|Central coordinates||144o 51.06' East 14o 19.13' South|
|IBA criteria||A4i, A4ii|
|Altitude||0 - 5m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2009|
Summary Stapleton Island has rarely been surveyed but has supported more than 1% of the world population of Brown Booby and Lesser Crested Tern.
Site description Stapleton Island is about 40 km east of Cape Melville in the northern Great Barrier Reef. It is designated as a Preservation Area, the strongest protection within the marine park, strictly regulating all access. It is an elongated narrow cay, about 500 m x 100 m at its widest. The cay is comprised of coral sand and reef rubble rising to a central sand ridge 5 m above sea-level. The outer fringe has a strand community of herbs and the sand ridge is dominated by Lepturus grass and stunted shrubs. Other neighbouring islands could be added to the IBA if further surveys indicate that they regularly support significant numbers of birds, notably Tydeman Cay (1 ha; 738 nests of Brown Booby in 1982) and Sandbank no1 (1 ha; 500 nests of Brown Booby in 1984).
Key Biodiversity Small numbers of breeding Australian Pelican, Black-naped Tern, Sooty Tern (regular counts of 5000-10,000 pairs), Crested Tern, Common Noddy (max 1000 pairs in 1980-1984) and Little Tern (1000 pairs in 1987).
Non-bird biodiversity: Small numbers of Green Turtles.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Brown Booby Sula leucogaster||breeding||1984||1,000 nests||-||A4ii||Least Concern|
|Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis||resident||1987-1993||800-9,800 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus||resident||1987-1989||3,000-10,000 breeding pairs||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|2008||high||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%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|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)|
|Howick Group||National Park||776||protected area contains site||4|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Coastline||Sand cays, islets & bars||100%|
Land ownership Australian Federal Government with management the responsibility of the GBRMPA.
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||100%|
Protection status The IBA lies within Howick Group 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. (1985) Stapleton Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Corella 9: 89-90. Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service (2007) GBR seabird database (accessed May 2007).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Stapleton Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/12/2014
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