Thurston Glacier descends from Mount Siple, draining the northern slopes of Siple Island, which is adjacent to the Getz Ice Shelf on the Bakutis Coast, Marie Byrd Land.
The IBA qualifies on the basis of the Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) colony present and comprises the marine area and fast ice that forms near the terminus of Thurston Glacier.
There are no research stations nearby. The closest permanent stations are Rothera (GBR) and San Martín (ARG), in Marguerite Bay, Antarctic Peninsula, ~1800 km to the east.
Analysis of a satellite image acquired 17 Oct 2009 (Fretwell et al. 2012) indicated that approximately 2989 Emperor Penguins were present at the colony. No other birds are known to breed in the area.
Non-bird biodiversity: None known.
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Thurston Glacier. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 14/04/2021.