AQ011
Cape Whitson, Laurie Island


Country/territory: Antarctica

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

Area: 50 ha

Protection status:


Site description

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).

Key biodiversity

Approximately 12 755 pairs of Chinstrap Penguin were recorded breeding at Cape Whitson in 1994 (unpublished data N. Coria, compiled by E. Woehler pers.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.


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