|Central coordinates||143o 13.19' East 12o 14.81' South|
|IBA criteria||A4i, A4ii|
|Altitude||0 - 2m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary These four small neighbouring islands have supported more than 1% of the world population of Pied Imperial-Pigeon and Black Noddy.
Site description This IBA consists of the Piper Islands in the inner northern Great Barrier Reef, off the Olive River mouth south of Cape Grenville on the northern Cape York Peninsula. The IBA consist of all four islands: Beesley (2.4 ha cay with grasses and herbs), which is in the same reef as Baird (1 ha coral and shingle with mangroves) and, about 1 km away, Farmer (7 ha cay with grass/shrub exterior and wooded interior dominated by Pisonia grandis to 4 m high), which is in the same reef as Fisher (3 ha coral shingle with scrub and adjacent mangroves). The mangroves are dominated by Rhizophora stylosa and Avicennia marina and grow to 5 m high. There are only single records of more than 1% of the world population of any bird on both Farmer and Baird but all four islands are poorly surveyed. Other nearby islands, notably Quoin (4000 pairs Common Noddy in 1984-1986; 2200 pairs Black Noddy in 1990; 500-600 pairs Lesser Frigatebird in 1980-1981), could be added to the IBA if further surveys indicated higher numbers of birds on these islands. The islands and all surrounding seas are in the general use zone of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Key Biodiversity Other birds have not been documented for this IBA.
Non-bird biodiversity: Hawksbill Turtles.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Black Noddy Anous minutus||resident||1983-1988||7,500 nests||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Torresian Imperial-pigeon Ducula spilorrhoa||resident||2001||4,000 nests||-||A4ii||Least Concern|
|2008||medium||not assessed||not assessed|
|Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data|
|Climate change and severe weather||storms and floods||likely in long term (beyond 4 years)||whole area/population (>90%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Human intrusions and disturbance||recreational activities||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||no or imperceptible deterioration||low|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Great Barrier Reef||World Heritage Site||34,870,000||protected area contains site||13|
|Piper Islands||National Park||7||unknown||7|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Mangrove wetlands; Sand cays, islets & bars||major|
Land ownership Australian Federal Government with management the responsibility of GBRMPA.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
Protection status The IBA overlaps with Piper Islands National Park.
Acknowledgements Paul O'Neill provided advice and access to the GBR seabird database.
References GBRMPA (1997) Guidelines for Managing Visitation to Seabird Breeding Islands. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority unpublished report.
King, B.R. and Limpus, C.J. (1991) Piper Islands, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Corella 15: 53-54.
Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service (2007) GBR seabird database (accessed May 2007).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Piper Islands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/08/2015
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