Coulman Island

Coordinates: 73°29′S 169°45′E / 73.483°S 169.750°E / -73.483; 169.750
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Coulman Island
Coulman Island is located in Antarctica
Coulman Island
Coulman Island
Location in Antarctica
Coordinates73°29′S 169°45′E / 73.483°S 169.750°E / -73.483; 169.750
Area319 km2 (123 sq mi)
Length33.3 km (20.69 mi)
Width14.8 km (9.2 mi)
Highest elevation6,562 ft (2000.1 m)
Highest pointMount Hawkes
Administered under the Antarctic Treaty System

Coulman Island is an ice-covered island in the Ross Sea, located 14 km (8.7 mi) southeast of Cape Jones, Victoria Land, Antarctica. It is 33.3 km (20.7 mi) long, 14.8 km (9.2 mi) wide and 6,562 ft (2,000 m) in elevation. Emperor penguins inhabit this island. It was discovered in 1841 by Sir James Clark Ross who named it for his father-in-law, Thomas Coulman.[1] A notable landmark of this island is Cape Anne, the south-easternmost point of the island, so named by Sir James Clark Ross for his wife. Cape Wadworth is the northernmost point of the island.

The island is composed of several overlapping shield volcanoes that form part of the Hallett Volcanic Province of the McMurdo Volcanic Group.[2] A 5 km (3.1 mi) wide and 700 m (2,300 ft) deep caldera called the Hawkes Heights can be found on the south end of the island.

Map showing Coulman Island

Important Bird Area (IBA)[edit]

The island was founded in 1841, however, the island is currently recognized as an important bird area because it holds a huge super-colony of emperor penguins and is the largest colony of this species in the world. However, scientists speculate that this colony could hold more birds than what they have estimated. More than 26,000 chicks have been counted during the 2018-2019 breeding season indicating that the number of adults ranged from 30,000 to 35,000 breeding pairs. The sheer numbers of penguins on the island had also led scientists to think that there have been potentially larger emperor penguin super-colonies that may have existed in the past before being wiped out during the last ice age.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Coulman Island
  2. ^ Riffenburgh, Beau (2007). Encyclopedia of the Antarctic. Vol. 1. Taylor & Francis. p. 639. ISBN 0-415-97024-5.

External links[edit]

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from "Coulman Island". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.