email a friend
printable version
Location Antarctica
Central coordinates 62o 37.39' West  64o 41.19' South
IBA criteria A4ii
Area 81 ha
Altitude 0 - 250m
Year of IBA assessment 2015

Site description Cuverville Island is a small island lying in the Errera Channel between Rongé Island and Arctowski Peninsula (Graham Land). A permanent ice-cap extends over much of the island, although on the northern slopes there is a series of broad, rocky beaches below steep cliffs. The rocky areas provide suitable breeding sites for penguins. The IBA extent is defined by the island coastline.

Vegetation consists of a range of moss and lichen species as well as both of the two flowering plant species Antarctic hair grass Deschampsia antarctica and pearlwort Colobanthus quitensis (ATS Visitor Site Guide: Cuverville Island, accessed 13/08/2010). Moss cover is extensive at higher elevations.

The nearest scientific station is Gabriel Gonzáles Videla station (Chile), a summer-only facility in Paradise Cove with capacity for up to nine people (COMNAP, Antarctic Facilities, accessed 16/08/2010).

Key Biodiversity Gentoo Penguins (Pygoscelis papua) breed along the north and northwest shoreline of Cuverille Island, with 6468 pairs recorded in December 2009 (H.Lynch, pers. comm., 2010). The colony is the largest for this species on the Antarctic Peninsula. Southern Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteusi) are known to breed on the island (Naveen 2003) and 29 pairs of Imperial Shag (Phalacrocorax atriceps) were recorded on the northeast side of the island in 2006 (Lynch et al. 2008).

Non-bird biodiversity: Weddell Seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) and Antarctic Fur Seals (Arctoceplalus gazella) commonly haul out at Cuverille Island, while Leopard Seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) have been observed hunting off-shore (ATS Visitor Site Guide: Cuverville Island, accessed 13/08/2010).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua breeding  2012  5,950 breeding pairs  good  A4ii  Near Threatened 

Protection status None

References Antarctic Treaty System Visitor Site Guide, Cuverville Island: URL: Accessed: 10/08/2010.

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 (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Cuverville Island. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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