The Duroch Islands lie several hundred metres offshore from Cape Legoupil, northwestern Trinity Peninsula, northern Antarctic Peninsula. The island group includes Wisconsin Islands in the northeast and extends to Estay Rock in the southwest, and excludes Demas Rocks. The IBA qualifies on the basis of the large concentration of seabirds present (in particular penguins) and comprises all of the Duroch Islands and the intervening marine area. The nearest permanent scientific station is Bernardo O'Higgins (CHL), which has capacity for ~44 people and operates year-round ~200 m to the south at Cape Legoupil (COMNAP, Antarctic Facilities, accessed 20/08/2010).
Around 14 000 pairs of several penguin species breed in a number of groups on the Duroch Islands, with approximately 3500 pairs Gentoo (Pygoscelis papua), 800 pairs Adélie (P. adeliae), and 9400 pairs Chinstrap (P. antarctica) penguins recorded in 1990 (S. & J. Poncet pers. comm. cited in Woehler 1993). Non-bird biodiversity: None known.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Bernardo O'Higgins (CHL), with associated operational and support activities, is located in close proximity to the IBA.