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Antarctic Protected Areas proposed by the UK

The UK has been responsible for designating a number of Antarctic Protected Areas in Antarctica and is currently revising the Management Plans for most of the sites.

  • ASPA 107 (previously SPA No 8. Emperor Island, Dion Islands, Marguerite Bay, Antarctic Peninsula
  • ASPA 108 (previously SPA No. 9. Green Island, Berthelot Islands, Antarctic Peninsula)
  • ASPA 109 (previously SPA No. 13. Moe Island, South Orkney Islands)
  • ASPA 110 (previously SPA No. 14. Lynch Island, South Orkney Islands)
  • ASPA 111 (previously SPA No. 15. Southern Powell Island and adjacent islands, South Orkney Islands)
  • ASPA 114 (previously SPA No. 18. Northern Coronation Island, South Orkney Islands)
  • ASPA 115 (previously SPA No. 19. Lagotellerie Island, Marguerite Bay, Antarctic Peninsula)
  • ASPA 117(previously SPA No. 21. Avian Island, off southern coast of Adelaide Island, Antarctic Peninsula)


Specially Protected Areas

ASPA 107 Emperor Island, Dion Islands, Marguerite Bay, Antarctic Peninsula (previously SPA No. 8)
67°52'S, 68°42'W. Approximate area: 6 km². A group of small, rocky, low-lying islands in Marguerite Bay, about 13 km south of Adelaide Island. The area comprises all of the Dion Islands archipelago together with the intervening sea. Designation on the grounds that the only colony of emperor penguins known to exist on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula is found here, and that the isolation of this colony from others of the same species makes it of outstanding scientific interest. It is also the most northerly and probably the smallest emperor penguin colony, and one of only two in which breeding occurs on land. Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags also breed here. Adopted at ATCM IV, Santiago 1966. Revised Management Plan (2001) currently under review.

ASPA 108 Green Island, Berthelot Islands, Antarctic Peninsula (previously SPA No. 9)
65°E19'S, 64°E09'W. Approximate area: 0.1 km². A small island situated 150 m north of the largest of the Berthelot Islands, located off the west coast of Graham Land. Designated on the grounds that the vegetation on Green Island is exceptionally rich, with well-developed continuous banks of moss turf (which over much of their extent overlie peat more than 1 m deep) and small patches of Antarctic hair grass. A large blue-eyed shag colony, brown skuas, south polar skuas and hybrids are also found. Adopted at ATCM IV, Santiago 1966. Revised Management Plan (2001) currently under review.

ASPA 109 Moe Island, South Orkney Islands (previously SPA No. 13)
60°E44'S, 45°E41'W. Approximate area: 1.3 km². A small island lying about 300 m off the south-western extremity of Signy Island. The offshore rocks are not included in the area. Designation on the grounds that Moe Island provides a representative example of the maritime Antarctic ecosystem, including large banks of moss turf and colonies of chinstrap penguins, cape petrels and Antarctic prions. Weddell seals and fur seals also haul out on the island’s beaches. Intensive scientific research on the neighbouring Signy Island may alter its local ecosystem and therefore Moe Island should be protected as a control area for future comparison. The island contains the greatest continuous expanses of Chorisodontium-Polytrichum moss turf found in Antarctica. Adopted at ATCM IV, Santiago 1966. The latest Management Plan revision was adopted in 2007. Designated for an indefinite period.

ASPA 110 Lynch Island, South Orkney Islands (previously SPA No. 14)
60°E39'S, 45°E36'W. Approximate area: 0.1 km². A small island in Marshall Bay, off the south coast of Coronation Island. Designation on the grounds that the island supports one of the most extensive and dense stands of Antarctic hair grass known in the Antarctic Treaty Area and that it provides an outstanding example of a rare natural ecological system. Several species of moss are unusually fertile, and the soil contains a rich invertebrate fauna. Most species of Antarctic seals are common around the island. Adopted at the ATCM IV, Santiago 1966. Revised Management Plan (2000) adopted ATCM XXV, St Petersburg, 2001. Designated for an indefinite period.

