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Lacepede Islands (aka Lacepedes) are a 4-island group located off Western Australia's Kimberley Coast, approx 120 km (75 mi) north of Broome. The isles are approx 30 km (19 mi) from Dampier Peninsula (mainland Australia, and north of Broome) being separated via Lacepede Channel. The Lacepedes are an important seabird breeding territory.
The islands were named in August 1801 by Nicolas Baudin (French explorer and cartographer, 1754-1803) during his 2-ship expedition around Australia (fka New Holland). Their name honors Bernard Germain de Lacepede (1756-1825, French naturalist). The Lacepedes were first charted on a map of 1811. The island group was originally named "Napoleon, Grant and Victoria islands".
The small archipelago is a 12 km (7,5 ml) long chain of 4 islands currently named East Island, West Island, Middle Island and Sandy Island. They are all low spits of coral rubble and coarse sand, lying atop a coral reef. The islands are treeless, with only low vegetation. Their average annual rainfall is ~750 mm. On East Island is the East Island Lighthouse.
The group is designated A-Class Reserve and managed by Western Australia's Department of Parks and Wildlife. In 1986 rats were eradicated to allow isles' recolonization by nesting seabirds. They are also Western Australia's most important breeding habitat for green sea turtles (aka Pacific green turtles). In their waters had been seen Omura's whales (aka dwarf fin whales) - one of the least known and newly discovered baleen whales (carnivorous marine mammals).
Lacepede Islands cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Lacepede Islands dock (anchor) at Broome in Western Australia's northwest, on the northern side of Indian Ocean's Roebuck Bay.