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Location St Helena (to UK), Tristan da Cunha
Central coordinates 12o 29.00' West  37o 25.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4i, A4ii, A4iii
Area 390 ha
Altitude 0 - 337m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description The site comprises the whole of Nightingale Island as well as Middle and Stoltenhoff Islands and the offshore islets and stacks, as described in the ‘General introduction’.

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. At least 30 bird taxa are known. Thirteen species of breeding seabird and three of the native landbirds occur. The seabirds comprise Eudyptes chrysocome moseleyi, Diomedea chlororhynchos, Phoebetria fusca, Pterodroma mollis, Pachyptila vittata, Puffinus gravis, P. assimilis, Pelagodroma marina, Fregetta grallaria, Pelecanoides urinatrix (>20,000 pairs), Catharacta antarctica, Sterna vittata and Anous stolidus. The breeding population of P. gravis is the largest known, and at the highest density, in the world, with an estimated one million pairs per km². Pterodroma brevirostris may also breed. The terrestrial species include Nesocichla eremita procax (330–560 pairs, 1974 estimate), Nesospiza acunhae questi (560–1,120 pairs, 1974 estimate) and N. wilkinsi wilkinsi (30 pairs, 1974 estimate).Non-breeding visitors include Diomedea melanophris, Macronectes giganteus, M. halli, Fulmarus glacialoides, Daption capense, Procellaria a. aequinoctialis, P. a. conspicillata and Larus dominicanus.

Non-bird biodiversity: The only breeding native mammal is Arctocephalus tropicalis. At least 31 species of native terrestrial invertebrates are known, including five endemic listroderine weevils and seven endemic drosophilid Scaptomyza.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eudyptes chrysocome breeding  1974  125,000 breeding pairs  medium  A1, A4ii  Not Recognised 
Sooty Albatross Phoebetria fusca breeding  1974  125-250 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos breeding  1974  5,000 breeding pairs  medium  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Broad-billed Prion Pachyptila vittata breeding  1974  10,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Soft-plumaged Petrel Pterodroma mollis breeding  1974  100-1,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Great Shearwater Ardenna gravis breeding  1990  3,000,000 breeding pairs  medium  A4ii  Least Concern 
Antarctic Tern Sterna vittata breeding  1974  100-400 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Catharacta antarctica breeding  1974  100-510 breeding pairs  A4ii  Not Recognised 
Tristan Thrush Nesocichla eremita resident  1998  present  A1, A2  Near Threatened 
Nesospiza acunhae resident  1998  present  A1, A2  Not Recognised 
Nesospiza wilkinsi resident  1998  present  A1, A2  Not Recognised 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  5,000,000-9,999,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   
White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina breeding  1974  10,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
White-bellied Storm-petrel Fregetta grallaria breeding  1974  100-1,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 

Land use

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

References Broekhuysen (1948), Cooper et al. (1995), Fraser et al. (1994), Hydrographer of the Navy (1977), Richardson (1984), Rowan (1951, 1952), Ryan et al. (1990), Wace and Holdgate (1976).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Nightingale Island group. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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