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Location Antarctica
Central coordinates 58o 56.00' West  62o 13.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4ii
Area 137 ha
Altitude 0 - 65m
Year of IBA assessment 2011





Site description Ardley Island is located in Maxwell Bay, ~500 m from Fildes Peninsula, King George Island. The island is ice-free, about 2 km by 1 km in size, and is connected to Fildes Peninsula by an isthmus that becomes submerged at high water (ASPA No. 150 Management Plan, 2009). Ardley Island is designated Antarctic Specially Protected Area No. 150 for the diverse range of seabirds that breed within the area. The IBA is defined by the boundary of ASPA No. 150, which includes all of Ardley Island.

Ardley Island is largely snow-free in summer and has relatlively low relief rising to ~65 m (ASPA No. 150 Management Plan, 2009). The island supports some of the best developed plant communities in the South Shetland Islands with ~250 lichen species and numerous mosses and liverworts. Antarctic hairgrass Deschampsia antarctica is well-established and increasingly abundant on the island, possibly spreading as a result of increased temperatures and lengthening growing seasons in the area (ASPA No. 150 Management Plan, 2009).

Ripamonti Station (Chile) is a small summer-only research facility with capacity for ~4 personnel located on the northern coast of the island (COMNAP, Antarctic Facilities, accessed 24/08/2010).

Six major scientific stations with a combined capacity of several hundreds of personnel are located within Maxwell Bay and nearby to the IBA: Great Wall (China, 850 m), Eduardo Frei and Teniente Marsh (Chile, 1 km), Bellingshausen (Russia, 1.5 km), Artigas (Uruguay, 2.9 km), King Sejong (South Korea, 6.5 km) and Jubany (Argentina, 13 km).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua breeding  1986-2005  3,410-4,635 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Near Threatened 

Other biodiversity Weddell Seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) frequent Ardley Island and are known to breed on beaches and sea ice in Maxwell Bay between September and November (ASPA No. 150 Management Plan, 2009). Crabeater Seals (Lobodon carcinophagus), Antarctic Fur Seals (Arctocephalus gazella) and Leopard Seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) are regularly observed in the Ardley Island area and occasionally haul out on the island.

Protection status ASPA No.150

References ASPA No. 150 Ardley Island, King George Island: Management Plan (2009)

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ardley Island, King George Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/07/2014

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