Troubridge Island

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Troubridge Island
Troubridge Island is located in South Australia
Troubridge Island
Location Gulf St Vincent
Troubridge Island Lighthouse[1]
Troubridge Island Lighthouse.jpg
Troubridge Island Lighthouse
Location Troubridge Island, South Australia
Year first lit 1856.
Deactivated 2001
Construction cast iron
Tower shape round tower
Markings / pattern painted with broad red and white horizontal bands
Height 24 metres (79 ft)
Admiralty number K2022
ARLHS number AUS-164
Two Silver Gulls, one standing and one in flight, at the water’s edge
The island is an important breeding site for Silver Gulls

Troubridge Island is a small sandy island lying about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) east-southeast of Edithburgh on the Yorke Peninsula at the south-western end of Gulf St Vincent, South Australia. It is important as a seabird colony site.


Troubridge is a low island with a maximum height of about 5 m above sea level. Its land area is only about 3 ha at high tide but expands to about 8 ha of exposed sand flats at low tide. Apart from a disused lighthouse with two associated cottages used for tourist accommodation, the island is designated as a conservation park known as the Troubridge Island Conservation Park. Access is only by permit or with an approved commercial tour operator.[2][3]

Flora and fauna[edit]


Most of the 31 plant species recorded from the island are introduced. The vegetation consists of low shrubland dominated by Nitre Bush, Grey Saltbush and African Boxthorn. Other prominent plants present are Tree Mallow, Sea Rocket, Marram Grass and Hairy Spinifex.[2]


The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports over 1% of the world populations of Black-faced Cormorants (with up to 4000 individuals) and Silver Gulls (with up to 10,000 breeding pairs.[4] It also supports breeding colonies of Little Penguins, Caspian, Crested and Fairy Terns, Pied Cormorants and, sometimes, small numbers of Pacific Gulls. It provides foraging habitat for Red-necked Stints. Rock Parrots have been recorded.[2]

Little penguin colony[edit]

Troubridge Island's Little penguin colony was approximately 3000-5000 birds during the 1980s. In 2009, its population was estimated to be 3010 breeding adults. In 2011, the colony was believed to be stable.[5] A census conducted in 2013 estimated a total population of 270 breeding adults, showing a severe and unexplained decline.[6]

Troubridge Shoals[edit]

Troubridge Island is part of Troubridge Shoals which extend across to Yorke Peninsula and constitutes a hazard to shipping. Troubridge Shoals has been the cause of over 33 wrecks and groundings. During the period October 1849 to May 1850, at least seven vessels ran aground.[7] precipitating the erection of a lighthouse in 1855.

Marion Reef, south of Troubridge Island, was named for the SS Marion, which ran aground in 1851 as did many others, has been (incorrectly) identified as part of Troubridge Shoals.[8]


  1. ^ "Cape Jervis (2)". Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "Troubridge Island". BirdLife Australia. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Troubridge Island". Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "IBA: Troubridge Island". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 2011-11-14. 
  5. ^ Wiebkin, A. S. (2011) Conservation management priorities for little penguin populations in Gulf St Vincent. Report to Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board. South Australian Research and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide. SARDI Publication No. F2011/000188-1. SARDI Research Report Series No.588. 97pp.
  6. ^ Colombelli-Négrel, D. & Kleindorfer, S. (2014-04) Penguin monitoring and conservation activities in the Gulf St Vincent July 2013 – June 2014 Report to the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Natural Resources Management Board, Flinders University, South Australia. Accessed 2014-07-28.
  7. ^ "Shipping Intelligence.". South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) (Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia). 11 May 1850. p. 2. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "Wreck of the Ship "Marion" on Troubridge Shoal". South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900) (Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia). 2 August 1851. p. 2. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°07′23″S 137°49′38″E / 35.12306°S 137.82722°E / -35.12306; 137.82722