Rocky Point is situated between Horseshoe Bay and Maumee Bight, ~ 4 km north of Cape Royds, Ross Island. The IBA qualifies on the basis of the South Polar Skua (Catharacta maccormicki) colony present. The IBA comprises all of the ice free ground at Rocky Point. The nearest permanent scientific stations are Scott Base and (NZL) McMurdo (USA), situated ~40 km to the south on Hut Point Peninsula, Ross Island.
South Polar Skuas breed at Rocky Point, with ~66 breeding pairs estimated in 1981 (Ainley et al. 1986). No recent information on the colony is available. A small Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) colony of 2000 – 4000 breeding pairs is present at Cape Royds, which is protected by ASPA No. 121 for its value in long term and detailed research programmes. South Polar Skuas are also known to breed within and near the protected area. Non-bird biodiversity: None known.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
None known. Compared to Cape Royds, which is of interest to tourists and national program personnel both for the presence of the penguin colony and Shackleton's historic hut, relatively few people visit Rocky Point and human disturbance is expected to be minimal.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rocky Point, Ross Island. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 04/02/2023.