Possession Island

Country/territory: Antarctica

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

Area: 276 ha

Site description (2015 baseline)

Possession Island is the largest and most northerly of the Possession Islands, which lie 17 km east of Cape Roget, at the southern extremity of Adare Peninsula, Borchgrevink Coast, northern Victoria Land.

The IBA qualifies on the basis of the Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) and South Polar Skua (Catharacta maccormicki) colonies present and comprises the entire island.

The nearest permanent stations are Mario Zucchelli (ITA) and Jang Bogo (KOR), ~380 km to the south in Terra Nova Bay.

Key biodiversity

The Adélie Penguin colony at Possession Island had a mean of 111 306 breeding pairs over 3 seasons sampled from 1981 – 2012 (Lyver et al. 2014). South Polar Skuas are also present on the island, with 474 breeding pairs recorded from a ground count made in 1982 (Ainley et al. 1986), making it the second largest South Polar Skua colony recorded in the Ross Sea region after Cape Crozier. No recent information is available on the skua colony, and information on other birds breeding in the area is not available.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known.

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