Areas of environmental significance

Group of King penguin chicks
King penguins breed prolifically on the island. Photo D. Ross
Grooup of elephant sealsA young seal climing up to look into a rubber boat on the beachTwo rockhopper penguinsGroup of gentoo penguins on tussock grassTwo albatrosses courtingRabbitClose up of Kerguelen cabbage

Macquarie Island and its waters to three nautical miles is a Tasmanian reserve. The island, including the waters out to 12 nautical miles, was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1997 on the basis of its outstanding natural values. The Commonwealth Macquarie Island Marine Park lies to the south and east of the island and covers about 16.2 million hectares.

Access to many coastal areas of the island is restricted during periods of the year in order to protect threatened species, critical habitat, special ecosystems or historic localities. The Parks and Wildlife rangers on the Island will advise expeditioners of these special management areas.

Wildlife abounds on the island with large numbers of seals, penguins, petrels and other fauna, including many around the station. Care must be taken to minimise disturbance at all times.

A major pest eradication program is under way to rid the island of rabbits, rats and mice. A significant dieback epidemic affecting Azorella macquariensis, known as cushion plant, has recently been discovered on the plateau, and new management protocols have been introduced to control the spread of the disease. Its cause is unknown as yet.

There are a number of maps of the island which are downloadable from our web pages.

For these maps and mapping information, visit the AAD Data Centre map catalogue.

This page was last modified on 8 November 2002.