Blue Glacier to Cape Chocolate

Country/territory: Antarctica

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

Area: 1,206 ha

Site description (2015 baseline)

Blue Glacier is situated between the Ferrar and Koettlitz glaciers, McMurdo Dry Valleys, southern Victoria Land. Blue Glacier flows into McMurdo Sound ~10 km north of Cape Chocolate. Ice free ground extending along the coast to the south of the glacier forms part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, and lies within Antarctic Specially Managed Area No.2.

The IBA qualifies on the basis of the South Polar Skua (Catharacta maccormicki) colony that breeds on the ice free ground extending ~10 km southward along the coast from Blue Glacier towards Cape Chocolate. The IBA boundary is uncertain because the exact extent of the breeding area included within the count is not known.

The nearest permanent scientific stations are Scott Base (NZL) and McMurdo (USA) situated ~50 km to the east on Hut Point Peninsula, Ross Island.

Key biodiversity

Approximately ~226 breeding pairs of South Polar Skuas were estimated as breeding along the coast extending southward from Blue Glacier in 1981 (Ainley et al. 1986). No recent information on the colony is available, and no other birds are known to breed in the area.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Blue Glacier to Cape Chocolate. Downloaded from on 04/12/2023.