|Most recent IBA monitoring assessment|
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Dyer Island is one of two low-lying islands situated 4.7 km south-east of Danger Point. The nearest harbour is at Kleinbaai/Franskraal, just south of Gansbaai. The coastline is rugged with some low rocky areas spreading inland. The island is flat and low-lying, with a pebbly surface. The vegetation consists primarily of Mesembryanthemaceae and non-native weeds (including conspicuous stands of Lavatera). In the south-eastern part of the island are several buildings that house the island staff, boats and stores.
See Box for key species. The discovery of Oceanodroma leucorhoa in several of the stone walls on the island in October 1995 was the first evidence of a procellariiform bird breeding in southern Africa. In November 1996 it was estimated that 8–9 pairs were breeding. In 1996, after an absence of some 25 years, Sterna dougallii, which breed regularly only at two other islands in southern Africa (Bird and St Croix islands in Algoa Bay; IBA ZA074), attempted to breed again at Dyer Island. The breeding attempt failed owing to suspected human disturbance. The population of Spheniscus demersus at Dyer Island is in rapid decline, and although the island supported some 72,500 birds in 1976, it is thought that the population may have fallen below 3,000 pairs in 1997.
Non-bird biodiversity: The waters around the island hold a large population of the shark Carcharodon carcharias (VU).
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dyer Island Nature Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/11/2019.