This site covers a large part of the Golfe du Morbihan, and is located to the east of Grande Terre between, to the north, Péninsule Courbet (TF009) and, to the south, Péninsule Jeanne d’Arc and Presqu’île Ronarch. About 20 islands and numerous islets are scattered across this part of the gulf, the biggest being Île Australia (2,000 ha). The mountain ridges of Grande Terre to the west protect the gulf from some of the wind and rain; hence rainfall is lower here than in most of Kerguelen. Some of the islands are free of introduced species, but others have rats, mice and rabbits. There is no permanent human presence, but research programmes are undertaken on some of the islands.
See Box for key species. At least 25 species breed, including 13 species of petrel, a consequence of the milder climate and the fact that some of the islands are predator-free. It is possible that numbers of breeding Pterodroma brevirostris, P. macroptera, P. lessoni, Pachyptila desolata, P. belcheri, Procellaria aequinoctialis, Oceanites oceanicus, Garrodia nereis, Pelecanoides georgicus, P. urinatrix, Phalacrocorax verrucosus, Anas eatoni, Chionis minor, Catharacta antarctica and Sterna virgata exceed thresholds, but quantitative data are lacking. Regionally, the islands are of interest because of their large populations of Halobaena caerulea and Procellaria cinerea.
Non-bird biodiversity: Several cetaceans occur, notably Cephalorhynchus commersonii (DD). Some islands retain their original subantarctic vegetation, including Pringlea antiscorbutica, Lyallia kerguelensis and Ranunculus moseleyi.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Many of the islands are ‘Areas restricted to scientific and technical research’, to which access is limited. Programmes to eradicate rats and rabbits are under way on several of the islands.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Islands of the Golfe du Morbihan. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 29/03/2023.