Topgallant Islands

Last updated

Topgallant Islands
Australia South Australia location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Topgallant Islands
Geography
Location Great Australian Bight
Coordinates 33°42′55″S134°36′54″E / 33.71536°S 134.61487°E / -33.71536; 134.61487 Coordinates: 33°42′55″S134°36′54″E / 33.71536°S 134.61487°E / -33.71536; 134.61487
Administration
Australia
Demographics
Population0

Topgallant Islands is an island group in the Australian state of South Australia located in the Investigator Group about 22 kilometres (14 miles) south west of Cape Finniss on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula. The group was discovered and named by Matthew Flinders on 13 February 1802. The island group has enjoyed protected area status since the 1960s and since 2011, it has been part of the Investigator Group Wilderness Protection Area.

Contents

Description

Topgallant Islands is an island group located about 22 kilometres (14 miles) south west of Cape Finniss on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, about 27 kilometres (17 miles) west by south of the town of Elliston and about 6.5 kilometres (3.5 nmi) east of Flinders Island. [1] [2] [3]

The group consists of an islet and a number of bare rocks which are numbered at seven in one source and which extend from the islet in a line for a distance of about 1.9 kilometres (1 nmi) to the south east. The islet which has an area of about 20 hectares (49 acres), is encircled by 75 metres (246 feet) high cliffs and has a rounded top whose summit is at 101 metres (331 feet) above sea level. The southernmost rock is reported as being a ‘sharp pyramid’ of 55 metres (180 feet) height. [2] [3] [4]

The name used for the island group varies from the name given by Flinders (i.e. Topgallant Isles) as follows: Topgallant Islands, Top-gallant Islands, Top-Gallant Isles and Top Gallant Isles. [1] [3] [5] [6] [7] [8]

Access to Topgallant Island by boat is reported as not being possible due to a ‘combination of deep water swells, steep shores and sheer walls of rotten stone’. A survey carried in 1980 used a helicopter to land personnel on the islet. [2] [9]

Formation, geology and oceanography

The Topgallant Islands were formed about 8750 years ago following the rise of sea levels at the start of the Holocene. [10]

Geologically, the constituent parts of the Topgallant Islands are the remnants of a stack of calcarenite strata sitting on a now-submerged ridge of granite which is now submerged and which has been extensively eroded by wave action since the commencement of sea level rise. [2]

The Topgallant Islands are part of a submerged reef system orientated along a north north-west axis which extends from the islet in the west to the east of the southernmost rock for a distance of about 1.9 kilometres (1 nmi) with ‘sunken rocks’ extending about 0.93 kilometres (0.5 nmi) to the south west of the islet. A depth of 30 metres (98 feet) is reached within 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) to the west. [1] [3]

Flora and fauna

Flora

Vegetation is restricted generally to the summit of the islet where the soil is sufficiently deep to permit the growth of shrubs and two of the larger rocks. A survey conducted in 1980 found ‘four distinct plant communities’ to present as ‘low shrublands’ dominated by chenopods (in two instances), nitre bush and pointed twinleaf. Twenty species were recorded during the 1980 survey including the invasive species African boxthorn and common iceplant. [2] [4] [9]

Fauna

Vertebrate animals observed on the island group include marbled geckos and the following bird species: Richard's pipit, white-faced heron, Australian kestrel, white-bellied sea-eagle, welcome swallow, silver gull, rock parrot, white-faced storm petrel, short-tailed shearwater and common starling. [2] [11]

History

European discovery and use

Flinders discovered the island group on Saturday, 13 February 1802, and named it due to it ‘resembling ships under sail’. On the same day, Flinders also nominated it as one of the constituent parts of the Investigator Group. [2] [5]

Protected areas status

The Topgallant Islands first received protected area status as part of a fauna reserve declared under the Fauna Conservation Act 1964 either on 1 September 1966 or 16 March 1967. The island group and other adjoining islands became part of the Investigator Group Conservation Park proclaimed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 in 1972. On 25 August 2011, it was one of the island groups excised from the Investigator Group Conservation Park to form the Investigator Group Wilderness Protection Area. Since 2012, the waters adjoining the Topgallant Islands have been part of a sanctuary zone in the Investigator Marine Park. [7] [12] [13] [14]