ASPA 111 Southern Powell Island and adjacent islands, South Orkney Islands (previously SPA No. 15)
60°E43'S, 45°E00'W. Approximate area: 18 km². The area includes all of Powell Island south of the latitude of the southern summit of John Peaks, together with the whole of Fredriksen Island, Michelsen Island, Christoffersen Island, Grey Island and adjacent unnamed islands. Designation on the grounds that southern Powell Island and the adjacent islands support flora and a considerable bird and mammal fauna, which is representative of the natural ecology of the South Orkney Islands, and which are rendered more important by the presence of a small, long-established breeding colony of fur seals. Adopted at ATCM IV, Santiago 1966. Revised Management Plan adopted ATCM XIX, Seoul 1995. Designated for an indefinite period.

ASPA 114 Northern Coronation Island, South Orkney Islands (previously SPA No. 18)
The centroid of the area is 60°33'S, 45°35'W. The area is between Conception Point, 60°E31'S, 45°E41'W; Wave Peak, 60°E37'S, 45°E36'W; and Foul Point, 60°E32'S, 45°E29'W. Approximate area: 88.5 km². The area lies on the central north side of Coronation Island. The entire area between the two points is included. The summits of Mt Nivea and Wave Peak and the col known as High Stile are outside the area. Ommanney Bay and the unnamed bay to the west are included within the area south of the boundary between Conception and Foul points. Designation on the grounds that it embraces areas of coastal ice-free terrain with large seabird colonies and lichen-dominated cliffs, and permanent ice rising to the Brisbane Heights plateau which provides an excellent representative area of a pristine ice environment near the northern limit of the maritime Antarctic, and that the interrelated terrestrial, ice and marine components of the area comprise an integrated example of the coastal, permanent ice, and sublittoral ecosystems typical of the maritime Antarctic environment. Adopted at ATCM XIII, Brussels 1985. Designation currently under review .

ASPA 115 Lagotellerie Island, Marguerite Bay, Antarctic Peninsula (previously SPA No. 19)
67°E53'S, 67°E24'W. Approximate area: 1.2 km². The island lies about 3 km off south-western Horseshoe Island. Designation on the grounds that the island contains a relatively diverse flora and fauna typical of the southern Antarctic Peninsula. Of particular interest is the abundance of the only two Antarctic flowering plants, Antarctic hair grass and Antarctic pearlwort, which form stands up to 10 m². These are amongst the largest stands known south of the South Shetland Islands, being only 90 km north of their southern limit. In the area both plants flower profusely and the seeds have a greater viability than those in the South Orkney and South Shetland islands. Numerous mosses and lichens also form well-developed communities on the island and a few of the mosses are fertile, a rare phenomenon in most Antarctic localities. The invertebrate fauna is rich and the island is one of the southernmost sites for the midge Belgica antarctica. The shallow loamy soil developed beneath the plant swards and its associated invertebrate fauna and microbiota are probably unique at this latitude. There is also a colony of about 1000 Adélie penguins and one of the southernmost colonies of blue-eyed shags, and numerous pairs of brown and south polar skuas breed on the island. Adopted at ATCM XIII, Brussels 1985. Revised Management Plan (2000) adopted ATCM XXV (St Petersburg, 2001). Designated for an indefinite period.

ASPA 117 Avian Island, off southern coast of Adelaide Island, Antarctic Peninsula (previously SPA No. 21)
67°E46'S, 68°E53'W. Approximate area: 0.8 km². The island lies 0.25 km south of the south-west tip of Adelaide Island. The area consists of the island together with its littoral zone. Designation on the grounds that it is unique in the Antarctic Peninsula region for its abundance and diversity of breeding seabirds, the most important of which are Adélie penguins, blue-eyed shags, southern giant petrels, Dominican gulls, skuas, and Wilson's storm petrels. Weddell seals breed and fur seals come ashore. Adopted at ATCM XVI, Bonn 1991. Revised Management Plan (2001) currently under review.


