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Location Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway), Svalbard
Central coordinates 22o 45.00' East  77o 45.00' North
IBA criteria A3, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3
Area 638,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 590m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Site description The Nature Reserve covers the whole of the islands of Barentsøya and Edgeøya, in south-east Svalbard. The habitat is high-Arctic tundra; vegetation is sparse or non-existent over most of the land. Bird data are available for three subsites: Tusenøyane, Negerpynten and Kvalpynten (all on Edgeøya). Tusenøyane (77°05'N 22°00'E; 150,000 ha) is a group of many rocky, low-lying islets (the largest being c.200 ha) in an area of shallow sea, some distance from the south-west coast of Edgeøya. Negerpynten (77°15'N 22°40'E) and Kvalpynten (77°27'N 22°53'E) are sea cliffs at the south-western tip of Edgeøya. There is no settlement in the IBA.

Key Biodiversity About 80% of the small and vulnerable Svalbard breeding population of Branta bernicla (B. b. hrota) breeds at Tusenøyane, as well as four other species that are also restricted in Europe (when breeding) to the Arctic/tundra biome. In late summer and autumn Tusenøyane is also a notable moulting area for Somateria mollissima and Somateria spectabilis. There are large seabird colonies at Negerpynten and Kvalpynten (e.g. at least 12,000 pairs of Uria lomvia).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis breeding  1989  60-80 breeding pairs  A3, B1i, B3  Least Concern 
Brent Goose Branta bernicla breeding  1989  600 breeding pairs  A3, A4i, B1i, B2  Least Concern 
King Eider Somateria spectabilis breeding  present  A3  Least Concern 
Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima breeding  present  A3  Least Concern 
Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus breeding  present  A3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1989  10,000-19,999 breeding pairs  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Søraust-Svalbard Nature Reserve 638,000 protected area contained by site 638,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Tundra  -
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  -
Coastline Rock stacks and islets; Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

Land use

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

Protection status National High International None638,000 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Søraust-Svalbard, 638,000 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: South-east Svalbard Nature Reserve. Downloaded from on 31/03/2015

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