See also

Citations and references

Citations

  1. 1 2 3 DMH, 1985, chart 38
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Robinson et al, 1996, page 194
  3. 1 2 3 4 Sailing Directions (Enroute), Pub. 175: North, West, and South Coasts of Australia (PDF). Sailing Directions . United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 2017. p. 179.
  4. 1 2 Robinson, 1996, page 481
  5. 1 2 Flinders, 1814 (1966), pages 221
  6. Robinson et al, 1996, page 193
  7. 1 2 DEH, 2006, pages 5-6
  8. "Top-Gallant Isles". Gazetteer of Australia online. Geoscience Australia, Australian Government.
  9. 1 2 Robinson et al, 1996, pages 382, 388 & 390
  10. Robinson et al, 1996, Page 11
  11. DEH, 2006, pages 65, 68, 69, 70 & 71
  12. Robinson et al, 1996, pages 140-144
  13. WAC, 2013, pages 16-17
  14. DEWNR, 2012, page 26 of 26

Related Research Articles

Lincoln National Park Protected area in South Australia

Lincoln National Park is a protected area in the Australian state of South Australia located about 249 kilometres (155 mi) west of the state capital of Adelaide and about 9.5 kilometres (5.9 mi) south of the municipal seat of Port Lincoln. It consists of a mainland area on the Jussieu Peninsula on the south eastern tip of Eyre Peninsula and a number of nearby islands. The national park contains significant sites of natural, indigenous and early European heritage.

Flinders Island (South Australia)

Flinders Island is an island in the Investigator Group off the coast of South Australia approximately 32 kilometres (20 mi) west of mainland town Elliston. It was named by Matthew Flinders after his younger brother Samuel Flinders, the second lieutenant on HMS Investigator in 1802.

Investigator Group Archipelago off the western coast of the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia

The Investigator Group is an archipelago in South Australia that consists of Flinders Island and five island groups located off the western coast of the Eyre Peninsula. It is named after HMS Investigator by her commander, Matthew Flinders when he explored the area in 1802. The Group lies within the Great Australian Bight. All the islands except Flinders Island, and a part of Pearson Island, are within the Investigator Group Wilderness Protection Area and the Waldegrave Islands Conservation Park.

Troubridge Island

Troubridge Island is an island located in the south west corner of Gulf St Vincent in South Australia near the eastern edge of the Troubridge Shoals off the east coast of Yorke Peninsula about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) southeast by east of the town of Edithburgh It is notable for being a site of an operating lighthouse from 1856 until 2002 and as a site for a sea bird rookery. Since 1982, the island has been part of the Troubridge Island Conservation Park.

Nepean Bay

Nepean Bay is a bay located on the north-east coast of Kangaroo Island in the Australian state of South Australia about 130 kilometres south-south-west of Adelaide. It was named by the British navigator, Matthew Flinders, after Sir Evan Nepean on 21 March 1802.

Baudin Rocks

Baudin Rocks, also previously known as the Godfrey Islands, is a group of islets on the south east coast of in the Australian state of South Australia about 8.3 kilometres North-northwest of Robe. The islet group was discovered and named by Matthew Flinders in 1802 after Nicolas Baudin. The group has had protected area status since 1965 and since 1972, the group has been part of the Baudin Rocks Conservation Park.

Smooth Island (South Australia)

Smooth Island is an island in the Australian state of South Australia located off the west coast of Eyre Peninsula about 52 kilometres south west of the town of Ceduna. It is both part of a local group of islands known as the Isles of St Francis group and a larger group known as the Nuyts Archipelago. It has enjoyed protected area status since the 1960s and since 2011, it has been part of the Nuyts Archipelago Wilderness Protection Area.

Beatrice Islets

Beatrice Islets are pair of islets in the Australian state of South Australia located in Nepean Bay on the north coast of Kangaroo Island about 4 kilometres east of Kingscote. The islets and adjoining intertidal areas are notable as habitat for bird life. The islet pair has enjoyed protected area status since 1909 and since at least 1972, have been part of the Beatrice Islet Conservation Park. During either the 1960s or the 1970s, the islets were extensively damaged by an exercise to remove an infestation of South African boxthorn.

Nicolas Baudin Island

Nicolas Baudin Island is an island in the Australian state of South Australia about 500 metres west of Cape Blanche on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula about 25 kilometres south south-west of the town of Streaky Bay. The island is notable as a breeding site for Australian sea lions. The island has enjoyed protected area status since 2003 when it became part of the Nicolas Baudin Island Conservation Park.

