Gruber Mountains

Country/territory: Antarctica

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

Area: 500 ha

Site description

The Gruber Mountains form the northeastern part of the Wohlthat Mountains, Dronning Maud Land. Within a large cirque on the northern slopes of the Gruber Mountains lies Lake Unter-See, a meltwater lake of ~4.5 x 2.5 km in size enclosed by the Anuchin Glacier to the north.

The IBA qualifies on the basis of the Snow Petrel (Pagodroma nivea) colony present at the site.

The nearest permanent stations are Novolazarevskaja (RUS) and Maitri Station (IND) ~90 km to the northwest on the Princess Astrid Coast.

Key biodiversity

Approximately 10 000 pairs of Snow Petrel were reported breeding at several locations near Lake Unter-See in December 1983 (Konovalov 1964, Hiller et al. 1988, cited in Croxall et al. 1995), although a more modest number of 1000 individuals breeding in the surroundings of Lake Unter-See was reported in Hiller et al. (1995). Hiller et al. (1988) suggested that Snow Petrels have continuously occupied this area for at least 8000 years, and were also present at glacial maxima 15-18 ka BP and 35 ka BP.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gruber Mountains. Downloaded from on 21/03/2023.