AQ062
Danger Islands


Year of compilation: 2015

Site description

Danger Islands lie ~19 km southeast of Joinville Island, in the Erebus and Terror Gulf. The site comprises several small islands which are largely ice-free. The Danger Islands lie ~50 km northeast of IBAs Eden Rocks and Paulet Island. The IBA qualifies on the basis of the Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) colonies present and the concentration of seabirds, and includes all of the islands in the eastern part of the Danger Islands group and the intervening marine area.

The nearest permanent scientific station is Petrel (ARG), a summer-only facility for up to ~55 people (COMNAP, Antarctic Facilities, accessed 06/08/2010) located ~70 km to the west on Dundee Island.


Key biodiversity

A large number of Adélie Penguins breed in the Danger Islands group, with between 285 115 and 305 165 Adélie Penguin nests estimated in 1996 (Naveen & Lynch 2011). Breeding occurs on slopes and ridges across most of the islands in the group (Elliott et al . 1978; Naveen & Lynch 2011; Lynch & LaRue 2014; Lynch & Schwaller 2014). Brash and Earle islands possess breeding colonies of Pygoscelid penguins of sufficient size and distance from each other and the other islands to warrant qualification as IBAs in their own right, and these are described in IBA Brash Island, Danger Islands and IBA Earle Island, Danger Islands. Numbers of breeding pairs of Pygoscelid penguins on the remaining islands were estimated by Lynch & LaRue (2014) and Lynch & Schwaller (2014) (Table 062.1).

Other birds thought to breed at the site include the Cape Petrel ( Daption capense ), Snowy Sheathbill ( Chionis albus ), Kelp Gull ( Larus dominicanus ), Brown Skua ( Catharacta antarctica ), Wilson's Storm-petrel ( Oceanites oceanicus ) and Antarctic Tern ( Sterna vittata ). Occasional visitors include Chinstrap Penguin ( Pygoscelis antarctica ), Southern Giant Petrel ( Macronectes giganteus ), Snow Petrel ( Pagodroma nivea ), Imperial Shag ( Phalacrocorax [ atriceps ] bransfieldensis ) and South Polar Skua ( Catharacta maccormicki ) (Naveen & Lynch 2011).

Non-bird biodiversity: Antarctic Fur Seals (Arctocephalus gazella) have been observed hauled out at Heroína Island (Naveen & Lynch 2011).


Pressure/threats to key biodiversity

Only a small number of tour vessels appear to frequent the Danger Islands, with an annual average of 237 visitors (passengers, staff and crew) to Heroína Island (IAATO Tourism Statistics 2005-10, accessed: 06/08/2010).



Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2018) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Danger Islands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 14/11/2018.