email a friend
printable version
Location Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Central coordinates 58o 3.00' West  51o 23.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4iii
Area 3,100 ha
Altitude 0 - 229m
Year of IBA assessment 2006

Falklands Conservation



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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

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   

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline   major
Grassland   -

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.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Seal Bay, East Falkland. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/10/2014

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