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LTMS at Bird Island

Situated only 0.5km from the northwest tip of mainland South Georgia, Bird Island is small (4km x 0.5km), with a natural vegetation dominated by tussac grass from rocky coastal beaches to several hundred metres in elevation. Despite its small size, Bird Island holds an incredible number and diversity of land-based marine predators. Confirmed breeding species include three penguin, four albatross, 12 petrel and two seal, a skua, gull, tern, shag, sheathbill, an endemic duck and songbird (pipit). Nonbreeding species that regularly visit include leopard seal and king penguin.

Bird Island station
Bird Island station

BAS scientists have carried out targeted research projects on almost all of these species at some point over the last 2–3 decades. However, long-term studies have focused primarily on the wandering albatross, black-browed albatross, grey-headed albatross, macaroni penguin, gentoo penguin, Antarctic fur seal and leopard seal. In recent years, BAS has expanded annual monitoring to include light-mantled sooty albatross, northern and southern giant petrel.

Albatross and Giant Petrel monitoring
Wandering albatross, black-browed albatross, grey-headed albatross, northern and southern giant petrel.

Seal studies
Antarctic fur seals and leopard seal.

Penguin monitoring
Macaroni penguins and gentoo penguins.