Maatsuyker Island

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Maatsuyker Island
Maatsuyker Island Map.png
Maatsuyker Island
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
13.9 °C
57 °F
8.6 °C
47 °F
1,227.8 mm
48.3 in

Maatsuyker Island (186-hectare (0.72 sq mi)) lies close to the south-western coast of Tasmania, Australia. It is part of the Maatsuyker Island Group, which is included in the Southwest National Park and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Site. It is the site of the Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse.[1][2] The island is part of the Maatsuyker Island Group Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance as a breeding site for seabirds.[3]

Climate[edit]

Because the island is so far south and is influenced by circumpolar weather systems, average temperatures are significantly colder than most of Australia. Maatsuyker Island temperatures are around 10 degrees all year with days being cooler and milder. Wind is usually constant. Due to the high vegetation in patches on the top of the island, it is possible to shelter on the "jeep trail" that runs from the lighthouse to the landing. Several vehicles have been used here over the years, including Suzuki Sierras in the 1980s.

Climate data for Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse (1981-2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31.6
(88.9)
34.7
(94.5)
32.4
(90.3)
31.0
(87.8)
22.0
(71.6)
18.8
(65.8)
17.5
(63.5)
21.5
(70.7)
24.6
(76.3)
27.5
(81.5)
30.3
(86.5)
30.4
(86.7)
34.7
(94.5)
Average high °C (°F) 16.9
(62.4)
17.4
(63.3)
16.2
(61.2)
14.6
(58.3)
13.0
(55.4)
11.5
(52.7)
11.1
(52)
11.3
(52.3)
12.0
(53.6)
13.1
(55.6)
14.4
(57.9)
15.5
(59.9)
13.9
(57)
Average low °C (°F) 10.9
(51.6)
11.4
(52.5)
10.7
(51.3)
9.7
(49.5)
8.7
(47.7)
7.4
(45.3)
6.9
(44.4)
6.7
(44.1)
6.9
(44.4)
7.4
(45.3)
8.6
(47.5)
9.7
(49.5)
8.8
(47.8)
Record low °C (°F) 3.5
(38.3)
5.2
(41.4)
3.3
(37.9)
0.2
(32.4)
0.7
(33.3)
1.5
(34.7)
−1
(30)
1.0
(33.8)
0.8
(33.4)
−1
(30)
2.0
(35.6)
3.2
(37.8)
−1
(30)
Precipitation mm (inches) 83.5
(3.287)
74.6
(2.937)
82.0
(3.228)
98.6
(3.882)
109.7
(4.319)
123.9
(4.878)
137.4
(5.409)
131.6
(5.181)
118.2
(4.654)
106.7
(4.201)
86.7
(3.413)
89.5
(3.524)
1,242.7
(48.925)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 12.9 11.0 14.1 15.9 18.5 19.0 20.8 21.2 19.4 19.3 14.7 15.0 201.8
Source: Bureau of Meteorology [4]

Flora and fauna[edit]

The vegetation is dominated by the woody shrub Leptospermum scoparium, or Tea Tree, which covers most parts of the island, reaching a canopy height of 6 m in sheltered places.

Recorded breeding seabird and wader species are the Little Penguin (700 pairs), Short-tailed Shearwater (800,000 pairs), Sooty Shearwater, Fairy Prion (5000 pairs), Common Diving-Petrel (10,000 pairs), Soft-plumaged Petrel, Pacific Gull, Silver Gull and Sooty Oystercatcher. The Swamp Antechinus has been recorded. The island is a haul-out site for the Australian Fur Seal and a breeding site for the New Zealand Fur Seal. It is visited by Southern Elephant Seals, which occasionally breed there. Reptiles recorded include the Metallic Skink, Three-lined Skink and Tasmanian Tree Skink.[1]

Weather observations have been recorded continuously from the island since 1891.

The island is currently inhabited by volunteers, swapped out every 4 months, the improvements on it are being maintained by the Tasmanian Government and volunteer organisations interested in preserving the history of the island and the lighthouse.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Brothers, Nigel; Pemberton, David; Pryor, Helen; & Halley, Vanessa. (2001). Tasmania’s Offshore Islands: seabirds and other natural features. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery: Hobart. ISBN 0-7246-4816-X
  2. ^ Small Southern Islands Conservation Management Statement 2002, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, 2002, archived from the original on 2006-08-22, retrieved 2006-07-20 
  3. ^ BirdLife International. (2011). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Maatsuyker Island Group. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/08/2011.
  4. ^ "Climate Statistics for Maatsuyker Island Lighthouse". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 

Coordinates: 43°39′00″S 146°16′45″E / 43.65000°S 146.27917°E / -43.65000; 146.27917