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Location South Africa, Western Cape
Central coordinates 18o 18.00' East  32o 5.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4ii, A4iii
Area 3 ha
Altitude 0 - 8m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa

Site description Situated on the Atlantic coast, c.150 km north of Cape Town, this small island lies in Lambert’s Bay harbour, extremely close to shore. A concrete causeway that forms the fishing harbour has linked the island to the mainland since 1959. Rising to only 7.6 m, the island is rocky and virtually devoid of vegetation.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Jackass Penguin Spheniscus demersus resident  5 breeding pairs  A1  Endangered 
Cape Gannet Morus capensis resident  4,000-6,000 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Vulnerable 
Cape Gannet Morus capensis winter  8,000-15,000 individuals  A1, A4ii  Vulnerable 
Crowned Cormorant Microcarbo coronatus resident  5-10 breeding pairs  A1  Near Threatened 
Crowned Cormorant Microcarbo coronatus winter  100-170 individuals  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - seabirds resident  10,000-19,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bird Island Other Area 4 protected area contains site 3  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Marine Coastal/Supratidal   major
Sea Sea cliffs & rocky shores  -

Land use

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

Other biodiversity None known to BirdLife International.

References Adams (1991), Branch (1991), Broekhuysen et al. (1961), Brooke and Prins (1986), Brooke et al. (1982), Cooper (1981), Cooper and Berruti (1989), Cooper and Brooke (1986), Cooper et al. (1983, 1984), Crawford (1995), Crawford and Dyer (1995), Crawford and Shelton (1978, 1981), Crawford et al. (1982a,b, 1983, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995c), Frost et al. (1976), Furness and Cooper (1982), Hockey (1983), Hockey and Hallinan (1981), Jarvis (1971), Jarvis and Cram (1971), Morant et al. (1981), Randall et al. (1980), Shelton et al. (1982), Siegfried (1982), Summers and Cooper (1977), Williams (1995), Wilson et al. (1988).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bird Island. Downloaded from on 30/07/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife