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The Snares Islands are granitic, uninhabited islands (3.3 km2, rising to 150 m) which lie c.100 km south-west of the South Island of New Zealand (EBA 207), and are covered by low forest with tussock grassland around the perimeter (see Clark and Dingwall 1985). The islands are treated as a Secondary Area on account of one restricted-range species, New Zealand Snipe Coenocorypha aucklandica (occurring on other New Zealand subantarctic islands, EBA 208 and Secondary Area s133), which has a race, huegeli, known only from these islands and listed as a priority for conservation by Tisdall (1994). The Secondary Area also includes islets off Stewart Island because another race of C. aucklandica, iredalei, occurred there including on South Cape and Jacky Islands (exterminated from South Cape by introduced Weka Gallirallus australis and from Jacky by black rats Rattus rattus). The Snares Islands and the Stewart Island outliers are important for seabirds, notably Snares Island Penguin Eudyptes robustus (classified as Vulnerable), which breeds only on predator-free islands in the group (population estimated at 23,250 pairs in 1985-1986), and Stewart Island Shag Phalacrocorax chalconotus (also Vulnerable), which ranges around Stewart Island and south-east South Island, nesting on rocky headlands and small islands, with a population of over c.3,000 birds (Marchant and Higgins 1990). The Snares Islands are protected, and landings are strictly controlled by permit (see Sanson and Dingwall 1995).
Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
Threat and conservation
BirdLife International (2019) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Snares Islands and Stwart Island islets. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 14/12/2019.