Dyer Island Provincial Nature Reserve and Geyser Island Provincial Nature Reserve

Cape cormorants and artificial penguin nests(1)
Cape cormorants and artificial penguin 
Aerial photo of Dyer and Geyser Islands
Cape fur seals on Geyser Island

Dyer Island Provincial Nature Reserve and Geyser Island Provincial Nature Reserve

  • Country: 
    South Africa
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    288 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    34°41'S 19°24'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


The Site is composed of two islands; the larger of the two, Dyer Island, is the easternmost of a number of seabird islands off the Western Cape Province, while Geyser Island is a rocky outcrop. A sandy channel known as Shark Alley separates them. Located within the Benguela upwelling ecosystem, the surrounding seas are characterized by coastal wind-induced upwelling, which lifts cold, nutrient-rich water to the surface. As an Important Bird Area (IBA), the Site hosts around 48 bird species and it is a breeding area for 21 of them, including globally endangered seabirds such as the African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) and Cape cormorant (Phalacrocorax capensis) which number more than 35,000. The surrounding seas are inhabited by at least 11 shark species including great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) and dusky ground shark (Carcharhinus obscurus). A further 26 fish species including the endangered galjoen have been recorded, as well as whales and dolphins. The Site also plays a role in flood control, shoreline stabilization and storm protection, and sediment and nutrient retention and export. Dyer Island Nature Reserve has a history that includes guano harvesting, egg collecting and seal harvesting. Despite strict controls and regulatory measures, there is some illegal fishing and harvesting of aquatic resources such as abalone. Recreation and tourism is limited to boat-based activities such as whale watching and shark cage diving. The Site has a management plan and a monitoring programme, which is focused on the threatened seabird species.

Administrative region: 
Western Cape

  • National legal designation: 
    • Provincial Nature Reserve - Dyer Island Nature Reserve Complex
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

Additional reports and documents