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Location Australia, South Australia
Central coordinates 134o 38.79' East  33o 11.29' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 8,259 ha
Altitude 0 - 22m
Year of IBA assessment 2009

BirdLife Australia

Summary The IBA regularly supports more than 1% of the global population of the congregatory Pied Oystercatcher and Sooty Oystercatcher. The IBA also supports small numbers of the vulnerable Fairy Tern.

Site description The IBA includes all of Venus Bay, halfway between Port Lincoln and Ceduna on the Eyre peninsula. This large bay is about 15 km by 5 km and has a narrow entrance to the sea. The western half of the bay is largely deep water but includes seven islands in Venus Bay, totalling approximately 190 ha. These islands and the three peninsulas, Mainland Point, Black Point and the Entrance Beach Peninsula, are important for nesting shorebirds and gulls. The eastern half of the bay has extensive intertidal flats and one large island. The central south coast borders the Venus Bay Conservation Park, which has a predator exclusion fence and supports a range of re-introduced mammals. The north-west border abuts the Venus Bay Conservation Reserve but the IBA hardly overlaps these conservation parks, which only extend down to the high water mark. There are public or private roads around most of the bay.

Key Biodiversity Small numbers of other waterbirds nest: Caspian Terns (18 nests in 2004 and 20 nests in 2005 on Island B), Australian Pelican (max 50 nests in 2008 on Island B), Pied Cormorant (966 nests on island B in 2007) (Armstrong in prep.). Rock Parrots are common at Venus Bay (J. Cooper pers. comm. 2008); most confirmed nesting occurs on Island C, with a few nests on Garden Island (Armstrong in prep.). Blue-winged Fairy-wrens are locally frequent but there is limited suitable habitat within the designated boundaries of the IBA (J. Cooper pers. comm. 2008).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris resident  2000-2004  112-255 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Sooty Oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus resident  2000-2004  115-143 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Fairy Tern Sternula nereis unknown  2004-2008  common  A1  Vulnerable 

IBA Monitoring

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

Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Venus Bay Conservation Park 6,376 protected area overlaps with site 672  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Chenopod shrubs, samphire shrubs and forblands  minor
Coastline Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Mangrove wetlands  major

Land ownership Crown Land (coastal zone).

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture minor
Notes: Fishing; cockle harvesting.
not utilised major

Protection status The IBA abuts the Venus Bay Conservation Park.

Acknowledgements The Friends of Streaky Bay District Parks assisted with the nomination.

References Armstrong, D. (in prep.) Venus Bay nesting seabirds. Report to Wildlife Conservation Fund, DEH, Adelaide.

DEH (2008) Report on opportunities for the protection of coastal land between Streaky Bay to Venus Bay through establishment of a CoastLinks Conservation Area. Unpublished report: Department for Environment and Heritage, Adelaide. Downloaded from in December 2008.

Ross, G.J.B., Weaver, K. and Greig, J.C. (eds) (1996) The status of Australia's seabirds; proceedings of the national workshop, Canberra 1-2 November 1993. Canberra: Environment Australia.

Wilson, J.R. (2000) South Australian wader surveys. January and February 2000. Melbourne: Australasian Wader Studies Group unpublished report.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Venus Bay. Downloaded from on 29/10/2016

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