Corner Inlet

Country/territory: Australia

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

Area: 72,006 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife Australia
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2008 medium not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The Corner Inlet Ramsar site is the most southerly marine embayment and tidal mudflat system of mainland Australia. The site is of international zoological significance as habitat for migratory wading birds. The barrier islands are of national botanical significance due to their biogeographic importance, and national geomorphological significance as an example of barrier island formation. Corner Inlet is bounded to the west and north by the South Gippsland coastline, in the south-east by a series of barrier islands and sandy spits lying end to end and separated by narrow entrances, and to the south by the hills of Wilsons Promontory. The chain of barrier islands are a westward extension of the Ninety Mile Beach and are of complex form and origin. They provide an outstanding example of the processes involved in barrier island formation including the development of multiple beach ridges, lagoons and swamps, tidal creeks, tidal deltas, and tidal washovers. The main channels of the Inlet are continuous with the Franklin, Albert and Tarra Rivers which drain the catchment area of some 2300 km2 into the embayment and out into Bass Strait through the Main, Port Albert, Kate Kearney, Shoal and McLoughlins Beach Entrances (Ramsar Site Information Sheet 2006). Close to 90% of the site is designated marine and coastal park with Nooramunga Marine & Coastal Park to the east and Corner Inlet Marine & Coastal Park to the west. The Corner Inlet Marine National Park (covering part of the Bennison Channel) resides within the larger Corner Inlet designated area.

Key biodiversity
The site also supports large numbers of the following species but they do not 'regularly' exceed the thresholds: Bar-tailed Godwit, Red Knot, Double-banded Plover Grey Plover (AWSG database), Little Pied Cormorant, Black-faced Cormorant and White-faced Heron (P. Dann pers. comm 2007). Every year typically 100 non-breeding Little Tern from the northern hemisphere are present from November to March. Little Tern do not ordinarily breed but occasionally a pair does breed. Up to 100 Common Terns also occur from November to March. Satellite tracking has identified the inlet is an important feeding area for the Little Penguin colony at Rabbit Island. The site is important also for Black Swan; however count data is only available for the western section of the IBA, which supports 4000-7000 swans. Several thousand pairs of Short-tailed Shearwater used to nest on small granitic islands (Norman 1977). The near threatened Flame Robin and biome-restricted Striated Fieldwren are uncommon at Corner Inlet (Atlas of Australian Birds database).

Non-bird biodiversity: Three mammal species listed as threatened in Victoria have been recorded at Corner Inlet: Spot-tailed Quoll (vulnerable), New Holland Mouse (endangered) and Swamp Antechinus (rare).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Corner Inlet. Downloaded from on 28/05/2020.