Recherche Archipelago

Country/territory: Australia

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A3, A4i, A4ii (2009)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 7,046 ha

Protection status:

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

Site description
The Recherche is an archipelago of about 300 islands, islets and rocks off the south coast of Western Australia. All islands in this large archipelago are taken as the IBA, as all are included in the single protected area designation and there is too little data to be able to identify which islands are important. Published details are available on the seabirds of the following islands: Mondrain (787 ha; large numbers Flesh-footed Shearwater), Woody (188 ha; 80 pairs Flesh-footed Shearwater in 1976), Middle (1080 ha; many Great-winged Petrels), Nares (6 ha; 3-4 pairs White-faced Storm-Petrel), Lorraine (9 ha; 2000-3000 pairs White-faced Storm-Petrel), Ram (142 ha; 300-500 pairs Flesh-footed Shearwater), MacKenzie (48 ha; 4 pairs Sooty Oystercatcher), Hood (131 ha; 100s pairs Little Shearwater), Frederick (77 ha; 500-100 pairs Flesh-footed Shearwater; 5000-8000 pairs White-faced Storm-Petrel), Sandy Hook (285 ha; Flesh-footed Shearwater = common), Remark (101 ha; 10 nests Black-faced Cormorant), Long (138 ha; at least 100s of Flesh-footed Shearwater), Cull (68 ha; 30 Cape Barren Goose); Observatory (101ha; 20-30 pairs Little Penguin), Canning (16 ha; 2000-3000 pairs White-faced Storm-Petrel), Figure of Eight (283 ha; 150 burrows Short-tailed Shearwater), Inshore (35 ha; 200 burrows Short-tailed Shearwater), Ben (55 ha; 5000 pairs Short-tailed Shearwater), Forest (20 ha; 100 pairs Flesh-footed Shearwater), Charley (101 ha; 500-1000 pairs Flesh-footed Shearwater), Bellinger (40 ha; 50 pairs Great-winged Petrel; 3-5 pairs Cape Barren Goose), Six Mile (10 ha; 40-45 pairs Fairy Tern in 1985), Wickham (40 ha; 8000 pairs Short-tailed Shearwater; 5-10 pairs Cape Barren Goose), Gulch (100 ha; 2000 pairs Short-tailed Shearwater; several pairs Cape Barren Goose), Skink (12 ha; several Cape Barren Goose), Harlequin (8 ha; 15-200 pairs Flesh-footed Shearwater). Most are composed of migmatgite (meta-igneous gneissic rocks) with some limestone. Annual average rainfall varies from about 400 mm to about 600 mm.

Key biodiversity
The following species come close to 1% of the world population: Pacific Gull (max 100) and Great-winged Petrel (estimated minimum of 1250 pairs, probably many more; DEC Seabird Breeding Islands Database). High quality survey in 1993 for Cape Barren Goose and Sooty Oystercatcher, but data on other breeding species poor because most islands have not been surveyed, due to impossibility of landing on most from the sea. Additional breeding seabirds include Black-faced Cormorant, Little Penguin, Little and Short-tailed Shearwater, White-faced Storm-Petrel, Caspian, Crested and Fairy Terns, Silver Gull, White-bellied Sea-Eagle and Osprey.

Non-bird biodiversity: Islands with populations of terrestrial mammals: Macropus eugenii (Middle, North Twin Peaks), Petrogale lateralis (Mondarin, Salisbury, Westall, Wilson), Rattus fuscipes (Charley, Daw, Hood, Middle, Mondrain, Newdegate, North Twin Peak, Salisbury). Two species of seals breed there: Neophoca cinerea and Arctocephalus forsteri.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Recherche Archipelago. Downloaded from on 03/12/2020.