email a friend
printable version
Location St Helena (to UK), Tristan da Cunha
Central coordinates 12o 18.00' West  37o 6.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4i, A4ii, A4iii
Area 9,600 ha
Altitude 0 - 2,060m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Site description The site comprises the whole of Tristan Island, as described in the ‘General introduction’.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes moseleyi breeding  2004  3,860 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Sooty Albatross Phoebetria fusca breeding  1974  2,000-3,000 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos breeding  1980  21,600-35,600 breeding pairs  medium  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Broad-billed Prion Pachyptila vittata breeding  1974  1,000-10,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Soft-plumaged Petrel Pterodroma mollis breeding  1974  100-500 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Atlantic Petrel Pterodroma incerta breeding  1974  100-200 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma macroptera breeding  1974  1,000-3,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Grey Petrel Procellaria cinerea breeding  2002  30 individuals  good  A1  Near Threatened 
Gough Moorhen Gallinula nesiotis A1  Vulnerable 
Antarctic Tern Sterna vittata breeding  1974  50-70 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Tristan Thrush Nesocichla eremita resident  1998  present [units unknown]  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1974  unknown  A4iii   

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research -
urban/industrial/transport -

Other biodiversity There are no endemic mammals. The only breeding native mammal is the fur seal Arctocephalus tropicalis, of which there is a small colony at Cave Point on the southern side of the island. Elephant seals Mirounga leonina haul out regularly on Tristan beaches and breed sporadically. Eubalaena glacialis (EN) occurs in offshore waters between September and November, but in very low numbers. Of 62 native terrestrial invertebrates recorded, only four are endemic.

References Broekhuysen and Macnae (1949), Brooke (1979), Christophersen (1947), Cooper et al. (1995), Crawford (1941, 1982, 1999), Elliott (1953, 1957), Fraser et al. (1994), Glass et al. (2000), Hagen (1952), Helyer and Swales (1998), Holdgate (1958, 1965), Richardson (1984), Rowan (1951), Rowlands (1992, 1994), Ryan et al. (1990), Stattersfield et al. (1998), Swales (1996), Swales et al. (1993), Wace and Holdgate (1976).

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 (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tristan Island. Downloaded from on 18/04/2014

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