Robbins Passage and Boullanger Bay

Year of compilation: 2008

Site description
This IBA includes all of the extensive intertidal mudflats up to the high-tide line around Robbins Island, extending east around Perkins Bay to North Point, in north-west Tasmania. This includes fringing saltmarsh, and it could be extended further to include coastal farmland which is likely to support Orange-bellied Parrots on migration. It also includes the small Petrel Islands, the large Walker Island and small coastal areas of north and south-east Robbins Island which support large numbers of Short-tailed Shearwater. This contains the largest area of tidal mud and sandbanks in Tasmania as well as a series of islands and tidal channels, beaches and estuaries. The IBA is the most important shorebird site in Tasmania, with more than 25,000 shorebirds (about 75% migratory) during summer months, and is probably a major migratory staging point. Harvesting of Short-tailed Shearwater is permitted within Petrel Islands Game Reserve.

Key biodiversity
Locally significant numbers of Ruddy Turnstone: one historic count of 3586 (AWSG data), maximum counts from complete area counts: 1997 = 1920, 1998 = 2450, 1999 = 1793, 2002 = 1162, 2003 = 2217, 2004 = 1176, 2005 = 809 (Woehler 2007). Eastern Curlew have been historically recorded in numbers up to 400. Wedge-tailed Eagle and White-bellied Sea-Eagle breed.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Exotic weeds on mudflats and saltmarsh should be eradicated or controlled. Access for 4WD drive vehicles should be restricted to minimise disturbance to shorebirds, especially Hooded Plover and Fairy Tern.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
Robbins Passage Wetlands Coast and the Landcare Group is monitoring water quality, and working on rice grass control, attempting to restrict 4WD access. A management plan for the wetlands is presently under development, with the management recommendations currently pending public consultation. Birds Tasmania is actively monitoring shorebird populations twice annually.

Protected areas
Lees Point Conservation Area

Perkins Island Conservation Area

West Inlet Conservation Area

Duck Bay Conservation Area

Petrel Islands Game Reserve

Land ownership
Parts of four small protected areas are included but most of the IBA is private properties, some of which extend to low water mark.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Robbins Passage and Boullanger Bay. Downloaded from on 04/07/2020.