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Location French Southern Territories, Îles Kerguelen
Central coordinates 70o 22.00' East  49o 9.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4i, A4ii, A4iii
Area 60,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 500m
Year of IBA assessment 2001

Site description Péninsule Courbet consists of a large, mainly flat peninsula of alluvium deposits of glacial origin on the north-eastern tip of Grande Terre. A large number of lakes of different sizes and boggy margins are scattered across the site. Inland areas of the peninsula are, however, drier and largely unvegetated. The western edge of the site is hillier and reaches 500 m. The western limit of the site is defined by a line linking Pointe Scott and Château d’If; the archipelago’s only base camp, Port-aux-Français situated nearby, is therefore excluded.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. At least 22 species breed. Three large rookeries of Aptenodytes patagonicus are found on the western coast of the site, with a combined total of 172,400 pairs. Eudyptes chrysolophus breed along the northern coast in a string of colonies. The inland parts of the site are also important as they hold the largest population of Anas eatoni in the French Southern Territories. In addition, numbers of breeding Phalacrocorax verrucosus, Chionis minor, Catharacta antarctica, Larus dominicanus, Sterna virgata and S. vittata exceed thresholds, but quantitative data are lacking.

Non-bird biodiversity: The site holds the largest breeding population of the mammal Mirounga leonina in the archipelago, with 43,782 females (1997 census data). An important population of Arctocephalus gazella also occurs.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Southern Pintail Anas eatoni breeding  1989  5,000 breeding pairs  A1, A2, A4i  Vulnerable 
Macaroni Penguin Eudyptes chrysolophus breeding  1989  336,000 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Vulnerable 
King Penguin Aptenodytes patagonicus breeding  1989  172,400 breeding pairs  A4ii  Least Concern 
Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua breeding  1989  8,800 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Near Threatened 
Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans breeding  1989  300 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Vulnerable 
Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes halli breeding  1989  700-800 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Least Concern 
Kerguelen Tern Sterna virgata breeding  present  A1  Near Threatened 

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
not utilised -

References Cherel et al. (1996), Guinet et al. (1999), Jouventin and Micol (1992), Jouventin et al. (1984, 1988), Weimerskirch and Jouventin (1997), Weimerskirch et al. (1989).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Péninsule Courbet. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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