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Location Antarctica
Central coordinates 60o 30.37' West  62o 58.03' South
IBA criteria A4ii, A4iii
Area 70 ha
Altitude 0 - 160m
Year of IBA assessment 2015

Site description Baily Head is a prominent rock headland forming the eastern extremity of Deception Island. A black-sand beach forms the eastern shoreline of Deception Island, running nearly 7 km northward from Baily Head. The IBA comprises 78 ha of ice-free ground at Baily Head, including the headland and approximately 800 m of beach to either side. A substantial melt-stream cuts through the ice cliffs at Baily Head and drains to form a semi-cicular ‘ampitheatre’ valley. The valley slopes are often snow-covered until early-summertime each year, to be replaced by a carpet of the terrestrial green algae Prasiola crispa (Naveen 2003).

More information on Deception Island and nearby stations can be found under IBA Ant043.

Key Biodiversity Approximately 100,000 pairs of Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) were breeding along the beach at Baily Head and on slopes rising from the beach to a ridgeline of ~150 m in 1989 (Poncet & Poncet, pers. comm; Naveen 2003). Brown Skua (Catharacta lonnbergi), Cape Petrel (Daption capense) and Greater Sheathbill (Chionis alba) are also confirmed breeders at Baily Head (ASMA No. 4 Management Plan, Appendix 5, 2005).

Non-bird biodiversity: Antarctic Fur Seals (Arctocephalus gazella) frequently haul out along the beach at Baily Head and Weddell Seals (Leptonychotes weddellii), Crabeater Seals (Lobodon carcinophaga), Southern Elephant Seals (Mirounga leonina) and Leopard Seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) have also been observed hauled out at this site (Naveen 2003).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Chinstrap Penguin Pygoscelis antarcticus breeding  2011  50,408 breeding pairs  good  A4ii  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  2011  50,408 breeding pairs  good  A4iii   

Protection status ASMA No.4

References ASMA No. 4 Deception Island, South Shetland Islands: Management Plan (2005)

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Baily Head, Deception Island. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016

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