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Location South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands
Central coordinates 27o 0.00' West  55o 36.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4ii
Area 29,213 ha
Altitude 0 - 1,375m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Site description The site comprises the whole of the South Sandwich Islands and associated islands, islets and stacks and is described in the 'General introduction'.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black-bellied Storm-petrel Fregetta tropica breeding  2005  1,000 breeding pairs  good  A4ii  Least Concern 
Macaroni Penguin Eudyptes chrysolophus breeding  2005  55,000 breeding pairs  good  A4ii  Vulnerable 
Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua breeding  2005  2,500-5,000 breeding pairs  good  A4ii  Near Threatened 
Adelie Penguin Pygoscelis adeliae breeding  2005  8,000-15,000 breeding pairs  good  A4ii  Near Threatened 
Chinstrap Penguin Pygoscelis antarcticus breeding  2005  1,500,000 breeding pairs  good  A4ii  Least Concern 
Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus breeding  2005  2,000-4,000 breeding pairs  good  A1, A4ii  Least Concern 
Southern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialoides breeding  2005  70,000-110,000 breeding pairs  good  A4ii  Least Concern 
Cape Petrel Daption capense breeding  2005  8,000-9,000 breeding pairs  good  A4ii  Least Concern 
Catharacta lonnbergi breeding  2005  700-1,000 breeding pairs  good  A4ii  Not Recognised 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Sea Open Sea; Rock stacks & coastal islets; Sea cliffs & rocky shores  major
Coastline Rock stacks and islets  major

Other biodiversity Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella breed in small numbers on Zavodovski, Visokoi, Candlemas, Thule and Saunders Islands with nearly 1,800 pups recorded in 1997. Small numbers of elephant seals Mirounga leonina and Weddell seals Leptonychotes weddelli are present but there has been no confirmed breeding. Leopard seals Hydrurga leptonyx and crabeater seals Lobodon carcinophagus are regular visitors. No endemic plants have been recorded.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: South Sandwich Islands. Downloaded from on 30/10/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife