Sugarloaf Island, Clarence Island

Country/territory: Antarctica

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

Area: 82 ha

Protection status:

Site description

Clarence Island is the easternmost of the South Shetland Islands, lying 30 km east of Elephant Island. Sugarloaf Island lies ~100 m east from an ice free point mid-way along the eastern coast of Clarence Island. The IBA qualifies on the basis of the Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica) colony present and the high concentration of seabirds (in particular Chinstrap Penguin and Southern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialoides)). The IBA includes all of Sugarloaf Island, the adjacent ice free area of coast on Clarence Island and the intervening marine area.

There are no research stations in the near vicinity, the closest being around 260 km to the southwest, on King George Island.

Key biodiversity

Approximately 57 500 pairs of Chinstrap Penguin were recorded breeding at the ice free point (referred to as ‘Fur Seal Point' in Croxall & Kirkwood 1979) and on the adjacent Sugarloaf Island in 1977, along with two smaller breeding sites comprising 12 950 pairs located onshore ~ 1 km to the north (Croxall & Kirkwood 1979).

Southern Fulmar also breed on the ice free slopes adjacent to Sugarloaf Island, one of the two known breeding sites for this species on Clarence Island, the other being at Craggy Point. Approximately 25 475 pairs of Southern Fulmar were estimated over the whole of Clarence Island in 1977 (Furse 1978).

Non-bird biodiversity: None known.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sugarloaf Island, Clarence Island. Downloaded from on 21/10/2020.