SGSSI Environment

South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands is a haven for wildlife. They are home to about five million seals of four different species, and 65 million breeding birds of 30 different species. Amongst these is the world’s only sub-Antarctic songbird, the endemic South Georgia pipit. Eleven of the 30 species of breeding birds on South Georgia are considered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) to be threatened or near-threatened species. South Georgia is home to seven of the thirty species currently listed under the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatross and Petrels (ACAP).

Albatross Flying

The waters surrounding the islands are an important habitat for migrating whales and are host to a vast array of marine benthic fauna. They are also rich in fish species (including commercially important species) and are important for Antarctic krill populations which are a key link in the Southern Ocean food web.

Whale

Photo by Ian Cumming.

Conservation of the pristine nature of the environment of SGSSI is at the heart of Government activities. On the 27th March, GSGSSI announced that the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) would be extended to the territory. The extension of the CBD to SGSSI is a demonstration of the commitment of the GSGSSI and the UK Government to the conservation of the flora and fauna of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands.

Penguins Walking on beach