Faure Island

Faure Island

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Faure Island is a 58 km2 island pastoral lease
Pastoral lease
A pastoral lease is Crown land that government allows to be leased, generally for the purposes of farming.-Australia:Pastoral leases exist in both Australian commonwealth law and state jurisdictions....

 and nature reserve
Nature reserve
A nature reserve is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research...

, east of the Francois Peron National Park
Francois Peron National Park
Francois Peron National Park is a national park on the Peron Peninsula in Western Australia , 726 km north of Perth, and located within the boundary of the Shark Bay World Heritage area...

 on the Peron Peninsula, in Shark Bay
Shark Bay
Shark Bay is a World Heritage listed bay in Western Australia. The term may also refer to:* the locality of Shark Bay, now known as Denham* Shark Bay Marine Park* Shark Bay , a shark exhibit at Sea World, Gold Coast, Australia* Shire of Shark Bay...

, Western Australia
Western Australia
Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east...

. It lies in line with the Monkey Mia
Monkey Mia
Monkey Mia is a popular tourist resort located about 800 km north of Perth, Western Australia. The resort is 25 km northeast of the town of Denham in the Shark Bay Marine Park and World Heritage Site....

 resort to the west, and the Wooramel River on the eastern shore of Shark Bay. It is surrounded by the Shark Bay Marine Park
Shark Bay Marine Park
Shark Bay Marine Park is located at Shark Bay World Heritage Site, Western Australia, over north of Perth. It is the site of the world's largest seagrass meadows, with a total of twelve species of seagrass in the park....

 and Shark Bay World Heritage Site
Shark Bay, Western Australia
Shark Bay is a World Heritage Site in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. It is an area centred approximately on , 800 kilometres north of Perth, on the westernmost point of Australia. An expedition led by Dirk Hartog happened upon the area in 1616, becoming the second group of Europeans...

 and, as the Faure Island Sanctuary, is owned and managed by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy
Australian Wildlife Conservancy
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy is an Australian independent, non-profit organisation, working to conserve threatened wildlife and ecosystems in Australia, principally through the acquisition of extensive areas of land on which to establish conservation reserves . These sanctuaries are...



The island was given its European name by French explorer Nicolas Baudin
Nicolas Baudin
Nicolas-Thomas Baudin was a French explorer, cartographer, naturalist and hydrographer.Baudin was born a commoner in Saint-Martin-de-Ré on the Île de Ré. At the age of fifteen he joined the merchant navy, and at twenty joined the French East India Company...

 in 1801, in honour of the geographer, Pierre Faure, aboard his ship Le Naturaliste.

Pastoral leases over the island were granted to Charles Broadhurst
Charles Edward Broadhurst
Charles Edward Broadhurst was a pioneer pastoralist and pearler in colonial Western Australia. He was a member of the Western Australian Legislative Council in 1874 and 1875...

 in 1873, and to WD Moore & Coy in 1883. For most of the 20th Century, from 1905, the Hoult family of Denham
Denham, Western Australia
Denham is the administrative town for the Shire of Shark Bay, Western Australia. At the 2006 census, Denham had a population of 607.Located on the western coast of the Peron Peninsula north of Perth, Denham is the westernmost town in Australia, and is named in honour of Captain Henry Mangles...

 ran sheep and goat
The domestic goat is a subspecies of goat domesticated from the wild goat of southwest Asia and Eastern Europe. The goat is a member of the Bovidae family and is closely related to the sheep as both are in the goat-antelope subfamily Caprinae. There are over three hundred distinct breeds of...

s on the island. In 1999 the Hoults sold the lease to the AWC, which removed more than 3400 sheep.

Landscape and climate

The landscape consists mostly of red and white sandy plains and dunes, with claypans in low-lying areas. The highest point is 26m above sea level. It has some limestone and red sand cliff shores, like Peron Peninsula.

The vegetation is predominantly low shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...

s of Acacia ramulosa. There are also mallee
Mallee Woodlands and Shrublands
Mallee Woodlands and Shrublands is a Major Vegetation Group which occurs in semi-arid areas of southern Australia. The vegetation is dominated by mallee eucalypts which are rarely over 6 metres high...

 shrublands, spinifex
Spinifex (genus)
Spinifex is a genus of perennial coastal grasses. They are one of the most common plants that grow in sand dunes along the coasts of Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.. As they help stabilise the sand, these grasses are an important part of the entire sand dune ecosystem. Of the four species...

 grasslands, samphire
Samphire is a name given to a number of very different edible plants that happen to grow in coastal areas.*Rock samphire, Crithmum maritimum is a coastal species with white flowers that grows in the United Kingdom...

Atriplex is a plant genus of 100-200 species, known by the common names of saltbush and orache . The genus is quite variable and widely distributed. It includes many desert and seashore plants and halophytes, as well as plants of moist environments...

shrublands, and coastal mangrove
Mangroves are various kinds of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics – mainly between latitudes N and S...


The climate is semi-arid to arid, with hot dry summers and mild winters. Rainfall is erratic, falling mainly in winter, with an annual average of 222 mm. Cyclone
In meteorology, a cyclone is an area of closed, circular fluid motion rotating in the same direction as the Earth. This is usually characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate anticlockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth. Most large-scale...

s may sometimes bring rainfall in summer and autumn.


