Inexpressible Island

Country/territory: Antarctica

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

Area: 365 ha

Site description (2015 baseline)

Inexpressible Island, Victoria Land, is situated in Terra Nova Bay, Ross Sea. The island is bounded in the east by Hells Gate and Evans Cove, and in the west by the Nansen Ice Sheet

The eastern side of the island is relatively flat with a few low hills, while a ridge of ~110 m elevation runs along the western flank. Several lakes are present (PRIC & Tongji University 2014).

The IBA qualifies on the basis of the South Polar Skua (Catharacta maccormicki) colony present and the concentration of seabirds (in particular Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae)) and comprises an area of ice free ground on the eastern shore of Inexpressible Island.

The nearest permanent stations are Mario Zucchelli (ITA) and Jang Bogo (KOR), situated ~30 km to the northeast. China has announced plans to construct a new station several kilometres to the south of the IBA (PRIC & Tongji University 2014).

Key biodiversity

An average of ~24 450 breeding pairs of Adélie Penguin were present each season from 1981 – 2012 (Lyver et al. 2014). Approximately 60 breeding pairs of South Polar Skuas were present on Inexpressible Island both within and near the vicinity of the IBA in 1982 (Ainley et al. 1986), although the precise breeding area has not been defined.

Non-bird biodiversity: Weddell Seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) have been observed on sea ice near Inexpressible Island (PRIC & Tongji University 2014).

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