeding population of unknown size was observed on Cleft Island around the same time (Lane 1979). The IBA supports a large but sub-threshold population of Fairy Prion, with an unquantified colony on Rodondo Island, 3000 to 5000 pairs on West Moncoeur Island, 5,000 pairs on East Moncoeur Island and small numbers breeding on islands under Victorian jurisdiction (Lane 1979; Harris & Norman 1981; Brothers et al. 2001).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Short-tailed Shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris resident  1978-1995  1,430,551 nests  medium  A4ii  Least Concern 
Pacific Gull Larus pacificus resident  456 breeding pairs  good  A4i  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2008 low 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

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Rodondo Island Nature Reserve 80 protected area overlaps with site 80  
Seal Islands Remote and Natural Area 36 protected area overlaps with site 35  
West Moncoeur Island Nature Reserve 10 protected area contained by site 10  
Wilsons Promontory National Park 49,049 protected area overlaps with site 451  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Sea cliffs, rocky shores & rocky islets  minor
Grassland Tussock grasslands  major
Shrubland Other shrublands  minor

Land ownership Victorian State Government, with management the responsibility of Parks Victoria; Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania; Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries and Water.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
tourism/recreation minor
not utilised minor
urban/industrial/transport minor
Notes: A lighthouse is located on Cliffy Island.

Protection status Several; see appropriate section for details.

Access/Land-Owner requests Access to islands is prohibited except for some beaches - contact Wilson's Promontory National Park for information. Fishing both from shore and at sea is prohibited in Wilson's Promontory Marine National Park. A permit is required to gain access to Rodondo Island.

Acknowledgements The nomination was prepared by Scott Chambers with assistance from Peter Menkhorst, Nigel Brothers and Wilsons Promontory National Park.

References Brothers, N., Pemberton, D., Pryor, H. and Halley, V.(2001) 'Tasmania's Offshore Islands: Seabirds and Other Natural Features'. (Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery: Hobart.)

Harris, M.P. and Norman, F.I. (1981) Distribution and status of coastal colonies of seabirds in Victoria. Memoirs of the National Musuem of Victoria 42: 89-106.

Lane, S.G. (1979) A visit to the islands of Wilsons Promontory, Victoria. Corella 3: 29-30.

Lane, S.G. and Battam, H. (1980) Seabirds of Norman and Wattle Islands, Wilsons Promontory, Victoria. Corella 4: 37-38.

Skira, I.J., Brothers, N.P. and 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: Wilsons Promontory Islands. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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