Île Saint-Paul & Île Amsterdam

Southern Indian Ocean Islands

Saint-Paul and Amsterdam are extremely isolated volcanic islands, some 80 km apart, with a total land area of 62 km²



Approximately 50 recorded species on Saint-Paul and Amsterdam and inshore waters
Seabirds and vagrants, with one introduced species

Endemics (E)
Amsterdam Albatross (EN)

Sooty Albatross (Kevin Ravno)
Wandering Albatross (Kevin Ravno)

Other taxa of interest, including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Northern Rockhopper Penguin
Wandering Albatross
Sooty Albatross
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross
Black-browed Albatross
White-capped Albatross
White-bellied Storm Petrel
Black-bellied Storm Petrel
Northern Giant Petrel
MacGillivray’s Prion
Fairy Prion
Soft-plumaged Petrel
Great-winged Petrel
Grey Petrel
White-chinned Petrel
Flesh-footed Shearwater
Little Shearwater
Australasian Gannet
Brown Skua
Sooty Tern
Antarctic Tern (ESS sanctipauli)

Black-browed Albatross (Kevin Ravno)
Wilson’s Storm Petrel (John Caddick)
Common Greenshank (John Caddick)
Curlew Sandpiper (John Caddick)

Peatbogs, tussock grasses, sedges and rushes, sea cliffs, coastal waters

3 Important Bird Areas

Saint-Paul Island and Roche Quille
Plateau des Tourbières and Falaises d’Entrecasteaux on Amsterdam Island

Best to visit Nov-Feb, when it is warmer and many seabirds breed

Field guides

A Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife: the Birds and Marine Mammals of the Antarctic Continent and the Southern Ocean by Hadoram Shirihai (2007)
Seabirds: the New Identification Guide by Peter Harrison, Martin Perrow & Hans Larsson (2021)

Further reading
French Southern Territories by Antoine Catard in Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation edited by Lincoln D C Fishpool & Michael I Evans (2001)
Albatrosses and Petrels across the World by Michael Brooke (2004)
Birds and Wildlife of the French Sub-Antarctic Territories: Crozet, Kerguelen and Amsterdam & St Paul by Olivier Duriez, Hans Jornvall & Hadoram Shirihai (2005)
Articles in Marine Ornithology, Bull. ABC, etc.

Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP)
Terres Australes et Antarctiques Françaises – Les îles Australes
Réserve Naturelle Nationale des Terres Australes Françaises
Institut Polaire Français – Découvrir les îles Subantarctiques
Terres et Mers Australes Françaises – UNESCO World Heritage List


Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO) is the BirdLife Partner for the Austral Islands including Saint-Paul and Amsterdam

The only known bird or conservation organisation active on Saint-Paul and Amsterdam is –
Amicale des Missions Australes et Polaires Françaises (AMAPOF)

Zone Atelier Antarctique et Terres Australes (ZATA) monitors the long-term dynamics of ecosystems of the French Antarctic and sub-Antarctic territories, including Saint-Paul and Amsterdam

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