Curtis Island

Year of compilation: 2008

Site description
Curtis Island is located north west of Flinders Island in the Bass Strait. Curtis Island is oriented south-west and is dominated by steep cliffs along the coastline. The 1.78m long ridge rises from north to south at a steady rate and is broken into two peaks. The northern peak is rounded and reaches 224.3m high while the southern peak reaches 335.3m high and is square-capped and vegetated. The soils are a mixture of granite gravels and bird-derived organic matter. Curtis Island is a significant island because of its soil type and species diversity (Brothers et al. 2001).

Key biodiversity
Other birds recorded include Little Penguin (1000 pairs), Fairy Prion (70 pairs), Pacific Gull (22 pairs), Sooty Oystercatcher (3 pairs), Cape Barren Goose (2 pairs with 2 goslings each), White-bellied Sea-Eagle (nest found), Swamp Harrier, Brown Falcon, Little Eagle, Olive Whistler, Forest Raven (Brothers et al. 2001). The numbers of nesting penguin may be much larger; and Australasian Gannet roost on a rock stack next to Cone Island (Rachael Alderman & Rosemary Gales in litt. 2008).

Non-bird biodiversity: Other animals present on Curtis Island include the Metallic Skink, Bougainvilles Skink, White's Skink and the White-lipped Whip Snake. No mammals were recorded. Other vegetation includes Disphyma crassifolium, Carpobrotus rossii and Stipa (Brothers et al. 2001).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
This island group warrants stringent visitation restrictions given its isolation and relatively pristine nature.

Protected areas
Curtis Island Nature Reserve.

Land ownership
Owned by the Tasmanian State Government and managed by the Department of Primary Industries and Water.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Curtis Island. Downloaded from on 09/07/2020.