AQ035
Aspland Island / Eadie Island


Country/territory: Antarctica

IBA Criteria met: A4ii, A4iii (2015)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 1,004 ha

Protection status:


Site description

Aspland Island and Eadie Island and O'Brien Island are ~40-50 km southwest of Elephant Island, in the eastern region of the South Shetland Islands. Aspland Island is the largest of the two, with its lower slopes being ice-free with a permanent ice cap rising to 735 m covering higher terrain. Eadie Island is a small rocky island approximately 2 km across, with an ice-capped summit of over 250 m. The IBA qualifies on the basis of the concentration of seabirds present (in particular Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) and Southern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialoides)) and comprises both islands.

Over 80 terrestrial plant species have been recorded on Elephant Island and its neighbouring islands. On Eadie Island, these include the moss Orthotrichum crassifolium, the lichens Caloplaca sp., Catillaria corymbosa and Unsea antarctica, and the alga Prasiola crispa (Allison & Smith 1973).

There are no scientific stations in the vicinity, with the nearest facility 155 km to the southwest on King George Island.

Key biodiversity

Sizeable colonies of Chinstrap Penguin breed on these islands, with approximately 8650 pairs on Aspland Island (Croxall & Kirkwood 1979) and ~5150 pairs on Eadie Island in 1977.

Large colonies of Southern Fulmar also breed on these islands, with ~9800 pairs estimated on Aspland Island (Furse 1978) and ~8500 pairs estimated on Eadie Island in 1977 (Creuwels et al. 2007). A small group of Macaroni Penguin (21 pairs) was recorded by Furse (1978) on southwestern Aspland Island in 1977 (Croxall & Kirkwood 1979). Furse (1978) estimated 1300 and 1160 pairs of Cape Petrel ( Daption capense ) on Aspland and Eadie islands respectively in 1977.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Aspland Island / Eadie Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/10/2020.