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Location Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Central coordinates 61o 15.00' West  51o 51.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4ii
Area 5,956 ha
Altitude 0 - 234m
Year of IBA assessment 2006

Falklands Conservation



Site description This group of islands lies west of Weddell Island and West Falkland. Beaver, Split, Staats and Tea Islands all have spectacular west-facing sheer cliffs and deeply indented coastlines. There are generally very steep slopes above eastern coasts with rocky shores, a few sand beaches and sheltered coves. Inland the islands are mountainous with many peaks exceeding 150 m and some above 200 m. Most of the smaller islands are low lying.

Key Biodiversity At least 40 species have been recorded, of which 34 are known to breed. Thin-billed Prions breed on Channel Rock and Hecate Rock but their population has not been assessed. Striated Caracaras breed on Stick-in-the-mud, Rookery Island and Hecate Rock, and Ruddy-headed Geese are present but their populations are too small to qualify. Local sub-species recorded are the Black-crowned Nightheron, Upland Goose, Kelp Goose, Dark-faced Groundtyrant, Falkland Thrush, Falkland Grass Wren and the Long-tailed Meadowlark. The Cobb’s Wren has not been found on any of these islands in recent years, due probably to the widespread occurrence of Norway Rats. Few Upland Geese, oystercatchers, Magellanic Snipe or songbirds breed on Beaver Island due to the presence of foxes and rats.

Non-bird biodiversity: About 100 Southern Sea Lion pups are born annually on Stick-in-the-mud Island, north of Governor Island, and 35 on Beaver Island (Stinker Point), while non-breeders haul out on Tea, Green, Split and other islands in Beaver Bay. The western cliffs of Beaver Island are home to a few hundred breeding South American Fur Seals. The scarce Adder’s-tongue Fern Ophioglossum crotalophoroides occurs on Beaver Island. Tea Island has a population of the unidentified purslane (Calandrinia), possibly a new endemic plant. Additional endemic plants found in this group of islands include Clubmoss Cudweed Chevreulia lycopodioides, Vanilla Daisy Leucheria suaveolens, Lady’s Slipper Calceolaria fothergillii, Smooth Falkland Ragwort Senecio vaginatus, Hairy Daisy Erigeron incertus, and Coastal Nassauvia Nassauvia gaudichaudii.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua breeding  2003  2,850 breeding pairs  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Magellanic Penguin Spheniscus magellanicus breeding  2005  2,000 breeding pairs  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus breeding  2003  300 breeding pairs  unknown  A1, A4ii  Least Concern 

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture minor
Notes: Beaver Island is farmed to a minimum level.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Beaver Island Group. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/12/2014

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