Auster Rookery is situated ~6 km northeast of Auster Islands and ~15 km due north of Landmark Point, Mawson Coast, Mac.Robertson Land. The site is characterised by concentrations of icebergs that are typically grounded in the relatively shallow seas found in this area. The IBA qualifies on the basis of the Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) colony present on fast ice and is entirely marine.
The nearest permanent station is Mawson (AUS), ~51 km to the west in Holme Bay, on Mawson Coast.
Robertson's (1995) systematic count at Auster Rookery in the winter of 1988 reported 10 963 breeding pairs present. Analysis of a satellite image acquired on 25 October 2009 (Fretwell et al. 2012) indicated that approximately 7855 Emperor Penguins were present at the colony. Other birds observed at Auster Rookery, although not breeding, include the Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), South Polar Skua (Catharacta maccormicki), Snow Petrel (Pagodroma nivea), Wilson's Storm-petrel (Oceanites oceanicus), Southern Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteus) and Antarctic Tern (Sterna vittata) (Todd et al. 1999).
Non-bird biodiversity: Weddell Seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) have been reported in the area (Todd et al. 1999).
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Auster Rookery. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/09/2020.