Schouten Island

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Schouten Island
Schouten island map.png
Map of Schouten Island
Schouten Island is located in Tasmania
Schouten Island

Schouten Island (Tasmania)
Geography
Coordinates 42°18′47″S 148°16′30″E / 42.313°S 148.275°E / -42.313; 148.275[1]Coordinates: 42°18′47″S 148°16′30″E / 42.313°S 148.275°E / -42.313; 148.275[1]
Country
Australia
State Tasmania
Schouten Island as viewed from the top of Mount Freycinet

Schouten Island (formerly Schouten's Isle1826 map) is a 28 km2 island in eastern Tasmania, Australia. It lies 1.6 kilometres south of Freycinet Peninsula [2] and is a part of Freycinet National Park.

History[edit]

Schouten Island lies within the territory of the Oyster Bay tribe of Tasmanian Aborigines and kitchen middens indicates Indigenous tribes inhabited the island prior to European settlement.[3][4] In 1642, while surveying the south-west coast of Tasmania, Abel Tasman named the island after Joost Schouten, a member of the Council of the Dutch East India Company.[5]

Members of the Baudin expedition landed on Schouten in 1802. In the early 19th century, sealers were active in the area and are known to have visited the island. The discovery of coal on the island in 1809 by a sealer, John Stacey led to between 1842 and 1925, several phases of coal and tin mining, where in 1880 a small number of Chinese men worked the ground for tin.[3] Stacey found that 200-300 hectares of land could be suitable for cultivation. Plans to use convict labour to mine coal on the island in the 1840s were never realised.[2] From 1850 Schouten was used for grazing sheep, with grazing leases only expiring in 1969.[4][6]

Topography and geology[edit]

Schouten is a rugged island with the highest point, Mount Storey, 400 m asl. It is surrounded by cliffs, broken by sheltered bays. A north-south fault line exists divides the island where the eastern part of the island is composed of granite while the western part is dolerite overlying sedimentary and supergroup rocks.[6]

Flora and fauna[edit]

The natural vegetation of the island is dominated by eucalypt forest on the dolerite soils in the west, and by scrubland, heathland and sedgeland communities on the granitic soils of the east. Areas associated with previous human disturbance, such as clearing, grazing and frequent burning, are dominated by grasses and herbs.[7]

Little Penguins and Short-tailed Shearwaters breed on the island, along with other bird species such as the Tasmanian Native-hen. Australian Fur Seals haul out on the eastern side.[8] Reptiles present include the Tasmanian Tree Skink, She-oak Skink, Southern Grass Skink and Three-lined Skink.[4]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Schouten Island, Tasmania (Islands & Reefs)". Gazetteer of Australia online. Geoscience Australia, Australian Government.  Retrieved 29 December 2009.
  2. ^ a b Bacon, C.A. and Corbett, K.D. "The Schouten Island Coalfield." Mineral Resources Tasmania - Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources. 10 August 1984. Accessed 29 December 2009.
  3. ^ a b Hughes, T.D. "Schouten Island." Mineral Resources Tasmania - Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources. 1 January 1959. Accessed 29 December 2009.
  4. ^ a b c Anon. (2000). Freycinet National Park, Wye River State Reserve, Management Plan. Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service: Hobart. ISBN 0-7246-2130-X [1]
  5. ^ "East Coast Islands - Schouten Island Group". Tasmanian Government, Discover Tasmania. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  6. ^ a b Brothers et al., p.414
  7. ^ Brothers et al., p.416
  8. ^ Brothers et al., p.414-415

References[edit]