Heywood Island

Country/territory: Antarctica

IBA Criteria met: A4ii, A4iii (2015)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 75 ha

Protection status:

Site description

Heywood Island is a small ice-free island lying ~3 km northwest of Catharina Point, Robert Island, and ~6 km northeast of Table Island, in the South Shetland Islands. Heywood Island is a roughly crescent shaped, 1.4 km in length and 250 m across at its narrowest point.

The IBA qualifies on the basis of the Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) colony present. The IBA comprises all of Heywood Island. Small rocky islands surround Heywood Island, including Cornwall Island to the southwest, all of which are low-lying and also provide suitable habitat for Chinstrap Penguins to breed, although these lie outside of the IBA.

The nearest permanent scientific station is Luis Risopatron (CHL), a summer-only facility located 5.5 km south of Heywood Island with capacity for ~8 people (COMNAP, Antarctic Facilities, accessed 24/08/2010). This station is temporarily closed.

Key biodiversity

Approximately 90 000 pairs of Chinstrap Penguin were estimated breeding on Heywood Island in 1987 (S. & J. Poncet pers. comm. cited in Woehler 1993), making it one of the largest Chinstrap Penguin colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula region. More recent data and information on other bird species breeding at the site are not available.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Heywood Island. Downloaded from on 21/10/2020.