Cape Whitson is located on the southern coast of Laurie Island, South Orkney Islands, and lies between Aitken Cove and Methuen Cove. The peninsula extends ~1.5 km in length by ~0.5 km across and its elevation is <250 m. The IBA qualifies on the basis of the concentration of seabirds present (in particular Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica)) and comprises the ice-free terrain of the headland at Cape Whitson.
The nearest permanent scientific station is Orcadas (ARG), located ~9 km to the northwest. Orcadas operates year-round with around 45 personnel present in summer and 14 in winter (COMNAP, Antarctic Facilities, accessed 01/09/2010).
Approximately 12 755 pairs of Chinstrap Penguin were recorded breeding at Cape Whitson in 1994 (unpublished data N. Coria, compiled by E. Woehler pers. comm. 2004)).
Non-bird biodiversity: None known.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cape Whitson, Laurie Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/10/2020.