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Saunders Island, Falkland Islands

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Title: Saunders Island, Falkland Islands  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of islands of the Falkland Islands, Hill Cove, Keppel Island, Dunbar Island, Kidney Island
Collection: Important Bird Areas of the Falkland Islands, Islands of the Falkland Islands, Seabird Colonies
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Saunders Island, Falkland Islands

Saunders Island
Isla Trinidad
Saunders Island is located in Falkland Islands
Saunders Island
Saunders Island shown within the Falkland Islands
Country Falkland Islands
Named for Spanish: Trinity Island
Main settlement Saunders Island Settlement
 • Total 131.6 km2 (50.8 sq mi)
Area rank 4th
Highest elevation 457 m (1,499 ft)
Time zone FKST (UTC−3)
If shown, area and population ranks are for all islands and all inhabited islands in the Falklands respectively.

Saunders Island (Spanish: Isla Trinidad) is the fourth largest of the Falkland Islands,[1] lying north west of West Falkland. The island is run as a sheep farm.

The island has an area of 131.6 km2 (50.8 sq mi) and a coastline of 106.8 km (66.4 mi).[2] It is about 21 km (13 mi) from east to west and almost that distance from north-east to south-west. It consists of three peninsulas linked by narrow necks, and it has three large upland areas. The highest point, Mount Richards, is 457 m (1,499 ft) high.[3]


  • History 1
  • Conservation 2
    • Important Bird Area 2.1
  • References 3
    • Footnotes 3.1
  • External links 4


Port Egmont on the island was the site of the first British settlement, established in 1765.

Unaware of the French presence at Buenos Aires.

During the Falkland Crisis of 1770, five Spanish frigates entered the port and the small British force had to surrender. This edged Britain and Spain closer to war. In 1771, Spain agreed to abandon Port Egmont to the British. In 1776, for economic reasons, the British abandoned Port Egmont. At that time, they placed a plaque at the site proclaiming their sovereignty over the Falklands. The island's present settlement, appropriately called Saunders Island Settlement, lies on the east coast and has an airstrip.

There is one listed building here, known as the Stone House.[4]


The isthmus of The Neck with rockhoppers
Commerson's dolphins swimming near the shore

Conservation issues include the danger of fire, some erosion prone areas near the coast, overgrazing and the presence of feral cats, mice, rats and rabbits. Clearance of these introduced species is unlikely in the near future because of the size of the island and the varied geography. Spear thistle, accidentally introduced to the island, is a problem; volunteers helped to control the infestation in the autumn of 2003 and there are hopes that the plant can eventually be eradicated.[5] There is a small breeding colony of southern elephant seals at Elephant Point, while a few southern right whales come into bays to rest or feed.

Important Bird Area

Saunders Island has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA). Birds for which the site is of conservation significance include Falkland steamer ducks (250 breeding pairs), ruddy-headed geese, gentoo penguins (6700 pairs), southern rockhopper penguins (6900 pairs), macaroni penguins (4200 pairs), black-browed albatrossess (11,000 pairs) and white-bridled finches.[3] The island is near the southernmost range limit of the Magellanic penguin,[6] while gentoos range much further south into Antarctica. The Royal Air Force Ornithological Society's members conducted a complete coastal survey in 1995.[3]


  • Cambridge Encyclopedia of Latin America and the Caribbean. 1985. ed. Simon Collier, Cambridge University Press, London
  • Falkland Islands Information Web Portal. 2006. Buildings and Structures in the Falkland Islands designated as being of Architectural or Historic Interest
  • C. Michael Hogan. 2008. ,, ed. N. StrombergMagellanic Penguin
  • Stonehouse, B (ed.) Encyclopedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans (2002, ISBN 0-471-98665-8)


  1. ^ Cambridge Encyclopedia of Latin America and the Caribbean. 1985
  2. ^ Eurosion: D2.1.1 Inventory Report, page 122.
  3. ^ a b c "Saunders Island". Important Bird Areas factsheet. BirdLife International. 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  4. ^ "Falkland Islands Information Web Portal". Buildings and Structures in the Falkland Islands designated as being of Architectural or Historic Interest. Retrieved 2012-09-01. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ C. Michael Hogan. 2008

External links

  • Pictures from Saunders Island
  • Wildlife images from Saunders Island
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