Site description (2006 baseline)
This group of islands lies west of Weddell Island and West Falkland. Beaver, Split, Staats and Tea Islands all have spectacular west-facing sheer cliffs and deeply indented coastlines. There are generally very steep slopes above eastern coasts with rocky shores, a few sand beaches and sheltered coves. Inland the islands are mountainous with many peaks exceeding 150 m and some above 200 m. Most of the smaller islands are low lying.
At least 40 species have been recorded, of which 34 are known to breed. Thin-billed Prions breed on Channel Rock and Hecate Rock but their population has not been assessed. Striated Caracaras breed on Stick-in-the-mud, Rookery Island and Hecate Rock, and Ruddy-headed Geese are present but their populations are too small to qualify. Local sub-species recorded are the Black-crowned Nightheron, Upland Goose, Kelp Goose, Dark-faced Groundtyrant, Falkland Thrush, Falkland Grass Wren and the Long-tailed Meadowlark. The Cobb’s Wren has not been found on any of these islands in recent years, due probably to the widespread occurrence of Norway Rats. Few Upland Geese, oystercatchers, Magellanic Snipe or songbirds breed on Beaver Island due to the presence of foxes and rats.
Non-bird biodiversity: About 100 Southern Sea Lion pups are born annually on Stick-in-the-mud Island, north of Governor Island, and 35 on Beaver Island (Stinker Point), while non-breeders haul out on Tea, Green, Split and other islands in Beaver Bay. The western cliffs of Beaver Island are home to a few hundred breeding South American Fur Seals. The scarce Adder’s-tongue Fern Ophioglossum crotalophoroides occurs on Beaver Island. Tea Island has a population of the unidentified purslane (Calandrinia), possibly a new endemic plant. Additional endemic plants found in this group of islands include Clubmoss Cudweed Chevreulia lycopodioides, Vanilla Daisy Leucheria suaveolens, Lady’s Slipper Calceolaria fothergillii, Smooth Falkland Ragwort Senecio vaginatus, Hairy Daisy Erigeron incertus, and Coastal Nassauvia Nassauvia gaudichaudii.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Beaver Island Group. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/beaver-island-group-iba-falkland-islands-(malvinas) on 27/09/2023.