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Location St Helena (to UK), Tristan da Cunha
Central coordinates 9o 56.00' West  40o 19.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4i, A4ii, A4iii
Area 6,500 ha
Altitude 0 - 910m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





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

Key Biodiversity See Box and Table 2 for key species. The site has been described as ‘a strong contender for the title of most important seabird colony in the world’. As many as 54 bird taxa are recorded, of which 20 are non-breeding seabirds and two are endemic landbirds. The seabirds include Eudyptes chrysocome moseleyi (about 48% of world population), Diomedea e. dabbenena, D. chlororhynchos, Phoebetria fusca, Macronectes giganteus, Pterodroma brevirostris, P. macroptera, P. mollis, P. incerta, Pachyptila vittata, Procellaria cinerea, Puffinus gravis, P. assimilis, Garrodia nereis, Pelagodroma marina, Fregetta grallaria, Pelecanoides urinatrix (>20,000 pairs), Catharacta antarctica, Sterna vittata and Anous stolidus. The terrestrial species are Gallinula comeri and Rowettia goughensis (1,000 pairs, 1993 estimate).Non-breeding visitors include Diomedea melanophris, Macronectes halli, Fulmarus glacialoides, Daption capense, Pachyptila desolata, Procellaria a. aequinoctialis, Puffinus griseus, Oceanites oceanicus, Fregetta tropica, Bubulcus ibis and Larus dominicanus.

Non-bird biodiversity: Arctocephalus tropicalis (200,000 individuals and increasing) and Mirounga leonina (about 100 individuals) are the only two native breeding mammals. Of 100 free-living species of terrestrial invertebrates recorded, at least eight are endemic, while 14 are native to the Dependency as a whole. Only eight species of freshwater invertebrates are known.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Grey-backed Storm-petrel Garrodia nereis breeding  1993  10,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina breeding  1993  10,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
White-bellied Storm-petrel Fregetta grallaria breeding  1993  10,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Northern Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes moseleyi breeding  1993  144,235 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Tristan Albatross Diomedea dabbenena breeding  1999  1,000-1,500 breeding pairs  good  A1, A4ii  Critically Endangered 
Sooty Albatross Phoebetria fusca breeding  1993  5,000 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos breeding  1993  5,000 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Pterodroma macroptera breeding  1993  5,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Not Recognised 
Puffinus assimilis breeding  1993  10,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Not Recognised 
Broad-billed Prion Pachyptila vittata breeding  1993  100,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Kerguelen Petrel Aphrodroma brevirostris breeding  1993  20,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Soft-plumaged Petrel Pterodroma mollis breeding  1993  50,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Atlantic Petrel Pterodroma incerta breeding  1993  20,000 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Grey Petrel Procellaria cinerea breeding  1993  10,000 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Near Threatened 
Great Shearwater Ardenna gravis breeding  1993  300,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Gallinula nesiotis resident  1993  2,500 breeding pairs  A1, A2, A4i  Not Recognised 
Antarctic Tern Sterna vittata breeding  1993  500 breeding pairs  A4i  Least Concern 
Catharacta antarctica breeding  1993  500 breeding pairs  A4ii  Not Recognised 
Gough Bunting Rowettia goughensis resident  1998  3,000 individuals  medium  A1, A2  Critically Endangered 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1993  1,000,000-2,499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2013 very high not assessed low
unset
Unknown

Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Gough and Inaccessible Islands World Heritage Site 397,900 protected area contains site 6,500  
Gough Island Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 229,811 protected area contains site 6,500  
Gough Island Wildlife Reserve 6,500 is identical to site 6,500  

Land use

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

Further web sources of information 

Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This site has been identified as an AZE due to it containing a Critically Endangered or Endangered species with a limited range.

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: Gough Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/12/2014

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