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Location Australia, Tasmania
Central coordinates 144o 56.57' East  40o 42.74' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4ii
Area 23,773 ha
Altitude 0 - 20m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary This IBA supports more than 1% of the world population of Red-necked Stint, Double-banded Plover, Pied Oystercatcher and Sooty Oystercatcher, and a population of the near threatened Hooded Plover. The coastal saltmarsh and the fringing farmland also regularly support the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot on migration, the near threatened Flame Robin and ten biome-restricted or restricted-range (endemic) species.

Site description This IBA includes all of the extensive intertidal mudflats up to the high-tide line around Robbins Island, extending east around Perkins Bay to North Point, in north-west Tasmania. This includes fringing saltmarsh, and it could be extended further to include coastal farmland which is likely to support Orange-bellied Parrots on migration. It also includes the small Petrel Islands, the large Walker Island and small coastal areas of north and south-east Robbins Island which support large numbers of Short-tailed Shearwater. This contains the largest area of tidal mud and sandbanks in Tasmania as well as a series of islands and tidal channels, beaches and estuaries. The IBA is the most important shorebird site in Tasmania, with more than 25,000 shorebirds (about 75% migratory) during summer months, and is probably a major migratory staging point. Harvesting of Short-tailed Shearwater is permitted within Petrel Islands Game Reserve.

Key Biodiversity Locally significant numbers of Ruddy Turnstone: one historic count of 3586 (AWSG data), maximum counts from complete area counts: 1997 = 1920, 1998 = 2450, 1999 = 1793, 2002 = 1162, 2003 = 2217, 2004 = 1176, 2005 = 809 (Woehler 2007). Eastern Curlew have been historically recorded in numbers up to 400. Wedge-tailed Eagle and White-bellied Sea-Eagle breed.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Short-tailed Shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris resident  1975-1995  242,000 breeding pairs  good  A4ii  Least Concern 
Tasmanian Native-hen Tribonyx mortierii resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris resident  1997-2005  675-1,454 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Sooty Oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus resident  1997-2005  310-790 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Hooded Plover Thinornis cucullatus resident  1997-2005  37-68 individuals  good  A1  Vulnerable 
Double-banded Plover Charadrius bicinctus non-breeding  1997-2005  20-1,721 individuals  good  A4i  Least Concern 
Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis non-breeding  1997-2005  4,430-15,726 individuals  good  A4i  Near Threatened 
Pacific Gull Larus pacificus resident  1989  120 breeding pairs  medium  A4i  Least Concern 
Fairy Tern Sternula nereis unknown  1998-2008  289 individuals  medium  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Green Rosella Platycercus caledonicus resident  1998-2008  abundant  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Orange-bellied Parrot Neophema chrysogaster unknown  2007  frequent  A1, A3  Critically Endangered 
Yellow-throated Honeyeater Lichenostomus flavicollis resident  1998-2008  common  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Black-headed Honeyeater Melithreptus affinis resident  1998-2008  rare  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Strong-billed Honeyeater Melithreptus validirostris resident  1998-2008  uncommon  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Striated Fieldwren Calamanthus fuliginosus resident  1998-2008  common  A3  Least Concern 
Tasmanian Scrubwren Sericornis humilis resident  1998-2008  common  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Tasmanian Thornbill Acanthiza ewingii resident  1998-2008  abundant  A2  Least Concern 
Black Currawong Strepera fuliginosa resident  1998-2008  common  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Robin Melanodryas vittata resident  1998-2008  common  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Flame Robin Petroica phoenicea non-breeding  1998-2008  frequent  A1  Near Threatened 

IBA Monitoring

2008 medium not assessed not assessed
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - agro-industry grazing, ranching or farmin happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Agriculture and aquaculture marine and freshwater aquaculture - industrial aquaculture happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
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 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)  
Duck Bay Conservation Area 1,900 protected area contained by site 1,900  
Lees Point Conservation Area 121 protected area overlaps with site 121  
Perkins Island Conservation Area 150 protected area overlaps with site 89  
Petrel Islands Game Reserve 50 protected area overlaps with site 17  
West Inlet Conservation Area 68 protected area contained by site 68  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial Improved grassland & pasture  minor
Coastline Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Salt marshes; Sand cays, islets & bars; Sea cliffs, rocky shores & rocky islets  major
Introduced vegetation   minor

Land ownership Parts of four small protected areas are included but most of the IBA is private properties, some of which extend to low water mark.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture major
Notes: oyster farms
hunting minor
Notes: duck shooting in Duck Bay; muttonbirding on Petrel Islands.
rangeland/pastureland minor

Protection status Lees Point Conservation Area

Perkins Island Conservation Area

West Inlet Conservation Area

Duck Bay Conservation Area

Petrel Islands Game Reserve

Access/Land-Owner requests Permission needs to be obtained to access private properties.

Acknowledgements The nomination was prepared by Eric Woehler with assistance from the Robbins Passage Wetlands Coast and Landcare Group, Fiona Spruzen and Bianca Priest. Need to consult land-owner umbrella group or via public media.

References Ashby, R. (1991) Waders of far north-west Tasmania. Stilt 19: 44-49.

Birds Australia (2006) Shorebird Conservation Robbins Passage/Boullanger Bay Wetlands Area - Values Mapping Project. Unpublished report. Birds Australia: Melbourne.

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

Rudman, T. (2003) Tasmanian Beach Weed Strategy for marram grass, sea spurge, sea wheatgrass, pyp grass & beach daisy. Technical Report 03/2. DPIWE Nature Conservation Branch: Hobart Tasmania.

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.

Woehler, E. (2007) Inventory of shorebird sites in the Cradle-Coast NRM region, including King Island, 2006/07. Report to Cradle-Coast NRM and DPIW.

Woehler, E. and Park, P. (2006) Inventory of Nationally Important Shorebird Sites in Tasmania. Unpublished report by Birds Tasmania for Birds Australia.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Robbins Passage and Boullanger Bay. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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