Pelorus Islet

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Pelorus Islet
Pelorus Islet is located in South Australia
Pelorus Islet
Geography
Location Great Australian Bight
Country
Demographics
Population 0

Pelorus Islet (also known as Pelorus Reef and Pelorus Rock) is an islet located in Great Australian Bight off the south coast of Kangaroo Island in South Australia approximately 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) east south-east of Cape Gantheaume. It was named by Captain Francis Harding, RN after HMS Pelorus.

Description[edit]

Pelorus Islet is about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) east south-east of Cape Gantheaume. It consists of three separate islets - a main round topped peak of 12 metres (39 ft) height with a reef with several rocks sitting above water level to its east and another exposed rock to its south-west. It is inaccessible by boat as it is subject to continuous swells.[1]

Formation, geology and oceanography[edit]

Peloris Islet was formed between 7500 and 8900 years ago after sea levels rose at the start of the Holocene when Kangaroo Island became separated from Yorke and Fleurieu Peninsulas.[2] Pelorus Islet is the remains of a volcanic intrusion reported as being some 506 million years old.[1] The islet rises abruptly from a depth of 35 metres (115 ft).[3]

Flora and fauna[edit]

As of 1996, no terrestrial vegetation was present as the islet has been ‘scoured of any soil and small eroded fragments, leaving only a few large boulders’ while the only vertebrate animals observed were New Zealand fur seals and Crested Terns.[1]

History[edit]

Nicolas Baudin is reported as being the first European to describe the islet, however he did not name the islet. The islet was surveyed in May 1838 by HMS Pelorus under the command of Captain Francis Harding RN. It is reported that Harding named the islet after the ship.[4][5] The Pelorus Islet is reported as being the site of the wrecking of You Yangs on 14 June 1890. You Yangs was a 672 gross tonnage barque rigged screw steamer owned by Howard Smith and Sons.[6]

Protected areas status[edit]

Pelorus Islet originally obtained protected area status as a fauna reserve under the former Fauna Conservation Act 1964[7] As of 1996, it was described as being vacant crown land.[8] As of 2014, the islet is either part of the Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park or the Cape Gantheaume Wilderness Protection Area.[clarification needed]. As of 2012, the waters surrounding its shores are part of a habitat protection zone located within the boundaries of the Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Robinson, A. C.; Canty, P., Mooney, T. and Rudduck, P. (1996). "South Australia's offshore islands". Australian Heritage Commission. p. 300. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Robinson, A. C. & Armstrong, D. M. (ed.). A Biological Survey of Kangaroo Island, South Australia, 1989 & 1990. Adelaide, SA: Heritage and Biodiversity Section, Department for Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs, South Australia. p. 26. ISBN 0 7308 5862 6. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  3. ^ South Australia. Department of Marine and Harbors (1985), The Waters of South Australia a series of charts, sailing notes and coastal photographs, Dept. of Marine and Harbors, South Australia, pp. Chart 11, ISBN 978-0-7243-7603-2 
  4. ^ Robinson, A. C.; Canty, P., Mooney, T. and Rudduck, P. (1996). "South Australia's offshore islands". Australian Heritage Commission. p. 126. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "(Captain Francis) Harding". http://www.hmspelorus.com/. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "(Australian National Shipwreck Database) View Shipwreck - You Yangs". Department of the Environment, Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  7. ^ Robinson, A. C.; Canty, P., Mooney, T. and Rudduck, P. (1996). "South Australia's offshore islands". Australian Heritage Commission. p. 140. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Robinson, A. C.; Canty, P., Mooney, T. and Rudduck, P. (1996). "South Australia's offshore islands". Australian Heritage Commission. p. 147. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Southern Kangaroo Island Marine Park Management Plan 2012". Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources. 2012. pp. 25/26. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 

Coordinates: 36°06′S 137°32′E / 36.100°S 137.533°E / -36.100; 137.533