Faure Island is an important breeding area for many seabird
Seabirds are birds that have adapted to life within the marine environment. While seabirds vary greatly in lifestyle, behaviour and physiology, they often exhibit striking convergent evolution, as the same environmental problems and feeding niches have resulted in similar adaptations...

s, as well as being important for migratory
Bird migration
Bird migration is the regular seasonal journey undertaken by many species of birds. Bird movements include those made in response to changes in food availability, habitat or weather. Sometimes, journeys are not termed "true migration" because they are irregular or in only one direction...

Waders, called shorebirds in North America , are members of the order Charadriiformes, excluding the more marine web-footed seabird groups. The latter are the skuas , gulls , terns , skimmers , and auks...

s using the East Asian - Australasian Flyway
East Asian - Australasian Flyway
The East Asian–Australasian Flyway is one of the world's great flyways. At its northernmost it stretches eastwards from the Taimyr Peninsula in Russia to Alaska. Its southern end encompasses Australia and New Zealand. Between these extremes the Flyway covers much of eastern Asia, including China,...

. With the neighbouring much smaller (5 ha) Pelican Island and their associated mudflats, it has been identified as a 5821 ha Important Bird Area
Important Bird Area
An Important Bird Area is an area recognized as being globally important habitat for the conservation of bird populations. Currently there are about 10,000 IBAs worldwide. The program was developed and sites are identified by BirdLife International...

 (IBA). The Faure and Pelican Islands (Shark Bay) IBA supports breeding colonies of Fairy Tern
Fairy Tern
The Fairy Tern is a small tern which occurs in the southwestern Pacific.There are three subspecies:* Australian Fairy Tern, Sterna nereis nereis - breeds in Australia...

s and over 1% of the world populations of Red-necked Stint
Red-necked Stint
The Red-necked Stint is a small migratory wader.- Description :These birds are among the smallest of waders, very similar to the Little Stint, Calidris minuta, with which they were once considered conspecific...

 and Pied Oystercatcher
Pied Oystercatcher
The Pied Oystercatcher, Haematopus longirostris, is a species of oystercatcher. It is a wading bird native to Australia and commonly found on its coastline. The similar South Island Pied Oystercatcher The Pied Oystercatcher, Haematopus longirostris, is a species of oystercatcher. It is a wading...

. Together with the nearby Quoin Bluff
Quoin Bluff
Quoin Bluff, also known as Quoin Bluff South, is an elevated limestone headland midway along the eastern side of Dirk Hartog Island, in Shark Bay, on the-west coast of Western Australia...

 and Freycinet Island
Freycinet Island
Freycinet Island is a small island in Henri Freycinet Harbour, lying off the Carrarang peninsula in Shark Bay, on the-west coast of Western Australia...

 IBA, it supports more than 1% of the world population of Pied Cormorant
Pied Cormorant
The Australia Pied Cormorant , Phalacrocorax varius, also known as the Pied Cormorant or Pied Shag, is a medium-sized member of the cormorant family. It is found around the coasts of Australasia. In New Zealand it is usually known either as the Pied Shag or by its Māori name of Karuhiruhi...



The original native mammal fauna of Faure Island did not survive the introduction of livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

 and the presence of feral cat
Feral cat
A feral cat is a descendant of a domesticated cat that has returned to the wild. It is distinguished from a stray cat, which is a pet cat that has been lost or abandoned, while feral cats are born in the wild; the offspring of a stray cat can be considered feral if born in the wild.In many parts of...

s. However, sub-fossil evidence of the former presence of native mammals has brought reintroduction of the Boodie
The Boodie , also known as the Burrowing Bettong, is a small marsupial. It is a fascinating example of the effects of introduced animals on Australian fauna and ecosystems. Once the most common macropodiform mammal on the whole continent, the Boodie now only lives on off-lying islands and in a...

, Shark Bay Mouse
Shark Bay Mouse
The Shark Bay Mouse, Djoongari or Alice Springs Mouse is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is found only in Australia, restricted to four islands in the Shark Bay area. It was once found throughout the western two thirds of Australia but it suffered greatly after the arrival of...

, Banded Hare-wallaby
Banded Hare-wallaby
The Banded Hare-wallaby or Mernine is a marsupial that is currently found on the Islands of Bernier and Dorre off western Australia. A small population has recently been established on Faure Island and it appears to have been successful...

 and Western Barred Bandicoot
Western Barred Bandicoot
The Western Barred Bandicoot , also known as the Marl, is a small species of bandicoot found in Australia. It was once widespread across southern Australia from Western Australia to central New South Wales, but it is now found on Bernier, Dorre and Faure islands in Shark Bay, Western Australia,...

 and Greater Stick-nest Rat
Greater Stick-Nest Rat
The Greater Stick-nest Rat, House-building Rat is a species of rodent in the family Muridae.It is found only in Australia on the Franklin Islands and St Peter Island in the Nuyts Archipelago, Reevesby Island, Salutation Island, Faure Island and Heirisson Prong, and a fenced off area at Roxby Downs...


Marine surrounds

The island is located within the Shark Bay Marine Park and is adjacent to both the Wooramel Seagrass Bank
Wooramel Seagrass Bank
Wooramel Seagrass Bank is a large deposit of carbonate sediment, a sand bank, formed by diverse communities of seagrasses off the coast of Carnarvon, Western Australia. The mattes of seagrass meadows and stands consolidate a shallow platform of sandy substrate by acting as an organic baffle against...

and the Faure Sill sandbank that is a major component in the creating of the conditions within the Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve.

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