email a friend
printable version
Location Antarctica
Central coordinates 55o 46.00' West  63o 35.00' South
IBA criteria A4i, A4ii, A4iii
Area 289 ha
Altitude 0 - 350m
Year of IBA assessment 2011





Site description Paulet Island is situated ~5 km southeast of Dundee Island, east of Tarabin Peninsula, northern Trinity Peninsula. The island is an ice-free extinct volcanic cone of roughly circular shape of ~1.7 km in diameter and rising to ~350 m (ATS Visitor Site Guide: Paulet Island, accessed 06/08/2010). The IBA comprises all of the island.

Scree slopes lie on the southern and western slopes of the island. A flat terrace to the north and northeast, to which visitor access is restricted, is frequently submerged at high-tide. Historic Site and Monument No. 41 is located on Paulet Island, and comprises a stone hut, rock cairn and grave, which were constructed by survivors from the vessel Antarctic which was wrecked close to the island during the Swedish South Polar Expedition of 1901-04.

The nearest scientific station is Petrel (Argentina), a summer-only facility for up to ~55 people (COMNAP, Antarctic Facilities, accessed 06/08/2010) and located on Dundee Island ~25 km to the northwest.

Key Biodiversity Approximately 100,000 breeding pairs of Adélie Penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) were recorded breeding around meltwater lakes and on elevated ridges on the northeast of Paulet Island in 1999 (Naveen 2003). A large proportion breed on a flat terrace in the north and northeast of the island. Approximately 465 breeding pairs of Imperial Shag (Phalacrocorax atriceps) were recorded breeding amongst the Adélies in 2007 (Lynch et al. 2008). Previous records indicate most shags nest on a basaltic stack and nearby cliff on the northern shoreline (Naveen 2003). Croxall et al. (1995) estimated 300 pairs of Snow Petrel (Pagodroma nivea) were breeding on Paulet Island in 1992. The Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) is also a confirmed breeder whilst the Greater Sheathbill (Chionis alba) and Wilson’s Storm-petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) are frequently observed and may breed in the area (ATS Visitor Site Guide: Paulet Island, accessed 06/08/2010).

Non-bird biodiversity: Weddell Seal (Leptonychotes weddellii) and Antarctic Fur Seal (Arctocephalus gazella) regularly haul out at Paulet Island, whilst Leopard Seal (Hydrurga leptonyx) are frequently observed hunting offshore.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Adelie Penguin Pygoscelis adeliae breeding  1999  95,000-100,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Near Threatened 
Phalacrocorax atriceps breeding  2006  465 breeding pairs  A4i  Not Recognised 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1999  95,000-100,000 breeding pairs  A4iii   

Protection status None

References Antarctic Treaty System Visitor Site Guide: Paulet Island. URL: http://www.ats.aq/siteguidelines/documents/Paulet_e.pdf. Accessed 06/08/2010

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: Paulet Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/11/2014

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