Weddell Island

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Weddell Island
Isla San José
Former name: Swan Island
Weddell Island 2 - Falkland Islands.jpg
Location within the Falkland Islands
Location within the Falkland Islands
Coordinates: 51°52′43″S 61°00′24″W / 51.87861°S 61.00667°W / -51.87861; -61.00667Coordinates: 51°52′43″S 61°00′24″W / 51.87861°S 61.00667°W / -51.87861; -61.00667
Country Falkland Islands
Named for Spanish: St Joseph's Island
Main settlement Weddell Settlement
 • Total 265.8 km2 (102.6 sq mi)
Area rank 3rd
Time zone FKST (UTC−3)
If shown, area and population ranks are for all islands and all inhabited islands in the Falklands respectively.

Weddell Island (Spanish: "Isla San José") is the third largest of the Falkland Islands. Weddell Island is located to the west of West Falkland and is 265.8 km2 (102.6 sq mi) in area. The length of the coastline is 175.7 km (109.2 mi).[1] Until the late 19th century, it was known as Swan Island, a name which is not to be confused with the Swan Islands on the other side of West Falkland.

Stone runs on Weddell Island

History and population[edit]

The name Weddell Island comes from James Weddell, an English navigator and explorer who visited the Falklands in the early 19th century. He was well known for his voyages to the Antarctic, and the Weddell Sea and Weddell seal are also named after him.

The small population of the island lives in Weddell Settlement on the east coast, the remainder of the island being run as a sheep farm.


Like many of the Falkland Islands, Weddell Island is known for its wildlife, including penguins, sealions and dolphins. Exotic wildlife, including skunks, rheas, parrots and guanacos were introduced in the 1930s, along with Patagonian foxes (not to be confused with the extinct warrah), which can still be found.


  • Stonehouse, B (ed.) Encyclopedia of Antarctica and the Southern Oceans (2002, ISBN 0-471-98665-8)
  1. ^ Eurosion: D2.1.1 Inventory Report, page 122.

External links[edit]