Grave Cove Camp, a promontory in the north-western
section of Hope Harbour Farm, has striking scenery. Severe
south-west-facing cliffs peak at 130 m in the south and the
land slopes northwards towards the coast of Hope
Harbour. It is divided from Bramble Point Camp by a wide
valley, only about 20 m above sea level at its highest point,
with large areas of eroded ground to the south of Grave
Cove. Much of Bramble Point Camp is mountainous with
stone runs and is used for sheep farming. A ridge to the
north of Hope Harbour extends westwards more than 2.5
miles (4 km) towards the low-lying Hope Point, with
extensive kelp beds on its northern coast.
Hope Harbour has been chosen as an IBA because it is the
only mainland site with colonies of the globally
endangered Black-browed Albatross and it has two large
colonies of Gentoo Penguins. Access to the albatross
colonies on very steep cliffs is extremely difficult. Endemic
sub-species recorded at the site include the Upland Goose
and the Long-tailed Meadowlark. Apart from penguin and
albatross counts, there is little information available.
Knowledge of other species is very limited and requires
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The whole of this area has been heavily overgrazed in past
years and little, if any, of the coastal Tussac remains. There
is much ‘black ground’, the result of serious soil erosion
over many years. The presence of feral cats and rats will be
having a negative impact on the resident birds, as with all
mainland areas, but this has not been investigated.
This site is more than 8.5 miles (14 km) from the settlement
and overland travel is difficult. There are few visitors and
this is not a tourist destination, although the cliffs are
visible from passing cruise ships and West Point Island.
However, it is very important that the Falkland Islands
Countryside Code is followed,particularly to guard against the risk of fire. The entire area has been little studied and would warrant a survey in the
near future. While the albatross breeding site is protected
from disturbance due to its extreme inaccessibility,
potential threats include the possibility of a landslip due to
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hope Harbour, West Falkland. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 24/11/2020.