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Location Australia, Tasmania
Central coordinates 144o 30.00' East  40o 25.50' South
IBA criteria A1, A4ii
Area 73 ha
Altitude 0 - 35m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary Albatross Island & Black Pyramid Rock support about 40% of the world population of Shy Albatross and about 20% of the world population of Australasian Gannet. Numbers of Fairy Prion and Common Diving-Petrel are poorly known but very large.

Site description This IBA consists of two tiny islands offshore from the north-west of Tasmania. Albatross Island (33 ha) is very rocky, with a coastline of eroded boulders, gulches and caves and a short cover of grasses and herbs across the interior. Black Pyramid Rock (40 ha) is a spectacular basaltic rock surrounded by steep cliffs, steep grassy slopes and a small central plateau. It is sparsely vegetated as the gannets have taken most as nesting material.

Key Biodiversity Small numbers of Little Penguins, Short-tailed Shearwaters, Pacific and Silver Gulls and Sooty Oystercatchers nest. Records of Lewin's Rail at Albatross Island are noteworthy, when the decline of the endemic Tasmanian race brachipus gives cause for serious concern. Peregrine Falcon noted at Albatross Island and breeding at Black Pyramid Rock. Other species recorded from the IBA include the near threatened Flame Robin and the Australian cool/temperate biome-restricted Pink Robin.

Non-bird biodiversity: Australian Fur Seal and New Zealand Fur Seal regularly haul out at Albatross Island.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Thalassarche cauta resident  1995-2005  5,000-5,100 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Not Recognised 
Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur resident  1983  30,000-340,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Common Diving-petrel Pelecanoides urinatrix resident  1983  200,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Australasian Gannet Morus serrator resident  2007  18,731 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases viral/prion-induced diseases - named "species" (disease) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Albatross Island Nature Reserve 33 protected area overlaps with site 17  
Black Pyramid Rock Nature Reserve 40 protected area contained by site 40  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Sea cliffs, rocky shores & rocky islets  major
Grassland Hummock grasslands  major

Land ownership Tasmanian State Government with management the responsibility of DPIW.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

Protection status Black Pyramid Rock Nature Reserve, Albatross Island Nature Reserve.

Access/Land-Owner requests Visitors should check regulations with DPIW.

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 BirdLife International (2007) Species factsheet: Thalassarche cauta. Downloaded from on 29/6/2007.

Brothers, N., Pemberton, D., Pryor, H. & Halley, V. 2001. Tasmania's Offshore Islands: seabirds and other natural features. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery: Hobart.

Bunce, A., Norman, F.I., Brothers, N. & 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 141: 263-269.

Robertson, G.G. & Gales, R. 1998. Albatross Biology and Conservation. Surrey Beatty & Sons Pty Ltd, Australia.

Skira, I.J., Brothers, N.P. & Pemberton, D. 1996. Distribution, abundance and conservation status of Short-tailed Shearwaters Puffinus tenuirostris in Tasmania. Marine Ornithology 24: 1-14.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Albatross Island and Black Pyramid Rock. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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