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.
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.
BirdLife International (2018) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Île des Pingouins. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/12/2018.