Devil Island

Country/territory: Antarctica

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

Area: 115 ha

Protection status:

Site description

Devil Island is a low, ice-free island of ~2 km in length lying in a small cove ~1 km north of Vega Island, east of Trinity Peninsula. Several low hills rise to ~100 m. The IBA qualifies on the basis of the large concentration of seabirds (in particular Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae)) and comprises the entire island.

Flora is dominated by the lichen Xanthoria spp. on seaward-facing slopes, interspersed with patches of Caloplaca spp. Mosses and the alga Prasiola have also been observed (ATS Visitor Site Guidelines, Devil Island).

The nearest permanent scientific station is Gregor Mendel (CZE), located on Vega Island ~30 km to the west and operated summer-only.

Key biodiversity

Approximately 14 681 pairs of Adélie Penguin were counted from photographs acquired in December 2008 (Lynch et al. 2013). While the Antarctic Site Inventory (Lynch et al. 2013) counted only 7108 chicks in the 2010/11 season, in view of the size of the colony and interseasonal fluctuations in numbers, the IBA has been retained. South Polar Skuas (Catharacta maccormicki), Brown Skuas (C. antarctica), Kelp Gulls (Larus dominicanus) and Antarctic Tern (Sterna vittata) also breed on Devil Island (Naveen & Lynch 2011). While Snow Petrel (Pagodroma nivea) nests were recorded on the island in 1945/46 (Croxall et al. 1995), their continued presence on the island is unknown.

Non-breeding species frequenting the site include Cape Petrel (Daption capense), Snowy Sheathbill (Chionis albus) and Wilson's Storm-petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) (Naveen & Lynch 2011).

Non-bird biodiversity: None known.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Devil Island. Downloaded from on 21/09/2020.