Cool fact…
Volcanic activity in the last decade has caused McDonald Island to double in size, now covering about 2.5 square kilometres. Also, the previously separate McDonald and Flat Islands are now joined by a low isthmus.


Rockhopper Penguin
Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes chryscome) at Macquarie Island (Photo: Anthony Narkowicz)

Heard Island and McDonald Islands (HIMI) supports high numbers of many species of flying birds, penguins, seals and invertebrates.

The islands provide animals with shelter and hard ground on which to breed and moult. Some animals – the invertebrates and Heard Island sheathbill – also feed only on land, while the surrounding waters are a major food source for the land-based marine predators.

Unlike other subantarctic islands, the animals at HIMI are free to live and interact without the potentially disastrous of influences of intensive human activities or introduced species.

The Management Plan and associated Environmental Code of Conduct for the HIMI Marine Reserve includes measures to protect the animal life at Heard Island.

Find out more about these animals and how they live at HIMI by following the links in the left-hand column. Fact files on selected species also provide more detailed information.

This page was last modified on 28 February 2005.