Sites of Special Scientific Interest

ASPA 126 Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands (previously SSSI No. 6)
Byers Peninsula is an extensive, largely ice-free area at the western end of Livingston Island and centred on 62°E37'S, 61°E03'W. Approximate area: 65.7 km². The site comprises the entire area of Byers Peninsula extending from the ice margin on the west side of Rotch Dome to a point directly north of Stackpole Rocks westwards to the west end of Ray Promontory. The littoral zone of the peninsula is included within the site. Designation on the grounds that the fossils found in this area provide evidence of the former link between Antarctica and the other southern continents. It is important to protect these Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks from being used as building materials or removed as souveniers. Lakes contain aquatic mosses and serve as breeding sites for the midge Parochlus steinenii, the only native winged insect in the Antarctic. The peninsula is of exceptional historical interest, containing the greatest concentration of 19th century historical sites in Antarctica. Jointly proposed by Chile and the UK. Adopted at the ATCM VIII (Oslo, 1975). Revised Management Plan (2001) currently under review.

ASPA 129 Rothera Point, Adelaide Island (previously SSSI No. 9)
67°E34'S, 68°E06'W. Approximate area: 0.1 km². Rothera Point is in Ryder Bay at the south-east corner of Wright Peninsula. The site is the north-eastern third of the point and is representative of the area as a whole. Rothera Station (UK) lies approximately 350 m west of the western boundary of the site. Designation on the grounds that the site serves to monitor the impact of the nearby station on an Antarctic fellfield ecosystem. The vegetation is not rich or well-developed and the soils are shallow and confined to small pockets; a few south polar skuas and Dominican gulls nest in the site. Adopted at ATCM XIII, Brussels. The latest Management Plan revision was adopted in 2007. Designation for an indefinite period.

ASPA 140 Parts of Deception Island, South Shetland Islands (previously SSSI No. 21)
The site includes 5 areas on the coast of Port Foster. Area A: 63°00'S 60°34'W. From the west side of Entrance Point to the west side of Collins Point on the south side of Neptunes Bellows, and extending 500 m inland from the shore. Area B: 62°57'S 60°42'W. Mid Fumarole Bay, south-west of Wensleydale Beacon extending for 500 m along the shore, to the line of precipitous lava cliffs about 100 m inland. Area C: 62°56'S 60°40'W. The island created during the 1967 eruption in Telefon Bay, and including the low land, containing a lake, which joins the new island to the main island. Area D: 62°56'S 60°35'W. A strip 100 m wide extending from the high water mark of the heated shoreline of Pendulum Cove inland to a series of gullies about 750 m inland. The area lies about 300 m south of the former Pedro Aguirre Cerda Station (Chile). Area E: 62°58'S 60°34'W. Kroner Lake including the land within 50 m of its shore. Approximate area: 1.7 km². Designation on the grounds that Deception Island is exceptional because of its volcanic activity, having had major eruptions in 1967, 1969 and 1970. The island offers unique opportunities to study colonization processes in an Antarctic environment. Adopted at the ATCM XIII (Brussels, 1985). The latest Management Plan revision was adopted in 2005.

ASPA 147 Ablation Point-Ganymede Heights, Alexander Island (previously SSSI No. 29)
The centroid of the area is 70°50'S 68°24'W. The site extends from 70°E45'S to 70°E55'S; and from 68°E40'W to the George VI Sound coastline. Approximate area: 186 km². Designation on the grounds that it represents one of the largest ablation areas in West Antarctica. It has a complex lithology and a wide range of geomorphological features including raised beaches, moraine systems, and patterned ground. There are several freshwater lakes and ponds, some ice-covered, supporting a diverse fauna. The terrestrial and freshwater systems are vulnerable to human impact and therefore merit protection. Revised Management Plan adopted in 2002.

ASPA 148 Mount Flora, Hope Bay, Antarctic Peninsula (previously SSSI No. 31)
63°E25'S, 57°E00'W. Approximate area: 0.6 km². Mount Flora is situated about 1 km south of Hope Bay and about 1 km south-east of Esperanza Station (Argentina). The site comprises the upper slopes of Mount Flora above 250 m altitude where the plant-beds of sandstone and siltstone outcrop has a distinct black band between the lower black band of conglomerates and light-coloured volcanic rocks which cap the mountain. Designation on the grounds of its rich fossil flora. It was one of the first fossil floras discovered in Antarctica and has played a significant stratigraphic role in deducing the geological history of the Antarctic Peninsula. Its long history as a geological research site combined with its easy accessibility has made it vulnerable to souvenir collectors, and for this reason it merits protection. Revised Management Plan adopted in 2002.