Hope Bay

Country/territory: Antarctica

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

Area: 203 ha

Site description

Hope Bay is located on the northeastern coast of Trinity Peninsula. The IBA qualifies on the basis of the large Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) colony present and comprises ice-free ground on the eastern side of Hope Bay.

The terrain comprises moraine with numerous rock outcrops, sloping towards the Scar Hills, which rise to ~200 m and fringe the Hope Bay shoreline. Mount Flora (ASPA No. 148), designated to protect geological features, lies several km to the southwest.

Two permanent scientific stations, Esperanza (ARG) and Teniente de Navio Ruperto Elichiribehety (URY), are located at Hope Bay. Esperanza operates year-round and has capacity for ~90 people, whilst Elichiribehety operates summer-only with a capacity for 10 (COMNAP, Antarctic Facilities, accessed 09/08/2010).

Meteorological records from Esperanza Station over the 1990s indicate January was the warmest month with an average temperature of 1.5°C, and August the coldest with temperatures averaging -11.2°C (ASPA No. 148 Management Plan, 2002).

Key biodiversity

Approximately 123 850 breeding pairs of Adélie Penguin were recorded at Hope Bay in 1985 (Myrcha, Tatur & Del Valle 1987). Other species that are confirmed breeders in the Hope Bay area are Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua), Brown Skua (Catharacta antarctica), Antarctic Tern (Sterna vittata), Wilson's Storm-petrel (Oceanites oceanicus), Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) and Snowy Sheathbill (Chionis albus) (ASPA No. 148 Management Plan, 2002).

Non-bird biodiversity: None reported, although various species of marine mammal such as seals are likely to be present in the vicinity.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hope Bay. Downloaded from on 07/08/2022.