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Location Australia, Tasmania
Central coordinates 147o 53.03' East  40o 14.02' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4ii
Area 2,100 ha
Altitude 0 - 30m
Year of IBA assessment 2008

BirdLife Australia



Summary These island groups have supported significant numbers of the vulnerable Fairy Tern and more than 1% of the global population of Cape Barren Goose, Black-faced Cormorant, Pacific Gull, Little Penguin, Short-tailed Shearwater, White-faced Storm-Petrel and Sooty Oystercatcher.

Site description This IBA extends from the Pasco Islands off north-west Flinders Island south through the Chalky, Big Green and East Kangaroo group to the Badger group off south-west Flinders Island, in the Bass Strait. It includes North, Middle and South Pasco Islands (28, 8 and 21 ha; Crown Land; Pacific Gull), Marriot Reef (3.4ha; Crown Land; Pacific Gull), Wybalenna Island (16 ha; Conservation Area; Pacific Gull), Low Islets (0.8 ha; Crown Land; Pacific Gull) but not Prime Seal Island (which could support large numbers of nesting shearwater if grazing pressure was reduced), Chalky Island (41 ha; Conservation Area; geese and seabirds), Little Chalky Island (5 ha; crown land; Pacific Gull), Mile Island (4 ha; Conservation Area; Pacific Gull), Isabella Island (11 ha; Nature Reserve; Pacific Gull), Big Green Island (122 ha; Nature Reserve; Cape Barren Geese), East Kangaroo (157 ha; Nature Reserve; Cape Barren Geese); Mount Chappell Island (323 ha; private; large shearwater colony; other birds not counted), North West Mount Chappell Islet (0.7 ha; 35 pairs Pacific Gull), Little Goose Island (3.6 ha; Nature Reserve; many Pacific Gull), Badger Island (1243 ha; private; Cape Barren Geese), Little Badger Island (2.5 ha; Nature reserve; Black-faced Cormorant colony), Goose Island (109 ha; Conservation Area; many seabirds) and Beagle Island (1 ha; Nature Reserve; Pacific Gull and cormorant). The Pasco Islands are small rocky granitic islands with some sheep grazing. Marriot Reef is a small islet group of low granitic islands. Chalky Island is a granite island with dolerite dykes and limestone outcrops. Vegetation varies across the island with Rhagodia candolleana and Tetragonia implexicoma dominating the south of the island, Poa poiformis and Rhagodia candolleana dominating the centre and halophytic shrubs growing in the northern area. Little Chalky Island is a small, flat granite island dominated by Poa poiformis, Rhagodia candolleana and Atriplex cinerea. Mile Island is dominated by Atriplex cinerea and Tetragonia implexicoma in the southern region and bare granite in the north along with Poa poiformis. Isabella Island is a low, flat, circular island dominated by Poa poiformis, Rhagodia candolleana and Acaena sp. Big Green is grazed and has two farmhouses and an airstrip. East Kangaroo is mostly abandoned sheep pasture dominated by introduced pasture and thistles. Mount Chappell Island is farmed, has been burnt and ploughed, and suffers from many introduced species including cats. Goose Island has a lighthouse and has been grazed; it is now dominated by grass, succulent forbs and African boxthorn. Badger Island is a large grazed island which suffers from grazing, burning, introduced species and depredation by Tasmanian Devils. Little Badger Island is a small gently sloping grassy island. Mount Chapell and Badger are Indigenous Protected Areas. The boundaries of this IBA are somewhat arbitrary but all the islands are important for their geese and/or seabirds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina resident  1978-1997  44,000 breeding pairs  poor  A4ii  Least Concern 
Cape Barren Goose Cereopsis novaehollandiae resident  1989-2007  473 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Little Penguin Eudyptula minor resident  1978-1997  41,000 breeding pairs  poor  A4ii  Least Concern 
Short-tailed Shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris resident  1975-1995  790,000 breeding pairs  medium  A4ii  Least Concern 
Black-faced Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscescens resident  1978-1997  336-436 individuals  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Sooty Oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus resident  1978-1997  102 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Pacific Gull Larus pacificus resident  1978-1997  229 breeding pairs  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Fairy Tern Sternula nereis resident  1986  89 breeding pairs  poor  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Badger Island Indigenous Protected Area 1,244 protected area contained by site 1,244  
Beagle Island Nature Reserve Nature Reserve 1 protected area contained by site 1  
Big Green Island Nature Reserve 270 protected area contained by site 270  
Chalky Island Conservation Area 36 protected area contained by site 36  
Chappell Islands Nature Reserve 30 protected area contained by site 30  
East Kangaroo Island Nature Reserve 200 protected area contained by site 200  
Goose Island Conservation Area 97 protected area contained by site 97  
Isabella Island Nature Reserve 25 protected area contained by site 25  
Little Badger Island Nature Reserve Nature Reserve 3 protected area contained by site 3  
Little Goose Island Nature Reserve Nature Reserve 3 protected area contained by site 3  
Mile Island Conservation Area 7 protected area contained by site 7  
Mt Chappell Island Indigenous Protected Area 325 protected area contained by site 325  
Wybalenna Island Conservation Area 21 protected area contained by site 21  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Sea cliffs, rocky shores & rocky islets  major
Artificial - terrestrial Improved grassland & pasture  major
Grassland Tussock grasslands  major
Shrubland Chenopod shrubs, samphire shrubs and forblands  minor

Land ownership Tasmanian State Government and private land owners.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
rangeland/pastureland major
not utilised minor

Other biodiversity Metallic Skink, White-lipped Whip Snake, White's Skink and Tiger Snake.

Protection status Numerous - see appropriate section.

Access/Land-Owner requests Permission should be sought from DPIW before visiting protected islands. Permission should be sought from private land-owners before visiting private islands.

Acknowledgements The nomination was prepared by Birds Australia.

References Brothers, N.P. and Skira, I.J. (2000) Little Chalky Island, Furneaux Group, Tasmania. Corella 24: 47-48.

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

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

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chalky, Big Green and Badger Island Groups. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/09/2014

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