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Location Antarctica
Central coordinates 59o 46.00' West  62o 32.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4ii
Area 221 ha
Altitude 0 - 500m
Year of IBA assessment 2011





Site description Yankee Harbour lies on the southwestern coastline of Greenwich Island, east of Triangle Point and to the north of the McFarlane Strait, South Shetland Islands. Yankee Harbour is bordered by Glacier Bluff to the north and east, and enclosed by Spit Point to the west. A large terraced beach in the southeast of Yankee Harbour contains a melt pool beyond which steep scree slopes rise sharply inland to over 250 m. The IBA comprises the ice-free area from Spit Point to the foot of the ice-covered cliffs on Greenwich Island.

Mosses, lichens, algae and the flowering plants Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis are found at Yankee Harbour (ATS Visitor Site Guide, Yankee Harbour, accessed: 06/08/2010). Yankee Harbour was once a popular anchorage for sealers, with some artefacts still present. The nearest scientific station is Arturo Prat (Chile), which has capacity for ~15 people and operates year-round on the northern coast of Greenwich Island ~7 km from Yankee Harbour (COMNAP, Antarctic Facilities, accessed 23/08/2010).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua breeding  2003  4,918 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Near Threatened 

Other biodiversity Southern Elephant Seals (Mirounga leonina), Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) and Antarctic Fur Seals (Arctocephalus gazella) regularly haul out along the beaches of Yankee Harbour (ATS Visitor Site Guide, Yankee Harbour, accessed: 06/08/2010). There are no records of seals breeding in the area.

Protection status None

References Antarctic Treaty System Visitor Site Guide: Yankee Harbour. URL: http://www.ats.aq/siteguidelines/documents/yankee_e.pdf. Accessed 08/04/2010.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Yankee Harbour, Greenwich Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/09/2014

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