Cape Bowles, Clarence Island

Country/territory: Antarctica

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

Area: 206 ha

Protection status:

Site description

Clarence Island is the easternmost of the South Shetland Islands, lying 30 km east of Elephant Island. The IBA qualifies on the basis of the Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) colony present and the large concentration of seabirds, and comprises the ice free headland of Cape Bowles, at the southeastern extremity of Clarence Island.

The geology of Clarence Island is predominantly metamorphic of Mesozoic age (Marsh & Thomson 1985). No other information is available on the environment at this site.

There are no research stations in the near vicinity, the closest being ~260 km to the southwest, on King George Island.

Key biodiversity

Approximately 58 500 breeding pairs of Chinstrap Penguin were estimated at a site referred to as ‘Pink Pool Point' on the eastern side of the headland, 33 000 breeding pairs were at Cape Bowles, and 20 000 at the site referred to as ‘Thunder Bay' at the western side of the headland in 1977 (Croxall & Kirkwood 1979). Approximately 119 pairs of Adélie ( Pygoscelis adeliae ) and 13 pairs of Macaroni ( Eudyptes chrysolophus ) penguins were reported at the site in 1976/77 (Croxall & Kirkwood 1979).

Non-bird biodiversity: None known.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cape Bowles, Clarence Island. Downloaded from on 21/10/2020.