Cape Portland


Country/territory: Australia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A3, A4i (2009)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 6,708 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife Australia
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2018 high not assessed negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here


Site description
This IBA includes the coastal fringe from Cape Portland to Policemans Point and the offshore Swan Island, important for Hooded Plovers, and the wetlands and grasslands around Cape Portland, important for Cape Barren Geese, in north-eastern Tasmania. These areas are comprised of mostly rocky coastline with some beaches, with tidal estuaries, and pasture with freshwater wetlands. The beaches are particularly important for nesting birds as they are much less disturbed than other similar beaches in Tasmania. The remaining bushland areas of Mount William National Park are excluded as they only support modest populations of the more widespread Tasmanian endemic species.

Key biodiversity
The vulnerable Fairy Tern has nested in small numbers on Baynes Island and on Musselroe Spit (R. Cooper pers. comm. 2009; Hydro Tasmania 2003); at least eight pairs were present on Musselroe Spit in 2008/09 (E. Woehler in litt. 2009). Fairy Terns are commonly recorded along this coast with positive records in 40 of 113 (35%) Atlas of Australian Birds surveys from 1998 to 2008 (Atlas of Australian Birds database). Up to 680 Double-banded Plover (Lane 1987) have been observed, but the threshold of 500 does not appear to be exceeded regularly for this species. 347 Pied Oystercatchers have been counted (AWSG database) but there are insufficient counts along the length of the IBA to ascertain whether it regularly exceeds threshold numbers. Australasian Bittern seen commonly on Tregaron South lagoon in the 1980s (Hydro Tasmania 2003). Regionally significant numbers of Red-necked Stint (counts include 2932 in 1982, 1611 in 1985, 2081 in 1986, 1899 in 1992), Curlew Sandpiper max 2000 in 1985 (Hydro Tasmania 2003) and Red-capped Plovers (at least 30 pairs along this coast including at least 15 pairs on Musselroe Spit in 2008/09; E. Woehler pers. comm. 2009). Regionally significant numbers of Wedge-tailed Eagles (R. Cooper pers. comm. 2007). Various restricted-range Tasmanian endemic species occur in the fringing terrestrial vegetation (e.g. Tasmanian Thornbill) but the populations captured within this IBA are insignificant.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cape Portland. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/05/2019.