Cockburn Island

Country/territory: Antarctica

IBA Criteria met: A4i, A4iii (2015)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 409 ha

Protection status:

Site description

Cockburn Island is a small, oval-shaped, ice-free island rising to around 450 m and lying 5 km northwest of Seymour Island. The IBA qualifies on the basis of the Imperial Shag (Phalacrocorax [atriceps] bransfieldensis) colony present and the large concentration of seabirds (in particular Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae)), and comprises all of Cockburn Island.

Information on the environment of Cockburn Island is not available. The nearest permanent scientific station is Marambio (ARG) located 10 km to the east, more information on which can be found under IBA ANT070.

Key biodiversity

Approximately 800 pairs of Imperial Shag were recorded breeding on Cockburn Island in 2006 (Lynch et al. 2008). Approximately 15 721 breeding pairs (95% CI: 9489, 25 987) of Adélie Penguin were present in 2010/11, as estimated from February 2011 satellite imagery (Lynch & LaRue 2014). Snow Petrel (Pagodroma nivea) nests were reported on the island in 1901 (Croxall et al. 1995), although it is not known whether this species continues to breed in the area.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cockburn Island. Downloaded from on 20/05/2019.