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Location Australia, New South Wales (and ACT)
Central coordinates 159o 4.63' East  31o 33.19' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4ii
Area 1,634 ha
Altitude 0 - 875m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary The IBA supports the entire global population of the Lord Howe Woodhen (endangered), most of the breeding Providence Petrel (vulnerable), more than 1% of the world population of another five seabird species and the entire population of three endemic subspecies; other endemic species and subspecies are extinct.

Site description The IBA is a chain of volcanic islands in the Tasman Sea comprising Lord Howe Island plus several outlying islands including, Balls Pyramid. Lord Howe Island is dominated by Mounts Gower (875 m) and Lidgbird (777m). Vegetation includes rainforest (dominated by Kentia Palm Howea forsterana), cloud forest and scrub, swamp forest, mangrove forest, coastal and cliff-top scrub, inland scrub and herbland, tussock grassland, shoreline and beach vegetation, and rocky islets (Pickard 1983). The climate is oceanic. The Lord Howe Island group is one of the major seabird breeding sites in the south-west Pacific Ocean and is home to the largest and most diverse community of breeding seabirds in Australia, as well as a number of endemic terrestrial birds. The Lord Howe Island Permanent Park Preserve covers 75% of Lord Howe Island, including the southern mountains and northern hills, Balls Pyramid and neighbouring Islands. The Preserve is similar to a National Park in terms of its management, however it is managed by the Lord Howe Board.

Key Biodiversity One hundred and eighty-two species of bird have been recorded at the Lord Howe Island group, including 20 resident landbirds, 14 breeding seabirds, 17 regular visitors and 120 vagrants (McAllan et al. 2004). The Lord Howe Island group is the only breeding locality in Australasia for White-bellied Storm-Petrel, approximately 500 pairs of which breed in the group, and one of only two breeding localities in Australasia for Kermadec Petrel, 50 to 100 pairs of which breed on Balls Pyramid (Baker et al. 2002). The group supports the southernmost breeding colonies in the world of Masked Booby (probably less than 500 pairs), Sooty Tern (more than 35,000 pairs), Common Noddy (more than 1000 pairs) and Black Noddy (200 nests in 2002-3) (Hutton 1991; McAllan et al. 2004; Priddel et al. 2005), and also several hundred pairs of Black-winged Petrels (McAllan et al. 2004). The group also supports endemic subspecies of several birds, including Pied Currawong, Golden Whistler and Silvereye (Hutton 1991). A number of endemic birds of the group are now extinct, including White Gallinule (killed by mariners and whalers for food), Lord Howe Gerygone (predation by rats), Robust White-eye (predation by rats), Norfolk Island Starling (predation by rats), and endemic subspecies of White-throated Pigeon (killed by mariners and whalers for food), Red-crowned Parakeet (killed by early settlers whom considered it an agricultural pest), Southern Boobook (competition with introduced Masked Owl and perhaps predation by rats), Grey Fantail, Tasman Starling and Island Thrush (predation by rats) (Hutton 1991).

Non-bird biodiversity: Over 70 endemic plants. Supports a number of endemic invertebrates including stag beetles and 50 species of snails including Placostylus bivaricosus. Balls Pyramid supports the only population of the Lord Howe Island Phasmid Dryococelus australis (Priddel et al. 2003).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Puffinus assimilis resident  1971-2004  4,000 breeding pairs  unknown  A4ii  Not Recognised 
Providence Petrel Pterodroma solandri resident  2002  32,000 breeding pairs  medium  A1, A4ii  Vulnerable 
Wedge-tailed Shearwater Ardenna pacifica resident  10,000-100,000 breeding pairs  poor  A4ii  Least Concern 
Flesh-footed Shearwater Ardenna carneipes resident  2002  17,462 breeding pairs  medium  A4ii  Least Concern 
Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda resident  500-1,000 breeding pairs  unknown  A4ii  Least Concern 
Lord Howe Woodhen Hypotaenidia sylvestris resident  1999-2002  147-205 individuals  good  A1  Endangered 
Procelsterna cerulea resident  100-1,000 breeding pairs  unknown  A4i  Not Recognised 

IBA Monitoring

2008 high not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lord Howe Island Permanent Park Preserve 1,175 protected area contained by site 1,175  
Lord Howe Island Group World Heritage Site 1,176 protected area contained by site 1,176  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Improved grassland & pasture  10%
Coastline Sea cliffs, rocky shores & rocky islets  5%
Forest Rainforest & vine thickets  70%
Shrubland Other shrublands  15%

Land ownership Private and Lord Howe Board

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 85%
rangeland/pastureland 5%
urban/industrial/transport 10%

Protection status Lord Howe Island Permanent Park Preserve.

Acknowledgements The nomination was prepared by the BIGNET IBA Taskforce with assistance from David Priddel and Ian Hutton.

References Baker, G.B., Gales, R., Hamilton, S. and Wilkinson, V. (2002) Albatrosses and petrels in Australia: a review of their conservation and management. Emu 102: 71-97.

Add Marchant, S. and Higgins. P.J. (1990) Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds Volume 1. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Bester, A. (2003) 'The Breeding, Foraging Ecology and Conservation of the Providence Petrel Pterodroma solandri on Lord Howe Island, Australia. PhD Thesis, Charles Sturt University, Albury.

Fullagar, P. J., McKean, J. L., and van Tets, G. F. (1974) Appendix F. Report on the birds. In 'Environmental Survey of Lord Howe Island'. (Eds H. F. Recher and S. S. Clark) pp. 55-72. (New South Wales Government Printer: Sydney.)

Higgins, P.J. and Davies, S.J.J.F. eds (1996) Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds Volume 3. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Hutton, I. (1991) 'The Birds of Lord Howe Island: Past and Present'. (Author: Coffs Harbour.)

McAllan, I.A.W., Curtis, B.R., Hutton, I. and Cooper, R.M. (2004) The Birds of Lord Howe Island Group: A Review of Records. Supplement to Australian Field Ornithology 21. New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (2002) 'Approved Recovery Plan for the Lord Howe Woodhen'. (New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service: Hurstville.)

O'Neill, L. (2005) 'Breeding Ecology of the Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata on Lord Howe Island. PhD Thesis, Charles Sturt University, Albury.

Pickard, J. (1983) Vegetation of Lord Howe Island. Cunninghamii 1, 133-265.

Priddel, D., Carlile, N., Fullagar, P., Hutton, I., and O’Neill, L. (in press). Decline in the distribution and abundance of Flesh-footed Shearwaters Puffinus carneipes on Lord Howe Island. Biological Conservation.

Priddel, D., Carlile, N., Humphrey, M., Fellenberg, S., and Hiscox, D. (2003) Rediscovery of the 'extinct' Lord Howe Island Stick-insect (Dryococelus australis [Montrouzier]) (Phasmatodea) and recommendations for its conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation 12, 1391-1403.

Priddel, D., Hutton, I, Olson, S., and Wheeler, R (2005) Breeding biology of Masked Boobies (Sula dactylatra tasmani) on Lord Howe Island, Australia. Emu 105, 105-113.

Priddel, D., Carlile, N., Fullagar, P., Hutton, I. and O'Neill, N. (2005) Decline in the distribution and abundance of flesh-footed shearwaters (Puffinus carneipes) on Lord Howe Island, Australia. Biol. Cons. 128: 412-424.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lord Howe Island Permanent Park Preserve (Lord Howe Island IBA). Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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