Aitcho Islands (South Shetland Islands)

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Aitcho Islands
Location of Aitcho Islands in the South Shetland Islands.
Aitcho Islands is located in South Shetland Islands
Aitcho Islands
Aitcho Islands
Location of Aitcho Islands
Aitcho Islands is located in Antarctica
Aitcho Islands
Aitcho Islands
Aitcho Islands (Antarctica)
Location Antarctica
Coordinates 62°23′29″S 59°46′10″W / 62.39139°S 59.76944°W / -62.39139; -59.76944Coordinates: 62°23′29″S 59°46′10″W / 62.39139°S 59.76944°W / -62.39139; -59.76944
Archipelago South Shetland Islands
Area 1.9204 km2 (0.7415 sq mi)
Administered under the Antarctic Treaty System
Population Uninhabited

The Aitcho Islands (‘Aitcho’ standing for ‘H.O.’ i.e. ‘Hydrographic Office’) are a group of minor islands on the west side of the north entrance to English Strait separating Greenwich Island and Robert Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, which are situated between Dee Island to the south and Table Island to the north. The group is separated from Dee Island and Sierra Island to the southwest by Villalón Passage (62°24′48.3″S 59°46′12.3″W / 62.413417°S 59.770083°W / -62.413417; -59.770083). The area was visited by early 19th century sealers operating from nearby Clothier Harbour. During the austral summer the islands are often visited by Antarctic cruise ships with tourists who land to watch wildlife.

The islands were mapped in 1935 during the oceanographic investigations carried out by the Discovery Committee, and named after the Hydrographic Office of the UK Admiralty.[1] Some of the island names were given by Chilean Antarctic expeditions between 1949 and 1951.


Topographic map of Livingston Island, Greenwich, Robert, Snow and Smith Islands, featuring Aitcho Islands.
Barrientos Island from English Strait.

The islands and some notable rocks of the Aitcho group are:

Flora and fauna[edit]

Among the bird species found on the islands are chinstrap and gentoo penguins, southern giant petrels, and skuas. Southern elephant seals are among the larger life forms. There are also a wide variety of lichens and mosses reported.[2]

See also[edit]



External links[edit]