Dassen Island’s most significant animals are the seabirds, particularly the large populations of African penguin, white pelican, African black oystercatcher, three species of cormorant, and kelp gull. In addition Egyptian geese, sacred ibis, Cape wagtail, Hartlaub’s gull and swift tern breed on the island in smaller numbers. Pelagic species, including Antarctic terns, Sabine’s gull skuas and white chinned petrel occasionally visit the island, and despite some human presence, the birds are far better protected than on the mainland.
The breeding seasons of the various seabird species are staggered through the year and their colonies are scattered over the entire island. The birds are extremely sensitive when breeding- even the slightest disturbance may cause the abandon their nests, giving marauding gulls and ibises to take eggs or small chicks. For this reason public access to the island is limited and strictly controlled.
Cape Nature conservation 11/1997