Macquarie Island lies in the southwest Pacific Ocean, about half-way between New Zealand and Antarctica with a n area of 128 km2 (49 sq mi) it was accidentally discovered by Frederick Hasselborough on 11 July 1810 when looking for new sealing grounds The average winter temperature is about 3 degrees C and the average summer temperature is 7 degrees C. It is your classic, cold, bleak, windswept, sub-antarctic island.The island has a population of about 40 researchers and support staff during the summer. The population drops to about 20 during the winter.
- One of the world’s outstanding geological features, it was inscribed on the World Heritage List on 3 December 1997.
- Macquarie Island provides evidence of the rock types found at great depths in the earth’s crust and of plate tectonics and continental drift, the geological processes that have dominated the earth’s surface for many millions of years. It is an island of unique natural diversity, a site of major geoconservation significance and one of the truly remarkable places on earth.
- Macquarie Island is the only place on earth formed entirely of oceanic crust and rocks formed on or below the seabed, deep beneath the earth’s surface. This is an island of great beauty and outstanding natural diversity, a breeding place for many of the Southern Ocean’s birds and animals
- The island’s prolific plants and wildlife are a paradise for botanists and biologists. The island is home to the entire Royal Penguin population on earth during their annual nesting season
- Plants rarely grow over 1 m in height, though the tussock-forming grass Poa foliosa can grow up to 2 m tall in sheltered areas
- There are over 45 vascular plant species and more than 90 moss species, as well as many liverworts and lichens. Woody plants are absent.
- The island has five principal vegetation formations: grassland, herbfield, fen,bog and feldmark.
- Fauna found on the island include: Subantarctic Fur Seals, Antarctic Fur Seals, New Zealand Fur Seals and Southern Elephant Seals – over 80,000 individuals of this species. Royal Penguins and Macquarie Shags are endemic breeders, whileKing Penguins, Southern Rockhopper Penguins and Gentoo Penguins also breed here in large numbers. The island has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area because it supports about 3.5 million breeding seabirds of 13 species.
- It has the world’s largest species, the elephant seal, also haul out on the beaches for breeding.
Despite its remote location Macquarie Island has a rich history. Tourist Guidelines Macquarie Island is part of the Australian State of Tasmania. The Island and surrounding waters are protected by several overlapping, but complimentary, reserved area designations. So Special Management Areas are declared from year to year to further protect vulnerable species, vegetation communities or sites extremely vulnerable to human disturbance.http://www.gounesco.com/macquarie-island/http://gounesco.com.s3-ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/27053703/mo_sandy_bay_macquarie_island_810x500.jpghttp://gounesco.com.s3-ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/27053703/mo_sandy_bay_macquarie_island_810x500-150x150.jpgStudent ProgramWHS researchWorld Heritage SitesAntarctica,geological,Macquarie Island,nature,New Zealand,rebecca louis,whsresearch,world heritage,World Heritage Site