email a friend
printable version
Location Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway), Svalbard
Central coordinates 16o 10.56' East  77o 7.12' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4ii, A4iii, B1i, B1ii, B2, B3
Area 1,323,760 ha
Altitude 0 - 1,205m
Year of IBA assessment 2014

Site description An area of high-Arctic tundra. The Bird Sanctuaries within the National Park are islands and islets with grassy vegetation, freshwater ponds and bare areas. A Polish research station is situated in the southern part of the park.

Key Biodiversity Sea cliffs at Stellingfjellet and Kovalskifjella (both on the east coast of Torrell Land) and at Sofiekammen (Gnalberget; facing Hornsund) hold important seabird colonies, while the Bird Sanctuaries are important breeding and moulting areas for Branta leucopsis and Somateria mollissima.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis breeding  1992-2008  1,900 mature individuals  unknown  B1i, B3  Least Concern 
Common Eider Somateria mollissima breeding  1900-2009  3,870 individuals  unknown  B1i, B3  Near Threatened 
Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis breeding  2005-2014  A1  Vulnerable 
Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla breeding  2008-2010  101,000 mature individuals  unknown  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Little Auk Alle alle breeding  1989-2010  498,600 mature individuals  unknown  A4ii, B1ii  Least Concern 
Thick-billed Murre Uria lomvia breeding  2008-2010  296,000 mature individuals  unknown  A4ii, B1ii, B2  Least Concern 
Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle breeding  1989-2010  704 mature individuals  unknown  B1ii, B2  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1989-2010  900,000 mature individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Dunoyane Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 120 protected area contained by site 120  
Dunøyene Seabird Reserve 1,191 protected area contained by site 1,191  
Isoyane Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 30 protected area contained by site 30  
Isøyene Seabird Reserve 230 protected area contained by site 230  
Olsholmen Seabird Reserve 46 protected area contained by site 46  
Sør-Spitsbergen National Park 1,317,734 protected area contained by site 1,317,734  
Sørkapp Seabird Reserve 3,599 protected area contained by site 3,599  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Tundra  100%
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

Protection status National High International Low467,300 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Sør-Spitsbergen, 530,000 ha). 120 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Dunøyene [Bird Sanctuary], 120 ha). 30 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Isøyene [Bird Sanctuary], 30 ha). 46 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Olsholmen [Bird Sanctuary], 46 ha). 3,599 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Sørkapp [Bird Sanctuary], 3,599 ha). 120 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Dunøyene, 120 ha). 30 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Isøyene, 30 ha).

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: South Spitsbergen National Park. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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