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Location Antarctica
Central coordinates 64o 24.56' West  64o 46.31' South
IBA criteria A4i
Area 2,217 ha
Altitude 0 - 70m
Year of IBA assessment 2015

Site description The Joubin Islands are an archipelago comprising numerous small islands, islets and offshore rocks situated ~5 km from Cape Monaco, southwestern Anvers Island. The islands were first charted by the French Antarctic Expedition in 1903-05 (Hattersley-Smith, 1991).

The Joubin Islands are designated as a Restricted Zone under Antarctic Specially Managed Area No. 7: Southwest Anvers Island and Palmer Basin, which includes the marine area extending to a 50 m buffer around the outer shorelines. The IBA covers the area defined by the boundary of the Restricted Zone.

Detailed information on the Joubin Islands environment is not available. The geology shares a granitic and volcanic origin with Anvers Island. Vegetation is typical of the region, and consists of a wide range of mosses, lichens and algae, as well as the native vascular plants Antarctic hairgrass (Deschampsia antarctica) and the pearlwort Colobanthus quitensis (ASMA No. 7 Management Plan, 2009).

The nearest permanent scientific station is Palmer (US), situated ~15 km to the east at Arthur Harbour, southern Anvers Island. Climate data specifically for the Joubin Islands are not available. See Ant012 for more information on Palmer Station and local climate.

Key Biodiversity Several birds species breed on the Joubin Islands, including the Imperial Shag (Phalacrocorax atriceps), Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), Gentoo Penguin (P. papua), Chinstrap Penguin (P. antarctica) and Southern Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteusi). More than 250 pairs of Imperial Shag were recorded in the north of the Joubin Islands in 1987 (Poncet & Poncet, unpublished data). Around 30 pairs of Southern Giant Petrel were recorded in 1999 (Patterson et al. 2008), typically breeding on the northeast aspect of high ridges on most islands (W. Fraser, pers. comm., 2006). Penguins observed breeding at the site in 1990 comprised 1261 pairs Adélies, 33 pairs Chinstraps and 104 pairs Gentoos (S. Poncet, pers. comm.).

Non-bird biodiversity: See Ant 012 for information on other species observed in the region.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Imperial Shag Phalacrocorax atriceps breeding  1987  250 breeding pairs  poor  A4i  Least Concern 

Protection status Restricted Zone within ASMA No.7

References ASMA No. 7 Palmer Basin and Southwest Anvers Island: Management Plan (2008); Palmer LTER project URL:, accessed: 04/08/2010.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Joubin Islands. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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