The identification of critical habitat for the Register of Critical Habitat, including location and extent information, is a matter of ecological judgement, and is based on the most up-to-date scientific information available to the Threatened Species Scientific Committee and the Minister for the Environment at the time the habitat was being considered. As new or additional information becomes available, critical habitat identified on the Register may be amended.
Diomedea exulans (Wandering Albatross) - Macquarie Island
|Listed Critical Habitat:||Diomedea exulans (Wandering Albatross) - Macquarie Island|
|Date Effective:||01 Jul 2002|
|Location and extent:||Macquarie Island: About 13,000 ha, comprising all islands and rocks above mean high water level, lying within the area bounded by parallels 54° 27' S and 54° 49' S latitude and meridians 158° 45' E and 158° 59' E longitude.|
|Reasons for listing:||Criteria (a). Whether the habitat is used during periods of stress. Examples of period of stress: Flood, drought or fire.
Criteria (b). Whether the habitat is used to meet essential life cycle requirements. Examples: Foraging, breeding, nesting, roosting, social behaviour patterns or seed dispersal processes.
All albatrosses spend more than 95% of their time traversing the world's oceans in search of prey, and usually only return to land to breed. For southern hemisphere species, nesting typically occurs on small islands scattered throughout the Southern Ocean. Five species of albatross breed within Australian waters, three of which are listed as threatened under the EPBC Act:
If these island habitats were lost, it is unlikely that the species which use them would persist. Albatrosses are extremely site-faithful and the populations currently breeding on these islands are unlikely to breed elsewhere. Criteria (e). Whether the habitat is necessary for use as corridors to allow the species to move freely between sites used to meet essential life cycle requirements. N/A Criteria (f). Whether the habitat is necessary to ensure the long-term future of the species or ecological community through reintroduction or re-colonisation. Shy albatrosses occupy most of the land area of the islands on which they breed. Wandering and Grey-headed Albatrosses do not breed on all parts of Macquarie Island, but the entire island is critical to providing isolation for each population and protection from the impact of disturbance. Some of these populations are also recovering from past declines and hence expanding, hence the whole island is considered critical to their survival and future growth. Macquarie Island is also subject to feral animal control, with an intensive control campaign focussed on the eradication of feral cats from the island. Criteria (g). Any other way in which habitat may be critical to the survival of a listed threatened species or a listed threatened ecological community. N/A
|Environment Australia (2002). Map of Habitat Critical to the survival of Wandering Albatross, Grey-headed Albatross and Shy Albatross. [Online]. Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/critical-habitat/maps/3-albatross.html.|
|Environment Australia (EA) (2001f). National Recovery Plan for Albatrosses and Giant-Petrels 2001-2005. [Online]. Canberra, ACT: Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/archive/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/albatross/index.html.|