Raine Island, Moulter and Maclennan Cays


Country/territory: Australia

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

Area: 32 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
This IBA consists of the neighbouring islands of Raine Island, Moulter Cay and MacLennan Cay which, together with the surrounding seas, makes up the most significant seabird rookery in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. These are on the outer edge of the reef, just south of the tip of Cape York. The best-studied island, Raine, is a 21 ha coral cay that consists of a vegetated ridge surrounding a bare central depression, previously mined for phosphorous, located about 100 km ENE of Cape Grenville, north Queensland. The majority of the central bare depression is occupied by Masked Boobies, with Brown Boobies nesting around the edges and extending onto the vegetated ridges. MacLennan Cay is a 2.4 ha cay vegetated with a grass Lepturus repens, a herb Portulaca oleracea and a shrub Boerhavia diffusa. Moulter (previously called Pandora) Cay is a 8.6 ha cay vegetated with grass, herbs and a few shrubs. Raine and Moulter support the only Red-footed Booby nesting colony in the Great Barrier Reef. These islands, and the surrounding seas, are in the Great Barrier Reef Marine National Park under the control of the Raine Island Corporation.

Key biodiversity
Raine: about 2000 pairs of Wedge-tailed Shearwater in 1995; 330 Red-footed Booby nests in 1998 (Dyer 2003) and up to 229 pairs or 500 adult Red-footed Booby in 1980-2002; up to 101 pairs of Red-tailed Tropicbird in 1980-2002; Maclennan: up to 1000 pairs of Crested and Sooty Terns (GBR seabird database). Raine is possibly the only breeding site for Herald Petrel in Australia, but numbers are poorly known and very small,with a maximum count of seven birds (King 1986; Marchant and Higgins 1990).


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Raine Island, Moulter and Maclennan Cays. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/03/2019.