Site description (2001 baseline)
This plateau covers the highest part of Amsterdam in the centre-west of the island. The plateau is an ancient lava-flow now almost entirely covered with waterlogged peatbog. A number of craters are scattered across the site. Cats, rats and mice are present. The only human habitation on the island, a scientific research station which annually houses 20 or so scientists, is situated 3 km north of the site. The site itself is visited monthly, mostly for ornithological surveys.
See Box for key species. This is the only site at which the Critically endangered Diomedea amsterdamensis breeds. This species has a biennial breeding system such that each year an average of 20 pairs breed in a loose colony on the plateau. The total population of the species is approximately 150 individuals. The only other bird species present is Catharacta antarctica, of which 39 pairs breed.
Non-bird biodiversity: Ten species of endemic arthropod, one endemic fern and four endemic vascular plant species occur.
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Plateau des Tourbières. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/plateau-des-tourbières-iba-french-southern-territories on 01/03/2024.