Low Rocks and Sterna Island (Kimberley)


Country/territory: Australia

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

Area: 15 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
Low Rocks and Sterna island are two islands about 12 km apart in the Montesquieu Islands in Admiralty Gulf, Kimberley, Western Australia. Low Rocks is a 4 ha islet with low scrub and grass. Sterna island, about 14 km to the west, rises to 9 m and has about 4 ha vegetated, dominated by Triodia microstachya and Acacia tumida, and 2 ha of un-vegetated sandstone ledges, which are used by seabirds for breeding. Seabirds stopped breeding on Low Rocks in about 2000 and the terns appear to have relocated to Sterna Island, perhaps because the vegetation on Low Rocks had become too dense for terns to breed (Coate et al. 2004). Annual average rainfall ca 900 mm.

Key biodiversity
Sterna is also a breeding site for Crested Tern (about 2100 nests[?] in 2003) and Lesser Crested Tern (about 250 nests[?] in 2003). 700 Crested and 350 Lesser Crested Tern nests [?] were recorded on Low Rocks in 1997 (Coate et al. 2004). Pied Cormorant is thought to have relocated from Low Rocks to Oyster Rock.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2018) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Low Rocks and Sterna Island (Kimberley). Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/12/2018.