Heard and McDonald Islands, Australia

  • Vanda Claudino-Sales
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 28)


The volcanically active islands of Heard and McDonald are in the Southern Ocean, 1700 km from the Antarctic continent, as part of Australian territory. They are one of the most pristine ecosystems in the world, with complete absence of alien animal and vegetal species and with minimal impact from human activities. As the only volcanic active subantarctic islands, they provide good examples of ongoing tectonic activity, offering a view of plume volcanism, giving direct geological evidence of the action of the longest operational plume system known in the world. The islands also furnish crucial habitat for large populations of marine birds and mammals, and their endemic species demonstrate ongoing evolutionary processes.


  1. Australian Government (2016) World Heritage Places – Heard and McDonald Islands. Accessed 16 Sept 2016
  2. Department of Arts, Sports, the Environment, Tourism and Territories of Australia – DASETT (1990) Nomination of subantarctic heard island and McDonald Islands by the government of Australia for inclusion in the world heritage list. Report, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  3. Encyclopaedia Britannica (2006) Heard Island and McDonald Islands. Accessed 14 Sept 2016
  4. IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) (2017) Heard and McDonalds islands conservation outlook. Accessed 27 Dec 2017
  5. Jenkin JF (1997) Vegetation of the McDonald Islands, sub-Antarctic. Polar Biol 18(4):260–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Keage PL (1981) The conservation status of heard island and the McDonald Islands. Thesis of Master in Environment, University of TasmaniaGoogle Scholar
  7. Kiernan K, McConnel A (1999) Geomorphology of the sub-Antartic Australian territory of heard island – McDonald Islands. Aust Geogr 30(2):159–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. McCarthy R (2003) World’s largest marine reserve (Australia). Geographical 17:10–14Google Scholar
  9. Osipova E, Shadie P, Zwahlen C, Osti M, Shi Y, Kormos C, Bertzky B, Murai M, Van Merm R, Badman T (2017) IUCN world heritage outlook 2: a conservation assessment of all natural world heritage sites. IUCN, GlandGoogle Scholar
  10. Park YH, Vivier F, Roquet F, Kestenare E (2009) Direct observations of the ACC transport across the Kerguelen Plateau. Geophys Res Lett 36(18):1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. UNEP/WHCM (United Nations Environmental Programme/World Conservation Monitoring Centre) (2008) Heard and McDonald Islands, Australia. Report, Cambridge, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  12. UNESCO WHC (United Nations Educational, Scientific and cultural organization, World Heritage Centre) (2016) Heard and McDonald Islands. Accessed 18 Sept 2016
  13. Weis D, Frey F, Schlich R, Schaming M, Montigny R, Damasceno D, Mattielli N, Nicolaysen K, Scoates J (2002) Trace of the Kerguelen mantel plume: evidence form seamounts between the Kerguelen archipelago and heard island, Indian Ocean. Geochem Geophys Geosyst 3(6):1–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Woehler E, Green K, Woehler E (1982) Consumption of marine resources by seabirds and seals at Heard Island and the McDonald Islands. Polar Biol 12(6–7):659–665Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanda Claudino-Sales
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal University of Ceará StateFortalezaBrazil

Personalised recommendations