|Central coordinates||144o 0.18' East 39o 49.73' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4ii|
|Altitude||0 - 132m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary The IBA supports large numbers of critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot on migration; significant numbers of near threatened Hooded Plover and Flame Robin and vulnerable Fairy Tern; more than 1% of the world's Short-tailed Shearwater, Black-faced Cormorant and Pacific Gull; and populations of ten species endemic to Tasmania, including seven subspecies endemic to King Island.
Site description King Island is a large island in the Bass Strait between Tasmania and the Australian mainland. The IBA includes the entire coastline of King Island, which supports significant numbers of Hooded Plovers; Lavinia State Reserve, which supports Orange-bellied Parrots and endemic subspecies of bush birds; and three inshore islands which support large numbers of nesting seabirds. These islands are Christmas Island (a 63 ha Nature Reserve), New Year Island (a 98 ha Game Reserve, on which harvesting of shearwaters is allowed) and Councillor Island (11 ha of Crown Land). Lavinia State Reserve, a designated Ramsar site, is located 12 km north of Naracoopa on the north-eastern coast of King Island and is comprised of long sandy beaches, coastal heathlands, wetlands and the Sea Elephant River estuary. The coastline is a mixture of rocky outcrops and long sandy beaches with beach-washed kelp. The IBA is defined as the coastal strip extending from the low water mark to 1 km inland of the high water mark around the entire island; this is intended to capture most significant habitat for shorebirds and Orange-bellied Parrots. King Island is a rolling island with a maximum altitude of 168 m above sea-level. It receives the highest rainfall of any island in Bass Strait, with a winter-dominated rainfall pattern averaging 750-1000 mm per year.
Key Biodiversity The extinct King Island Emu was endemic to the island before being exterminated by European sealers. 170 bird species have been recorded from the island but the endemic subspecies of the Brown Thornbill has not been recorded since 1971. Several species of migratory waders have been observed on King Island in numbers less than IBA thresholds, including maxima of 1100 Ruddy Turnstones, 500 Red-necked Stints and 285 Double-banded Plovers (Donaghey 2003; Lovibond et al. 2007). Blue-billed Duck is reportedly at times abundant on Lake Fannigan (Donaghey 2003). 5000 pairs of Common Diving-Petrel and 1500 of pairs Fairy Prion have been recorded on Councillor Island (Brothers et al. 2001).
Non-bird biodiversity: Lavinia State Reserve contains the largest significant area of remnant native vegetation on King Island, and includes a number of rare or threatened plant species. One hundred and thirty nine species of higher plants have been recorded, of which seven species are endemic to Tasmania. A number of plants are considered rare or threatened: Scrambling Ground-fern is considered vulnerable at state level and Lavinia State Reserve is the only reserve in Tasmania in which it has been recorded. Other species include: Tiny Caladenia, Common Sneezeweed, Matted Water Starwort, Blueberry Ash, Bog Clubmoss, Tiny Selaginella, Sticky Daisybush, Cudweed (Gamochaeta purpurea), Hyssop Loosestrife and the violet Viola cleistogamoides.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Short-tailed Shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris||resident||1975-1995||458,000-735,607 nests||medium||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Black-faced Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscescens||resident||1984-1987||450 individuals||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris||resident||2006-2007||110 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Sooty Oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus||resident||2006-2007||50 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus||resident||2006-2007||60 breeding pairs||-||A1, A4i||Vulnerable|
|Pacific Gull Larus pacificus||resident||1984-1987||33 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Fairy Tern Sternula nereis||resident||2006-2007||120-150 breeding pairs||-||A1, A4i||Vulnerable|
|Green Rosella Platycercus caledonicus||resident||1998-2008||uncommon||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Orange-bellied Parrot Neophema chrysogaster||non-breeding||1980-2007||70 individuals||medium||A1, A3||Critically Endangered|
|Yellow-throated Honeyeater Lichenostomus flavicollis||resident||1998-2008||common||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Black-headed Honeyeater Melithreptus affinis||resident||2001-2002||frequent||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Strong-billed Honeyeater Melithreptus validirostris||resident||2001-2002||common||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Yellow Wattlebird Anthochaera paradoxa||resident||1998-2008||common||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Scrubtit Acanthornis magna||resident||2001-2002||rare||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Tasmanian Scrubwren Sericornis humilis||resident||1998-2008||common||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Tasmanian Thornbill Acanthiza ewingii||resident||1998-2008||common||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Black Currawong Strepera fuliginosa||resident||1998-2008||frequent||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Dusky Robin Melanodryas vittata||resident||1998-2008||common||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Flame Robin Petroica phoenicea||breeding||1998-2008||uncommon||-||A1, A3||Near Threatened|
|2008||high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data|
|Agricultural expansion and intensification||livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - agro-industry grazing, ranching or farmin||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||slow but significant deterioration||low|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||recreational activities||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|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|
|Natural system modifications||fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Cape Wickham||State Reserve||2||protected area contained by site||3|
|Christmas Island||Nature Reserve||105||protected area contained by site||105|
|Lavinia||State Reserve||6,800||protected area contained by site||6,800|
|Lavinia Nature Reserve||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||7,020||protected area contained by site||7,020|
|New Year Island||Game Reserve||112||protected area contained by site||112|
|Seal Rocks||State Reserve||529||protected area overlaps with site||300|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Salt marshes; Sea cliffs, rocky shores & rocky islets||minor|
|Artificial - terrestrial||Improved grassland & pasture||minor|
|Shrubland||Closed shrublands & low closed woodlands; Heath||major|
Land ownership Most of coast is Crown Land; Lavinia State Reserve (and Ramsar site) is managed by Tasmanian NPWS.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||major|
Protection status Several - see separate section.
Acknowledgements The nomination was prepared by Eric Woehler; data was also provided by Sarah Lovibond, Richard Donaghey and Nigel Burgess.
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.
Donaghey, R.H. (ed.) (2003) The Fauna of King Island. A guide to identification and conservation management. King Island Natural Resources Management Group: Currie, King Island.
OBPRT (1998) Orange-bellied Parrot Draft Recovery Plan 1998-2002. Orange-bellied Parrot Recovery Team, Parks and Wildlife Service: Hobart.
Rudman, T. (2003) Tasmanian Beach Weed Strategy for marram grass, sea spurge, sea wheatgrass, pyp grass & beach daisy. Technical Report 03/2. DPWIE Nature Conservation Branch: Hobart.
Skira, I.J. and Davis, G. (1987) The short-tailed shearwater colonies of King Island. Tasmanian Naturalist 90: 1-5.
Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service (2000) Lavinia Nature Reserve (Ramsar Site) Management Plan. Parks and Wildlife Service: Hobart.
Woehler, E. and Park, P. (2006) Inventory of Nationally Important Shorebird Sites in Tasmania. Unpublished report by Birds Tasmania for Birds Australia.
Contribute Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.
Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: King Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/03/2015
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife