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Location Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Central coordinates 59o 11.00' West  52o 54.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4ii, A4iii
Area 172 ha
Altitude 0 - 70m
Year of IBA assessment 2006

Falklands Conservation



Site description Forming the southernmost land in the Falklands archipelago, Beauchêne Island is located approximately 33 miles (54 km) south of Porpoise Point, Lafonia. It has not been grazed or permanently settled, is free of introduced predators and its remote location has protected the island from disturbance in recent years. In the north, the island is covered in dense Tussac and the coastline is gently sloping, up to around 30 m high. There are boulder beaches on the western coast. In the south, the land rises to around 70 m with higher cliffs on the eastern coast and fissured steep slopes. The southern quarter of the island is almost bare of vegetation.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua breeding  2000-2005  750 breeding pairs  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Southern Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes chrysocome breeding  2000-2001  61,650 breeding pairs  unknown  A1, A4ii  Vulnerable 
Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris breeding  2000-2001  103,050 breeding pairs  unknown  A1, A4ii  Near Threatened 
Striated Caracara Phalcoboenus australis breeding  2005  65 breeding pairs  unknown  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Blackish Cinclodes Cinclodes antarcticus breeding  2005  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Cobb's Wren Troglodytes cobbi breeding  2005  unknown  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
White-bridled Finch Melanodera melanodera breeding  2000  10 breeding pairs  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  2005  100,000-499,999 breeding pairs  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Beauchene Island Sanctuary 179 is identical to site 172  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   major
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
not utilised major

Other biodiversity The island is also host to a few breeding Southern Sea Lions and is a major haul-out station for non-breeding animals, which can congregate in numbers of up to a hundred individuals on the northern part of the island. It is remarkable for the paucity of plant species. Two-thirds of its area is covered by Tussac, which here reaches exceptional and luxuriant dimensions. Three other vascular species have been recorded, including Wild Celery Apium australe, Antarctic Starwort Callitrache antarctica and Bittercress Cardamine glacialis.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Beauchêne Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/07/2014

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