Ward Islands (South Australia)

Ward Islands is an island group in the Australian state of South Australia located in the Investigator Group about 53 kilometres west by south of Cape Finniss on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula. The group was discovered and named by Matthew Flinders on 13 February 1802. The island group has enjoyed protected area status since the 1960s and since 2011, it been part of the Investigator Group Wilderness Protection Area.

Waldegrave Islands

Waldegrave Islands is an island group in the Australian state of South Australia located in the Investigator Group about 2.5 kilometres northwest by west of Cape Finniss on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula. The group consists of Waldegrave Island, Little Waldegrave Island and according to some sources, a pair of rocks known as the Watchers. The group is notable as a breeding site for Australian sea lions and Cape Barren geese. The group has enjoyed protected area status since the 1960s and as of 1972 has been part of the Waldegrave Islands Conservation Park.

Jones Island (South Australia)

Jones Island is an island in the Australian state of South Australia located at the mouth of Baird Bay in the north end of Anxious Bay about 45 kilometres south-southeast of the town of Streaky Bay on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula. The island is notable as a breeding site for Australian sea lions and Australian pelicans. The island has enjoyed protected area status since 1967 and as of 1972, it has been part of the Baird Bay Islands Conservation Park.

Pearson Isles

Pearson Isles is an island group located in the Australian state of South Australia about 65 kilometres to 72 kilometres west south-west of Cape Finniss on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula within the larger island group, the Investigator Group. The group was discovered and named by Matthew Flinders on 13 February 1802. The group has four members - Pearson Island, a pair of islands known as the Veteran Isles and Dorothee Island. The island group has enjoyed protected area status starting in 1916 and since 2011, it has been part of the Investigator Group Wilderness Protection Area. The island group is notable as a venue for scientific research.

Dorothee Island

Dorothee Island is an island in the Australian state of South Australia which is part of the Pearson Isles which itself is part of the larger island grouping known as the Investigator Group. It is located about 69 kilometres west south-west of Cape Finniss on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula. It was discovered as part of the Pearson Isles by Matthew Flinders on 13 February 1802. The island was given its name in August 1969 in order to preserve a name used within the locality by the Baudin expedition. The island has enjoyed protected area status since at least 1972 and since 2011, it been part of the Investigator Group Wilderness Protection Area.

Veteran Isles

Veteran Isles is a pair of islands in the Australian state of South Australia which is part of the Pearson Isles which itself is part of the larger island group known as the Investigator Group. It is located about 69 kilometres west south-west of Cape Finniss on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula. It was discovered as part of the Pearson Isles by Matthew Flinders on 13 February 1802. The island was given its name in August 1969 in order to preserve a name used within the locality by the Baudin expedition. The island has enjoyed protected area status since at least 1972 and since 2011, it been part of the Investigator Group Wilderness Protection Area.

Pearson Island

Pearson Island is an island located in the Australian state of South Australia within the Pearson Isles an island group located in the larger group known as the Investigator Group about 63 kilometres southwest by west of Cape Finniss on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula. The group was discovered and named by Matthew Flinders on 13 February 1802. The island group has enjoyed protected area status since the 1960s and since 2011, it has been part of the Investigator Group Wilderness Protection Area. Pearson Island is notable both for its colony of Pearson Island Rock wallaby and for being a destination for scientific research.

Royston Island

Royston Island is an island in the Australian state of South Australia at the northern end of Pondalowie Bay on the south-west extremity of Eyre Peninsula about 13 kilometres north-west of the town of Stenhouse Bay. The island has enjoyed protected area status since 1967 and since 1972, it has been part of the Innes National Park.

South Island (South Australia)

South Island is an island located in the Australian state of South Australia at the south end of Pondalowie Bay on the south-west extremity of Yorke Peninsula about 11 kilometres north-west by west of the town of Stenhouse Bay. The island has enjoyed protected area status since 1970 and since 1977, it has been part of the Innes National Park.

Unnamed island, Baird Bay

Unnamed island, Baird Bay is an island located in South Australia within Baird Bay about 32 kilometres south by west of the town of Streaky Bay on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula. The island has enjoyed protected area status since 1967 and it has been part of the Baird Bay Islands Conservation Park since 1972.

Investigator Group Conservation Park Protected area in South Australia

.

References