Rodondo Island

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Rodondo Island is a granite island, ringed by steep cliffs up to 200 m high, with an area of 106 ha and a high point of 350 m.

It is part of Tasmania’s Rodondo Group, lying in northern Bass Strait only 10 km south of Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, and so being the northernmost point of Tasmanian territory.

It is a nature reserve with a breeding colony of over one million mutton birds or short-tailed shearwaters.[1][2]

The island was sighted by Lieutenant James Grant on 9 December 1800 from the survey brig HMS Lady Nelson and named "from its resemblance to that rock, well known to all seamen in the West Indies",[3] presumably Redonda, between the islands of Montserrat and Nevis.[4]

The first landing was in January 1947 when a party led by John Béchervaise spent a week exploring the island and surveying its natural history.[5][6]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Rodondo's vegetation communities include Disphyma herbfield, Stipa tussock grassland, Poa poiformis tussock grassland, Melaleuca armillaris low closed forest, Allocasuarina verticillata low open forest, clifftop shrubland, and Eucalyptus globulus open forest.[7]

As well as the shearwaters, recorded breeding seabird and wader species include little penguin, fairy prion, Pacific gull and sooty oystercatcher. White-bellied sea-eagles have nested on the island.[7] The island is part of the Wilsons Promontory Islands Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance for breeding seabirds.[8] Reptiles present include the metallic skink, White's skink and southern water skink, Rodondo being the only place the latter has been recorded on Tasmanian territory.[7]


  1. ^ Department of Primary Industries (2015), Rodondo Island - Oil Spill and Biodiversity Survey, January 2015, Tasmanian Government - Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water & Environment, ISBN 978-1-74380-006-5 
  2. ^ Small Bass Strait Island Reserves. Draft Management Plan, Department of Primary Industries,Water and Environment. Tasmania, October 2000, retrieved 2012-02-04 
  3. ^ Grant, James (1803). The narrative of a voyage of discovery, performed in His Majesty's vessel the Lady Nelson, of sixty tons burthen: with sliding keels, in the years 1800, 1801, and 1802, to New South Wales. Printed by C. Roworth for T. Egerton. p. 76. ISBN 978-0-7243-0036-5. Retrieved 25 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Joseph Emerson Worcester (1823). A geographical dictionary or universal gazetteer, ancient and modern. Cummings & Hilliard. p. 419. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "'Lost World' Off Vic. Coast Explored; First White Men There.". The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1954). Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia. 18 January 1947. p. 1. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "TASMANIA CLAIMS RODONDO ISLAND.". Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954). Broken Hill, NSW: National Library of Australia. 27 March 1947. p. 6. Retrieved 10 December 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c 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
  8. ^ "IBA: Wilsons Promontory Islands". Birdata. Birds Australia. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 

Coordinates: 39°14′S 146°23′E / 39.233°S 146.383°E / -39.233; 146.383