Piper Islands

Year of compilation: 2008

Site description
This IBA consists of the Piper Islands in the inner northern Great Barrier Reef, off the Olive River mouth south of Cape Grenville on the northern Cape York Peninsula. The IBA consist of all four islands: Beesley (2.4 ha cay with grasses and herbs), which is in the same reef as Baird (1 ha coral and shingle with mangroves) and, about 1 km away, Farmer (7 ha cay with grass/shrub exterior and wooded interior dominated by Pisonia grandis to 4 m high), which is in the same reef as Fisher (3 ha coral shingle with scrub and adjacent mangroves). The mangroves are dominated by Rhizophora stylosa and Avicennia marina and grow to 5 m high. There are only single records of more than 1% of the world population of any bird on both Farmer and Baird but all four islands are poorly surveyed. Other nearby islands, notably Quoin (4000 pairs Common Noddy in 1984-1986; 2200 pairs Black Noddy in 1990; 500-600 pairs Lesser Frigatebird in 1980-1981), could be added to the IBA if further surveys indicated higher numbers of birds on these islands. The islands and all surrounding seas are in the general use zone of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Key biodiversity
Other birds have not been documented for this IBA.

Non-bird biodiversity: Hawksbill Turtles.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Monitor numbers and breeding success of Black Noddy and Pied Imperial-Pigeon colonies. Raise awareness of likely impacts of sea-level rise and sea warming.

Protected areas
The IBA overlaps with Piper Islands National Park.

Land ownership
Australian Federal Government with management the responsibility of GBRMPA.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Piper Islands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/07/2020.