Gough Island

Country/territory: St Helena (to UK)

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A4i, A4ii, A4iii (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 6,500 ha

Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2013 very high not assessed low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The site comprises the whole of Gough Island as well as the offshore islets and stacks, as described in the ‘General introduction’.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 2 for key species. The site has been described as ‘a strong contender for the title of most important seabird colony in the world’. As many as 54 bird taxa are recorded, of which 20 are non-breeding seabirds and two are endemic landbirds. The seabirds include Eudyptes chrysocome moseleyi (about 48% of world population), Diomedea e. dabbenena, D. chlororhynchos, Phoebetria fusca, Macronectes giganteus, Pterodroma brevirostris, P. macroptera, P. mollis, P. incerta, Pachyptila vittata, Procellaria cinerea, Puffinus gravis, P. assimilis, Garrodia nereis, Pelagodroma marina, Fregetta grallaria, Pelecanoides urinatrix (>20,000 pairs), Catharacta antarctica, Sterna vittata and Anous stolidus. The terrestrial species are Gallinula comeri and Rowettia goughensis (1,000 pairs, 1993 estimate).Non-breeding visitors include Diomedea melanophris, Macronectes halli, Fulmarus glacialoides, Daption capense, Pachyptila desolata, Procellaria a. aequinoctialis, Puffinus griseus, Oceanites oceanicus, Fregetta tropica, Bubulcus ibis and Larus dominicanus.

Non-bird biodiversity: Arctocephalus tropicalis (200,000 individuals and increasing) and Mirounga leonina (about 100 individuals) are the only two native breeding mammals. Of 100 free-living species of terrestrial invertebrates recorded, at least eight are endemic, while 14 are native to the Dependency as a whole. Only eight species of freshwater invertebrates are known.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gough Island. Downloaded from on 28/01/2022.