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Location South Africa, Western Cape
Central coordinates 18o 22.00' East  33o 49.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4ii, A4iii
Area 574 ha
Altitude 0 - 30m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

BirdLife South Africa



Summary Robben Island is South Africa's largest coastal island and lies 11 km from Table Bay harbour in Cape Town. This oval 5 x 2 km island rises 30 m above sea level at its highest point. The island contains African Penguins Spheniscus demersus and large numbers of breeding Bank Cormorant Phalacrocorax neglectus.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
African Penguin Spheniscus demersus resident  4,000-5,000 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
African Penguin Spheniscus demersus winter  8,000-14,000 individuals  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Cape Cormorant Phalacrocorax capensis resident  1,000-3,000 breeding pairs  A1, A4i  Endangered 
Cape Cormorant Phalacrocorax capensis winter  5,000-10,000 individuals  A1, A4i  Endangered 
Bank Cormorant Phalacrocorax neglectus resident  57-106 breeding pairs  A1, A4i  Endangered 
Bank Cormorant Phalacrocorax neglectus winter  180-250 individuals  A1, A4i  Endangered 
Crowned Cormorant Microcarbo coronatus resident  40-108 breeding pairs  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Crowned Cormorant Microcarbo coronatus winter  300 individuals  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
African Oystercatcher Haematopus moquini resident  20-35 breeding pairs  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
African Oystercatcher Haematopus moquini winter  40-90 individuals  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Hartlaub's Gull Larus hartlaubii breeding  1,000-4,309 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Hartlaub's Gull Larus hartlaubii winter  5,000-10,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii breeding  2,300 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii winter  500-3,000 individuals  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds resident  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Robben Island World Heritage Convention 0 is identical to site 574  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Shrubland - Cape (fynbos)  -
Marine Coastal/Supratidal   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%
other -
tourism/recreation -
unknown -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Robben Island National Historical Monument. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/10/2014

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