Pirie Peninsula lies between Jessie Bay and Browns Bay on the northern coast of Laurie Island. Pirie Peninsula rises to over 250 m and contains numerous small areas free from permanent snow or ice cover. The IBA qualifies on the basis of the Imperial Shag (Phalacrocorax [atriceps] bransfieldensis) colony present and the high concentration of seabirds (in particular Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica)). The IBA comprises all ice-free areas and offshore islands in the Pirie Peninsula area on which birds are known to breed, based on records collected in 1983 (Poncet & Poncet 1985).
The nearest research station is Orcadas (ARG) which is located 6 km to the southwest of the IBA. Orcadas operates year-round with around 45 personnel in summer and 14 in winter (COMNAP, Antarctic Facilities, accessed 01/09/2010).
Approximately 14 270 pairs of Chinstrap Penguin were breeding at Pirie Peninsula in 1994 (Coria et al. 2011; unpublished data N. Coria, in compilation by E. Woehler, 2004). Poncet & Poncet (1985) reported 16 930 breeding pairs of Chinstrap Penguin present on Pirie Peninsula in 1983. More than 170 pairs of Imperial Shag were breeding in 1983 (unpublished data S. Poncet pers. comm. 2005). Of these, 106 pairs were recorded on two islets off the western coast of Pirie Peninsula and 70 pairs were recorded at a skerry off the eastern coast. Approximately 3790 breeding pairs of Cape Petrel (Daption capense) were recorded at the eastern Pirie Peninsula and 565 pairs were recorded at the western Pirie Peninsula in 1994 (unpublished data N. Coria, cited in Hodum et al. 2004).
Non-bird biodiversity: None known.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Pirie Peninsula, Laurie Island. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/10/2020.