South Sandwich Islands - Marine

Country/territory: South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands

IBA criteria met: -
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 4,123,743 ha

Site description (2012 baseline)
This Marine IBA is identified using seaward extensions around breeding colonies. It originates from the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and falls within the Atlantic, Antarctic FAO ocean region. The site covers an area of 41237 km2 and is 716 km away from the closet coastline. The depth ranges from 0 to 3457 m, with a mean annual wind speed of 3.09 m/s, mean annual sea surface temperature falls between -0.87 and 0.69 °C and mean annual chlorophyll-a concentrations found to range between 0.21 and 3.87 mg/m3.

Key biodiversity
9 species trigger IBA criteria at this Marine IBA. Seaward extensions around breeding colony; South Sandwich Islands include key near-colony areas for breeding populations of Brown Skua (LC) 700-1000 breeding pairs, Gentoo Penguin (NT) 2500-5000 breeding pairs, Adelie Penguin (NT) 8000-15000 breeding pairs, Chinstrap Penguin (LC) 0-1500000 breeding pairs, Macaroni Penguin (VU) 0-55000 breeding pairs, Southern Giant-petrel (LC) 2000-4000 breeding pairs, Southern Fulmar (LC) 70000-110000 breeding pairs, Cape Petrel (LC) 8000-9000 breeding pairs and Black-bellied Storm-petrel (LC) 0-1000 breeding pairs.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: South Sandwich Islands - Marine. Downloaded from on 09/12/2023.