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Location Antarctica
Central coordinates 66o 14.00' West  65o 53.00' South
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 557 ha
Altitude 0 - 250m
Year of IBA assessment 2011





Site description Armstrong Reef is a small island group situated to the ~2 km southwest of Renaud Island, part of the Biscoe Islands, lying off the western coast of the central Antarctic Peninsula. Armstrong Reef extends over 4.3 km in a southwest-northeast orientation and consists of a number of small ice-free islands each with areas of < 100 ha.

Plutonic rocks dominate the geology of the island group (Smellie et al. 1985),althoghal although little other information on the Armstrong Reef environment is available.

The area is remote from scientific stations (the nearest being Vernadsky (Ururguay), ~121 km to the northeast), and from the most popular tour ship routes, and thus receives few visitors.

Key Biodiversity One of the largest Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) colonies on the Antarctic Peninsula is found on Armstrong Reef, with approximately 12,800 breeding pairs recorded in 1984 (Poncet & Poncet 1987). In addition, 525 pairs of Imperial Shag (Phalacrocorax atriceps) were also recorded breeding amongst the Adélies and on islands and islets within the island group (Poncet & Poncet, unpublished data). A sizeable colony of 126 pairs of Southern Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteusi) was documented breeding on Armstrong Reef in 1983 (Patterson et al. 2008).

Non-bird biodiversity: None known.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Phalacrocorax atriceps breeding  1989-1990  525 breeding pairs  A4i  Not Recognised 
A4iii Species group - seabirds A4iii   

Protection status None

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Armstrong Reef. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/12/2014

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