Hop Island, Rauer Islands

Country/territory: Antarctica

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

Area: 532 ha

Site description (2015 baseline)

The Rauer Islands are situated between Ranvik Bay and Sørsdal Glacier Tongue, Ingrid Christensen Coast, Princess Elizabeth Land. Hop Island lies in the west of the Rauer group, is ~3 km long by 2.5 km wide and is mainly ice free in summer. Topography rises to a maximum elevation of ~50 m and the northern and western coasts are characterised by cliffs. A number of small lakes are present on the island. The decay of bedrock has created potential sites for cavity-nesting birds (Norman & Ward 1999).

The IBA qualifies on the basis of the Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) and South Polar Skua (Catharacta maccormicki) colonies present, and comprises all of Hop Island.

The nearest permanent station is Davis (AUS), ~30 km to the north on Broad Peninsula, Vestfold Hills.

Key biodiversity

Whitehead & Johnstone (1990) counted 43 268 breeding pairs of Adélie Penguin on Hop Island in 1981/82. This compares with approximately 51 015 breeding pairs of Adélie Penguin present in 2010/11 as estimated from February 2011 satellite imagery (unpublished data H. Lynch & M. LaRue pers. comm. 2014: CI not available). Adélie Penguin and South Polar Skua breeding is concentrated along the western coast of the island. Six flying bird species breed at Hop Island (Table 130.1).

Non-bird biodiversity: Leopard Seals (Hydrurga leptonyx) frequent the coast during summer.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Hop Island, Rauer Islands. Downloaded from on 04/12/2023.