The Nature Reserve covers the whole of the islands of Barentsøya and Edgeøya, in south-east Svalbard. The habitat is high-Arctic tundra; vegetation is sparse or non-existent over most of the land. Bird data are available for three subsites: Tusenøyane, Negerpynten and Kvalpynten (all on Edgeøya). Tusenøyane (77°05'N 22°00'E; 150,000 ha) is a group of many rocky, low-lying islets (the largest being c.200 ha) in an area of shallow sea, some distance from the south-west coast of Edgeøya. Negerpynten (77°15'N 22°40'E) and Kvalpynten (77°27'N 22°53'E) are sea cliffs at the south-western tip of Edgeøya. There is no settlement in the IBA.
About 80% of the small and vulnerable Svalbard breeding population of Branta bernicla (B. b. hrota) breeds at Tusenøyane, as well as four other species that are also restricted in Europe (when breeding) to the Arctic/tundra biome. In late summer and autumn Tusenøyane is also a notable moulting area for Somateria mollissima and Somateria spectabilis. There are large seabird colonies at Negerpynten and Kvalpynten (e.g. at least 12,000 pairs of Uria lomvia).
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Southeast Svalbard Nature Reserve. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/08/2022.