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Location French Southern Territories, Îles Kerguelen
Central coordinates 68o 39.00' East  48o 38.00' South
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4ii, A4iii
Area 24,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 518m
Year of IBA assessment 2001





Site description This site covers several islands of varying size, located a short distance off the north-western coast of Grande Terre. The main islands of Croÿ, Roland and Ternay form the Îles Nuageuses, while the small Île Clugny is located a little to the south. The coastlines of the islands are mostly sheer cliffs. The islands are free of any introduced species and thus covered in typical subantarctic vegetation, dense up to about 200 m. The site is only rarely visited by man.

Key Biodiversity See Box for key species. At least 25 species breed. Inventories of the site are only partial; whereas Île de Croÿ has been studied in great detail, no information is available for Île Clugny, apart from observations made at sea. The following figures are therefore underestimates. This site is of major importance both for penguins, and for albatrosses with, in 1989, five pairs of Diomedea exulans, 1,815 pairs of D. melanophris, 7,860 pairs of D. chrysostoma (98% of the population on Kerguelen and 10% of the world’s population) and the only colony of D. chlororhynchos in the archipelago (50 pairs), as well as some 20 pairs of Macronectes halli. Phalacrocorax verrucosus, Anas eatoni, and Sterna virgata all occur in, it is thought, small numbers. It is possible that numbers of breeding Phoebetria palpebrata, Pterodroma brevirostris, Pachyptila desolata, Procellaria aequinoctialis, Oceanites oceanicus, Pelecanoides urinatrix and Chionis minor exceed thresholds for the A4ii criterion, but quantitative data are lacking.

Non-bird biodiversity: The flora is believed to be perfectly preserved. There is a large breeding colony of the fur seal Arctocephalus gazella (over 5,000 females). This population has probably never been exploited, which has enabled the recolonization of other sites from where it has been exterminated.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Southern Pintail Anas eatoni resident  1989  present  A2  Vulnerable 
Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua breeding  1989  7,500 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Near Threatened 
Northern Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes moseleyi breeding  1989  35,000 breeding pairs  A1, A4ii  Endangered 
Grey-headed Albatross Thalassarche chrysostoma breeding  1989  7,860 breeding pairs  A1,A4ii  Endangered 
Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris breeding  1989  1,815 breeding pairs  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans breeding  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes halli breeding  present  A1  Least Concern 
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 24,000  

Land use

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

References Cherel et al. (1996), Jouventin and Micol (1992), Jouventin et al. (1984, 1988, 1996), Mougin (1985), Weimerskirch and Jouventin (1997), Weimerskirch et al. (1989).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Îles Nuageuses and Île Clugny. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/12/2014

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