Penguin Island

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Penguin Island

South Shetland Islands
(British Antarctic Territory)


Penguin (red) south of King George Island

Location: 57°55’33"S, 62°6’9"W
Highest point: Deacon Peak, 554 feet

Penguin Island is one of the smaller of the South Shetland Islands, within the British Antarctic Territory.


Penguin Island was sighted in January 1820 by a British expedition under Edward Bransfield, and so named by him because penguins occupied the shores of the island.


The island, which is ice-free and oval shaped, less than a mile wide by a mile long, lies close off the south coast of the much larger King George Island, and marks the eastern side of the entrance to King George Bay. It has a shoreline of low cliffs, with a beach on the north coast providing access. There is a small lake in the north-east.[1] It is capped by Deacon Peak, a basaltic scoria cone. Deacon Peak was last thought to be active about 300 years ago. Petrel Crater, a maar crater, is located on the east side of the island, and is thought to have last erupted in or around 1905.[2]

Important Bird Area

The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because it supports a wide range of seabirds including a breeding colony of over 600 pairs of Southern Giant Petrels. Other birds nesting at the site include Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Antarctic Terns and Kelp Gulls. Weddell and Southern Elephant Seals regularly haul themselves onto the beaches here.[1]

Outside links


  1. 1.0 1.1 Penguin Island IBA: BirdLife International
  2. LeMasurier, W. E.; Thomson, J. W. (eds.) (1990). Volcanoes of the Antarctic Plate and Southern Oceans. American Geophysical Union. p. 512 pp. ISBN 0-87590-172-7. |Club Penguin
The South Shetland Islands, British Antarctic Territory

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