|Central coordinates||146o 58.82' East 43o 51.48' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4ii|
|Altitude||0 - 60m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary Pedra Branca supports more than 1% of the world population of the near threatened Shy Albatross and more than 1% of the world population of Australasian Gannet.
Site description Pedra Branca is the southernmost island in Australia, lying 26 km south of Whale Head in the Southwest National Park. The IBA also includes the nearby small Eddystone and Sidmouth Rocks. Pedra Branca is a rocky island with steep slopes on its eastern and western sides which rise to a north-south aligned central ridge. The key seabird species nest on tiered rock platforms and sparsely-vegetated cliff ledges of the island. Nest mounds of 270 pairs of Shy Albatross are interspersed with nests of Australasian Gannets, numbers of which have increased by approximately 7% per year from about 1000 pairs in 1978 to a congested 3317 pairs in 1995. Other seabirds are restricted to sites on unsuitable lower ledges that are affected by sea and weather conditions. Australasian Gannet numbers at nearby Eddystone Rock have also increased in recent decades from 20 pairs in 1947 to 189 pairs in 1998, when all suitable habitat was occupied.
Key Biodiversity Fairy Prion, Pacific Gull, Kelp Gull and Black-faced Cormorant breed in very small numbers. Silver Gull numbers increased from 10 pairs in 1978 to 52 pairs in 1990, with most nests located on rocks and overhangs where Pedra Branca Skinks are most abundant.
Non-bird biodiversity: Silver Gulls are believed to be responsible for declining numbers of the endemic Pedra Branca Skink, of which fewer than 400 individuals survive. Up to 500 Australian Fur Seals are regular and New Zealand Fur Seals visit occasionally. Sarcocornia quinqueflora, which is sparse and confined to rock cracks, is the only plant species recorded for the island.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Shy Albatross Thalassarche cauta||resident||1995-2007||216-250 breeding pairs||-||A1, A4ii||Near Threatened|
|Australasian Gannet Morus serrator||resident||1995||3,515 breeding pairs||-||A4ii||Least Concern|
|2008||medium||not assessed||not assessed|
|Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data|
|Invasive and other problematic species and genes||problematic native species/diseases - named species||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species||fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Southwest||National Park||618,267||protected area contains site||2|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Sea cliffs, rocky shores & rocky islets||100%|
Land ownership Land is owned by the Tasmanian State Government and managed by the Department of Primary Industries and Water.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
Protection status Part of Southwest National Park.
Access/Land-Owner requests Public access is prohibited to protect breeding seabirds.
Acknowledgements The nomination was prepared by Peter Britton. Aleks Terauds and Sheryl Hamilton kindly supplied data. Rachael Alderman and Rosemary Gales of DPIW kindly commented on the nomination.
References Bunce, A., Norman, F.I., Brothers, N. and Gales, R. (2002) Long-term trends in the Australasian Gannet (Morus serrator) population in Australia: the effect of climate change and commercial fisheries. Marine Biology 14: 263-269.
BirdLife International (2007) Species factsheet: Thalassarche cauta. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/6/2007.
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.
Robertson, G.G. and Gales, R.(1998) Albatross Biology and Conservation. Surrey Beatty & Sons Pty Ltd: Chipping Norton, New South Wales.
White, G.(1981) Islands of south-west Tasmania. A.T. Sutton & Co. Pty Ltd: Sydney.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Pedra Branca. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/03/2015
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