|Location||Falkland Islands (Malvinas)|
|Central coordinates||58o 3.00' West 51o 23.00' South|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A4iii|
|Altitude||0 - 229m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2006|
Site description The coastline is exposed with rugged north-facing cliffs and has very little shelter other than a few indented bays. Inland, a deep sheltered valley, which once contained an estuary, now holds the land-locked Swan Pond, which is long and shallow with wet grassland where geese congregate. A sandbar, only a few feet high, separates the pond from the beach. Vegetation is maritime heath and typical boggy Whitegrass plains on peat. There is a Tussac plantation at Rabbit Rincon, which until recently was protected from grazing and provided a habitat for breeding Rockhopper Penguins and a haul-out site for Southern Sea Lions. Offshore, tall rocky stacks dot the coastline. These are often crowned with Tussac and, due to currents and the exposure of these north cliffs, are free of predators and constitute relicts of previous habitats of the mainland.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Falkland Steamerduck Tachyeres brachypterus||breeding||2001||unknown||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Ruddy-headed Goose Chloephaga rubidiceps||breeding||2001||unknown||-||A2||Least Concern|
|Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua||breeding||2001||1,519 breeding pairs||unknown||A1||Near Threatened|
|Southern Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes chrysocome||breeding||2001||15,281 breeding pairs||unknown||A1||Vulnerable|
|Magellanic Penguin Spheniscus magellanicus||breeding||2001||unknown||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|White-bridled Finch Melanodera melanodera||breeding||2001||unknown||-||A2||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - seabirds||breeding||2005||10,000-19,999 breeding pairs||unknown||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
Other biodiversity Southern Sea Lions haul out all along the coast and breed at MacBride Head, a favourite site, where 64 pups were counted in 2003. In 1996, 46 species of flowering plants were found on the coast and inland, including 33 native (three endemics) and 13 introduced species. There was a notable population of tall Pale Maiden Olsynium filifolium on the hilltop of Rabbit Rincon in a paddock that had been fenced and not grazed for several years.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Seal Bay, East Falkland. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/07/2014
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