Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Island and McDonald Islands are a territory of Australia and are protected
as a marine reserve. The Heard Island Cormorant Phalacrocorax nivalis
is sometimes considered a full species while other authorities consider
it to be a subspecies of the Blue-eyed Shag Phalacrocorax atriceps.
The Heard Island Sheathbill Chionis
minor nasicornis (flickr)
is an endemic subspecies of the Black-faced Sheathbill.
Invertebrates unique to Heard Island include a weevil Ectemnorhinus grisescens (p. 3 of Bishop Museum 11 MB pdf file), a springtail Tulbergia templei (p. 2 of Bishop Museum 8 MB pdf file), a hyadesiid mite Algophagus antarcticus (AADC), a rotifer Encentrum heardensis (Univ. Tasmania pdf file), and a tardigrade Hypsibius heardensis (heardisland.org pdf file). Undescribed species of sea cucumbers, brittle stars, and a starfish have been recently discovered (pp. 194-196 of heardisland.aq 8 MB pdf file).
There are no endemic vascular plant species.
Heard Island and McDonald Islands are part of the Southern Indian Ocean Islands Tundra ecoregion (EoE). For more information on the flora and fauna of this territory see the Heard Island and McDonald Islands Marine Reserve Management Plan (heardisland.aq).