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Location French Southern Territories, Îles Crozet
Central coordinates 50o 25.00' East  46o 25.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4ii, A4iii
Area 400 ha
Altitude 0 - 420m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description Île des Pingouins is situated on the western edge of the archipelago, close to the Île des Cochons. It is a small, sheer island, 4 km by 1 km, much eroded by the sea. The coastal cliffs that surround the island vary in height between 50–300 m. The island is virtually inaccessible from the sea and is therefore only occasionally visited by man. It is free of any introduced species, so both vegetation and fauna are pristine.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. At least 29 species breed. This site has an exceptionally high density of seabirds, notably including six species of albatross which, in addition to those listed below, comprise 300 pairs of Diomedea melanophris, four pairs of D. cauta salvini, (the only breeding locality for this subspecies in the Indian Ocean) and 30 pairs of Phoebetria palpebrata. Several thousand pairs of Pachyptila salvini salvini and Procellaria aequinoctialis also occur.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Macaroni Penguin Eudyptes chrysolophus breeding  1984  1,000,000 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Vulnerable 
Grey-headed Albatross Thalassarche chrysostoma breeding  1984  2,000 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris breeding  1984  300 breeding pairs  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Sooty Albatross Phoebetria fusca breeding  1984  250 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Salvin's Albatross Thalassarche salvini breeding  1984  4 breeding pairs  unknown  A1  Vulnerable 
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche carteri breeding  1984  5,800 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes halli breeding  1984  165 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Least Concern 
Blue Petrel Halobaena caerulea breeding  1984  20,000-90,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Kerguelen Petrel Aphrodroma brevirostris breeding  1984  2,000-9,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Common Diving-petrel Pelecanoides urinatrix breeding  1984  200,000-900,000 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Phalacrocorax atriceps breeding  1984  214 breeding pairs  A4i  Not Recognised 
Kerguelen Tern Sterna virgata breeding  present  A1  Near Threatened 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Antarctique francaise National Park 36,700 protected area contains site 400  

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
not utilised -

References Jouventin (1990), Jouventin and Micol (1992), Jouventin et al. (1984, 1988, 1996).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Île des Pingouins. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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