Macquarie Island Flora and FaunaThe Macquarie Island Flora and Fauna
Macquarie Island, an island created on its own, has never reached another land mass in its brief geological story. Macquarie Island is located at 54°S almost half way between Tasmania's south shore and the Arctic icy region; its closest neighbors are the Auckland Islands, more than 600km eastwards. Only 34 km long and up to 5 km broad, the cliffy and slim island burst the water about 600,000 or more years ago.
This is the smallest tip of a section of Macquarie Ridge that has been and is still being forced up by the Pacific and Australia Tectonian plate crash. Macquarie Island has been recognised as a place of world importance with its World Heritage Site, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve designation and the immediate water bodies that make up a major marine reserve.
Part of the World Heritage List is based on the island's exceptional geological heritage. Macquarie Island, when it was first created, would have been nothing more than a tiny ledge of rock encircled by a storming oceans of several million sqkm. Seabirds or seal could only hatch there a thousand years after the island was formed, safely from the waving Southern Oceans.
Winds and swells calmed the forefathers of the island's native flora and fauna. However, just getting to the island did not guarantee its creation. Today, countless seabirds and harbour seals live on 120 square kilometres of rocks and bush. The island's banks are a place for the Mediterranean bulldog, three kinds of harpseeds, four kinds of penguins, four kinds of Albatros and many other kinds of fowl to skin, relax and brood.
The island's lack of biodiversity is compensated for by pure bio-mass. Penguin populations spread along the length of the beach and in spring thick cribs of puppies of elephants appear, which seem to be as much a part of the countryside as the surrounding crags. The island is a place of texture, pebbly, black-sandy shores and pebbly twists of olive-green seaweed, velvet, sage-coloured orchards and seaside patios of the trembling moor.
Many of the island's summits are covered with moss and lichen - an area called " field mark " by the botanist. Situated on the way of the Furious Fifties, the island is characterized by sea breezes, which are at the same time energy variable and remarkable stabile. It also melts from the highest summits when there' s falling snows - and sometimes as deep as the island's sands.
Being on the island means being beaten and scolded by the predominant western diapers.