Manowar and Rocky Islands

Country/territory: Australia

IBA Criteria met: A4ii (2009)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 51 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife Australia
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2008 high not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Rocky and Manowar Islands are both small islands in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria about 40 km distant from the nearest substantial land on Mornington Island. The two slightly raised islands support large numbers of breeding seabirds, particularly Brown Booby on both islands and Lesser Frigatebird on Manowar Island. The climate is monsoonal with an extended dry season from May to November and a hot wet season from December to April.

Key biodiversity
Large numbers of Australian Pelican and small numbers of Eastern Reef Egret, Osprey and White-bellied Sea-Eagle breed on the islands.

Non-bird biodiversity: The islands are notable for basking by Green Turtle between breeding attempts in the winter (Garnett et al. 1985). An undescribed legless lizard, Lerista aff. orientalis, has been recorded from Rocky Island (Garnett and Crowley 1987a), and must be a relic from the Pleistocene when lower sea level meant the islands were connected to the mainland.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Manowar and Rocky Islands. Downloaded from on 16/02/2020.