Sea Lion Island

Qualifying bird species Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua
Qualifying bird species Kelp Goose Chloephaga hybrida malvinarum
Qualifying bird species Magellanic Penguin Spheniscus magellanicus
Qualifying bird species Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus
Qualifying bird species the endemic Cobb's Wren Troglodytes cobbi
Qualifying bird species the endemic Falkland Steamer Duck Tachyeres brachydactyla
Qualifying bird species Tussac Bird (Blackish Cinclodes) Cinclodes antarcticus antarcticus
Qualifying mammal species South American Sea Lion Otaria flavescens
Qualifying mammal species Southern Elephant Seal Mirounga leonina 2
Qualifying mammal species Southern Elephant Seal Mirounga leonina with Tussac Grass (Poa flabellata) stands in the background
Wetland type D - intertidal rocky shore
Wetland Type D and E - intertidal rocky shore and pebble shore
Wetland Type E - sand dunes and sandy shores
Wetland Type E - sandy shores
Wetland Type E - sea birds cliffs with nesting Southern Rockhopper Penguins Eudyptes chrysocome
Wetland Type J - coastal brackish lagoon with bathing Gentoo Penguins Pygoscelis papua bathing
Wetland Type J - coastal brackish lagoon with Silvery Grebe Podiceps occipitalis and California club-rush Schoenoplectus californicus
Wetland Type U - peatland with mature Tussac Grass Poa flabellata
Wetland Types Tp and E - freshwater marsh and sand dunes
Qualifying bird species Southern Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes chrysocome
Qualifying bird species Striated Caracara Phlacoboenus australis

Sea Lion Island

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Overseas territories)
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    1,655 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    52°26'S 59°05'W
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


The Site is an isolated island, 17 kilometres off the southern tip of East Falkland. Unusually in the Falklands, the island is free from introduced cats, rats and mice, resulting in a diverse community of land birds and breeding seabirds. The island is made up of two rocky plateaus, well vegetated with oceanic heath and mixed grassland on their higher points, joined by a broad sandy beach. It retains, for an inhabited and formerly farmed island, an unusually large stand of tussac grass round the coastline above the sandy or pebbly shores, although past overgrazing has resulted in erosion in some areas. There are permanent pools and boggy ground which provide habitat for waterbirds. The South Atlantic elephant seal (Mirounga leonine) and southern sea lion (Otaria byronia) use the Site for breeding. One of the largest breeding populations in the world of the globally threatened southern rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) is present. The Site is used for nature-based tourism, and it counts up to 2,000 visitors a year. The main threat is the accidental introduction of alien species by visitors. Climate change and a drying climate could also severely impact the island.

Administrative region: 
Falkland Islands

  • National legal designation: 
    • National Nature Reserve - Sea Lion Island
  • Last publication date: