Petermann Island

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For Petermann Ice Island, see Petermann Glacier § Ice loss.
Petermann Island
Petermann Island all.jpg
Petermann Island from a distance
Location Antarctica
Coordinates 65°10′S 64°10′W / 65.167°S 64.167°W / -65.167; -64.167
Length 2 km (1.2 mi)
Population 0
Additional information
Administered under the Antarctic Treaty System
Petermann Island is located in Atlantic Ocean
Petermann Island
Location of Petermann Island

Petermann Island is a small, low and rounded island, lying off the northwest coast of Kiev Peninsula in Graham Land, Antarctica, a short distance south of Booth Island and the Lemaire Channel. It is a popular tourist destination.


The island is 1.8 km (1.1 mi) long and 1.2 km (0.75 mi) across. It rises steeply to elevations of up to 250 m from a rocky coastline with raised pebble beaches. It has volcanic origins, with about half the land surface covered by a permanent, crevassed icecap. Ice-free areas have a sparse vegetation of mosses and lichens.[1]

Important Bird Area[edit]

The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports a breeding colony of about 3000 pairs of gentoo penguins. Other birds nesting at the site in smaller numbers include Adélie penguins, imperial shags, Wilson's storm petrels and south polar skuas.[1]


The island was discovered by a German expedition of 1873-74, who named it after geographer August Petermann. The French Antarctic Expedition of 1908-10 wintered over aboard ship in a cove on the southeast side of the island, named Port Circumcision because it was spotted 1 January 1909, the traditional day for the Feast of the Circumcision.

Huts built by the expedition are gone, although a cairn remains, along with a refuge hut built by Argentina in 1955, and a cross commemorating three members of the British Antarctic Survey who died in a 1982 attempt to cross the sea ice from Faraday Station to Petermann.

Panorama - penguin colonies, cruise ship and tourists, Petermann Island
Adélie penguin rookery on Petermann Island; their droppings make the grey rock pinkish

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Petermann Island". BirdLife data zone: Important Bird Areas. BirdLife International. 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-14. 

External links[edit]