Les îles Saint-Paul et Amsterdam

Southern Indian Ocean Islands

Saint-Paul and Amsterdam are extremely isolated volcanic islands, some 80 km apart, with a combined 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)
Snowy Albatross (Kevin Ravno)

Birds occurring in only two territories of the ABC region but not near-endemic (1/2)
Northern Rockhopper Penguin | Moseley’s Rockhopper Penguin
MacGillivray’s Prion

Other taxa of interest, including endemic subspecies (ESS)
Eurasian Whimbrel
Bar-tailed Godwit
Ruddy Turnstone
Curlew Sandpiper
Grey-tailed Tattler
Common Greenshank
Sooty Tern
Antarctic Tern (ESS sanctipauli)
Brown Skua (lonnbergi)
Wilson’s Storm Petrel
White-bellied Storm Petrel (leucogaster)
Snowy Albatross | Wandering Albatross
Sooty Albatross
Black-browed Albatross
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross
Northern Giant Petrel
Cape Petrel | Pintado Petrel
Fairy Prion
Great-winged Petrel
White-headed Petrel
Soft-plumaged Petrel
Grey Petrel
White-chinned Petrel (aequinoctialis)
Little Shearwater
Cape Gannet

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

Introduced species
Common Waxbill

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


Birds of Africa

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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