Falkland Islands (Malvinas)

1,288 km
885,923 km2

The waters around the Falklands (Malvinas) are located on the highly productive and biodiverse Patagonian Shelf. The islands hold many internationally important seabird nesting sites making them the global strong hold for several species. The offshore waters are also a magnet for several migratory seabird species that travel thousands of miles to feed here. About 65% of the global population of the Endangered Black-browed Albatross and up to 40% of the Vulnerable Rockhopper Penguin breed on the islands (Croxall et al. 1984, Huin & Reid 2007). Furthermore, just under a quarter of the world population of Gentoo Penguins (Pygoscelis and around 10% of Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) breed on the islands (Woods & Woods 1997). The King Penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) is at the northern extremity of its global range in the and its population is almost entirely concentrated at Volunteer Point (FK021; Woehler 1993, Clausen 2001).There has been an extensive body of work undertaken on the seabirds of the Falklands (Malvinas) including whole island breeding population surveys on several species, and some at sea distribution studies both by observers on fishing and research vessels and on land in remote-tracking projects. Severe population declines have been seen in several of the breeding threatened species, especially seabirds. An 8.7% drop in the Endnagered Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophrys) population between 1995 and 2005 (Huin & Reid 2007) is most like associated with accidental capture in long-line and trawl fisheries in the west Atlantic. The same threats affect the Vulnerable White-chinned Petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis), although it is only present in small numbers on the islands. Well-documented declines of the Vulnerable Rockhopper Penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) since the 1960s have not been attributed to obvious reasons, but may be associated with changes in sea temperatures and availability of suitable prey. Similar factors may be affecting the Vulnerable Macaroni Penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus) although its population has never been large on the islands.Partners in the Falklands (Malvinas) are already taking action including working with fisheries on bycatch mitigation, implementing and maintaining demographic studies of Black-browed Albatross at New Island and satellite tracking of fledgling albatross. The majority of priority trigger species for IBA designation are offshore foragers making designation more difficult as IBAs cannot simply be extended by making seaward extensions to breeding colonies contiguous to existing terrestrial IBAs. Several potential marine IBA areas have been identified based on satellite tracking data of a range of breeding and visiting procellariform species, although a complete species assessment is needed as a key part of the seabird community, the penguins particularly the Rockhopper, have not yet been assessed.
o Overfishing and bycatch
o Offshore exploration and extraction of oil and gas
o Climate change

National priorities
o Improve the implementation of management plans for protected areas
o Improve biosecurity on the islands
o Increase data collection on seabird populations, especially by using tracking studies
o Compile penguin distribution data to update marine IBA assessment
o Develop species distribution maps to inform Environmental Impact Assessments

Government's support/relevant policy
Legal protection for sites of conservation importance is contained in the Conservation of Wildlife and Nature Ordinance 1999, which provides for the designation of National Nature Reserves (NNRs). Previous
legislation had protected some NNRs before the Ordinance came into force. There are currently 27 islands or coastal regions on both islands designated as NNRs. The Government has signed up to the Environment Charter for the UK Overseas Territories which carries a broad commitment to preserving native species and habitats, creating sustainable development initiatives and supporting education policies. On a national level, the Islands Plan 2008 Please see policy tab for list of agreements that this country is party to.

Petrels and shearwaters

Gulls and terns
Ducks, geese and swans

IUCN Red List Status

8 (25th)
16% (38th)

The numbers in brackets refer to the country's rank when compared to other countries and territories globally.

o WOODS, R., INGHAM, R. & BROWN, A. (2009) Falkland Islands (Malvinas). Pp 205

Falkland Islands (Malvinas) at a glance

Land area

12,173 km2

BirdLife Partner

Falklands Conservation


Total number of birds 120
Globally threatened birds 8
Country endemics 3

Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas

Number of IBAs 23
Total IBA area 51,336 km2
IBA area as % of land area 422%

Endemic Bird Areas

Number of EBAs 1

Recommended Citation
BirdLife International (2024) Country profile: Falkland Islands (Malvinas). Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/country/falkland-islands-malvinas on 01/03/2024.