Loranchet Peninsula

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Topographic map of the Kerguelen archipelago showing the peninsula in the north-west (upper left)
Two macaroni penguins – one standing, one lying on belly
The northern tip of the peninsula is an important breeding site for macaroni penguins

The Péninsule Loranchet, also known as Presqu'île Loranchet, (Loranchet Peninsula in English) is a peninsula of Grande Terre, the main island of the subantarctic Kerguelen archipelago in the southern Indian Ocean.


The peninsula occupies the north-western corner of Grande Terre and is named after Jean Loranchet, the first officer of Raymond Rallier du Baty’s second Kerguelen survey expedition in 1913. It has a rugged, mountainous interior, with altitudes exceeding 500 m and a coastline of steep cliffs deeply incised by fjords. It is some 50 km long with a width of up to 20 km. As with most of Grande Terre it is infested with introduced feral cats, rats and rabbits. Human visitation is infrequent.[1]

Important Bird Area[edit]

The northern end of the peninsula, and the northernmost part of Grande Terre, extending northwards from the head of the Baie de la Dauphine, has been identified as a 60 km2 Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because of its breeding seabirds. At least 23 bird species breed in the IBA. As well as a colony of 250,000 pairs of macaroni penguins at the tip of the peninsula, there are also 5,400 pairs of southern rockhopper penguins and a small colony of 400 pairs of black-browed albatrosses. Cape petrels and Kerguelen shags nest on the cliffs. Other birds include light-mantled albatrosses, Kerguelen terns and Eaton's pintails. Antarctic fur seals and southern elephant seals breed in the IBA.[1]


  1. ^ a b BirdLife International. (2012). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Northern part of Péninsule Loranchet. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 2012-01-18.

Coordinates: 48°42′S 69°00′E / 48.700°S 69.000°E / -48.700; 69.000