Babel Island Group

Country/territory: Australia

IBA Criteria met: A4i, A4ii (2009)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 507 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
The Babel Island Group IBA consists of Babel, Cat and Storehouse islands, east of Flinders Island in Bass Strait. These are granite islands with sandy soil, dominated by the grass Poa poeformis. Babel Island is owned by the Tasmanian Aboriginal community and is much larger (441 ha) than Cat and Storehouse Islands, both of which are Conservation Areas. The central hill at Babel Island slopes gently to the shoreline, where there are two large beaches, a sandy spit at the southwest side, and several buildings at West Beach, the Gulch, South East Beach and along the east coast. Cat Island (39 ha) is flat, with steep cliffs on the east side; and Storehouse Island (20 ha) has a gently undulating landscape.

Key biodiversity
1585 pairs of Crested Tern and 29 pairs of Sooty Oystercatcher. Peregrine Falcon breeds at Babel Island. Cat Island has a pair of Hooded Plover and is important as a site for the potential re-colonisation of Australasian Gannet, though nesting habitat has not fully recovered from a very destructive fire in 1984, when the impressive 5000-10000 birds found here in 1908, and 1000 in 1938, had already declined to a very small colony. Deployment of decoys since 1988 has not been successful but manual re-colonisation of reared chicks is being considered.

Non-bird biodiversity: Bennett's Wallaby, Tasmanian Pademelon, Water Rat, Metallic Skink, Three-lined Skink, White's Skink, Blue-tongued Lizard and Tiger Snake are some of the other animals recorded, mostly at Babel Island. Vegetation is dominated by Poa poiformis, Rhagodia candolleana, Tetragonia implexicoma, Atriplex cinerea and areas of scrub (especially myrtaceous species).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Babel Island Group. Downloaded from on 09/08/2020.