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Location Australia, South Australia
Central coordinates 137o 14.52' East  35o 49.68' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, A4i
Area 441,247 ha
Altitude 0 - 310m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

BirdLife Australia



Summary Kangaroo Island supports moderate populations of the vulnerable Fairy Tern; the near threatened Bush Stone-curlew, Hooded Plover and Western Whipbird; and the biome-restricted Rock Parrot and Purple-gaped Honeyeater. It also supports more than 1% of the global population of Cape Barren Geese, Black-faced Cormorants, Pacific Gulls and Pied Oystercatchers, and sometimes more than 1% of the global population of Musk Duck, Freckled Duck, Australian Shelduck, Chestnut Teal and Banded Stilt.

Site description Kangaroo Island, the third largest island off Australia, is 12 km south of the Fleurieu Peninsula, south of Adelaide. The whole of Kangaroo Island and some very small inshore islands are taken as an IBA because the main bird values, the strong populations of Hooded Plovers and Bush Stone-curlews, are partly dependent on the island's isolation from foxes and other mainland threats. The island has poor soils and only about half is cleared for farmland, which is mostly grazed and suitable for stone-curlews, and 46% has tree or shrub cover (Ball & Carruthers 1998), which is mostly suitable for the strong population of Purple-gaped Honeyeaters. Other IBA bird species are scattered across the island in coastal mallee, inland lagoons and along the coast. The island is mainly elevated ironstone plateau with a limestone coastal belt and stunted mallee woodland growing on impoverished soils. The island has a Mediterranean climate, with most of the mean annual rainfall of 500-900 mm falling in the winter. About half of the island has been cleared for grazing, with small areas under other agriculture or residential and tourism development. The island has 28 terrestrial protected areas covering over 116,000 ha (25% of the island) and additional marine protected areas.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Cape Barren Goose Cereopsis novaehollandiae resident  1980-2007  300-600 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Freckled Duck Stictonetta naevosa non-breeding  1980-2007  2,800 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Australian Shelduck Tadorna tadornoides resident  1980-2007  3,000-6,000 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Chestnut Teal Anas castanea resident  1980-2007  3,000-6,000 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Blue-billed Duck Oxyura australis resident  1980-2007  100-1,200 individuals  good  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Musk Duck Biziura lobata breeding  1980-2000  300-2,000 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Black-faced Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscescens resident  1980-2007  3,000-6,000 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Bush Thick-knee Burhinus grallarius resident  1980-2008  1,000-2,000 individuals  medium  A1  Least Concern 
Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris resident  1980-2007  300-600 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Banded Stilt Cladorhynchus leucocephalus non-breeding  1980-2007  1,000-5,000 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus resident  1980-2007  150-200 individuals  good  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Pacific Gull Larus pacificus resident  1980-2007  100-200 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Fairy Tern Sternula nereis resident  1980-2008  100-200 individuals  medium  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Rock Parrot Neophema petrophila non-breeding  1980-2008  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Purple-gaped Honeyeater Lichenostomus cratitius resident  1980-2008  common  A3  Least Concern 
Western Whipbird Psophodes nigrogularis resident  1980-2007  500-1,000 individuals  medium  A1, A2, A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
American River Aquatic Reserve 1,552 protected area contained by site 1,552  
Baudin Conservation Park 171 protected area contained by site 171  
Beatrice Islet Conservation Park 103 protected area overlaps with site 10  
Beyeria Conservation Park 188 protected area contained by site 188  
Busby Islet Conservation Park 17 protected area overlaps with site 8  
Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park 4,222 protected area contained by site 4,222  
Cape Gantheaume Wilderness Protected Area 20,087 protected area contained by site 20,084  
Cape Torrens Wilderness Protected Area 922 protected area contained by site 922  
Dudley Conservation Park 1,096 protected area contained by site 1,097  
Flinders Chase National Park 32,802 protected area contained by site 32,828  
Kelly Hill Conservation Park 2,176 protected area contained by site 2,176  
Lashmar Conservation Park 191 protected area contained by site 191  
Lathami Conservation Park 1,175 protected area contained by site 1,176  
Lesueur Conservation Park 1,348 protected area contained by site 1,348  
Mount Taylor Conservation Park 18 protected area contained by site 18  
Nepean Bay Conservation Park 33 protected area contained by site 33  
Parndana Conservation Park 425 protected area contained by site 426  
Pelican Lagoon Conservation Park 407 protected area contained by site 379  
Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protected Area 41,304 protected area contained by site 41,330  
Seal Bay Conservation Park 4,978 protected area contained by site 4,978  
Seddon Conservation Park 22 protected area contained by site 22  
Simpson Conservation Reserve 722 protected area contained by site 722  
Vivonne Bay Conservation Park 1,589 protected area contained by site 1,589  
Western River Wilderness Protected Area 2,468 protected area contained by site 2,468  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Improved grassland & pasture  major
Forest Other forests & woodlands  minor
Shrubland Mallee shrublands & woodlands  major
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes & pools; Saline lakes  minor

Land ownership 25% is protected in national and conservation parks and Wilderness Protection Areas; the remaining land is privately owned.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
rangeland/pastureland major
urban/industrial/transport minor
tourism/recreation major

Other biodiversity The Kangaroo Island Dunnart is endemic. The island supports important populations of Tammar Wallaby, Australian Sea-lion and New Zealand Fur-seal. 45 of the 1179 plant species recorded from the island are endemic.

Protection status Overlaps with numerous other formal protected areas - see separate section. The IBA also overlaps with the following Heritage Agreements:- 20, 24-25, 43, 45, 82, 91, 100, 117, 132, 145-146, 151, 163, 179, 205, 207, 212, 217, 221, 228, 235, 241, 251-252, 278-288, 290, 294, 296, 328, 331, 343, 362, 375, 379, 388, 392, 424-425, 431, 455, 460, 465-469, 473, 481, 496, 503, 543, 552, 565, 574-575, 596, 600, 614, 617, 629, 641, 643, 650, 652, 654, 657, 661, 670, 719, 728, 771, 778, 792, 823, 854, 859, 861, 864, 873, 879, 891, 895, 906-907, 935, 941, 947, 961, 967, 974, 978, 993, 1033, 1037, 1048, 1072, 1131-1132, 1149, 1169, 1240-1241, 1245, 1277, 1302, 1327, 1346, 1355, 1358, 1360, 1374, 1382-1383, 1387, 1392, 1396, 1399.

Access/Land-Owner requests National parks are open to the public but permission must be obtained to access private holdings.

Acknowledgements The nomination was prepared by Chris Baxter.

References Ball, D. and Carruthers, S. (1998) Kangaroo Island Vegetation Mapping. Department for Transport, Urban Planning and the Arts: Adelaide.

Baxter, C. (1995) An annotated list of the birds of Kangaroo Island. Department of Environment and Natural Resources: Adelaide.

Copley, P.B. (1996). The status of seabirds in South Australia. Pp. 139-180. In: Ross, G.J.B., Weaver, K. and Greig, J.C. (eds) The Status of Australia's Seabirds. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia: Canberra.

Dennis, T.E. and Masters, P. (2006) Long-term trends in the Hooded Plover Thinornis rubricollis population on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. South Australian Ornithologist 34: 258-266.

Gates, J.A. (2002) An ecological study of Bush Stone-curlews Burhinus grallarius on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Unpublished MSc thesis. University of Adelaide.

Willoughby N (2001) Biodiversity plan for Kangaroo Island. National Parks and Wildlife South Australia: Adelaide.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kangaroo Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/08/2014

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