The Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)
Although officially south-Atlantic, the Falkland Islands surely have a sub-Antarctic appeal. The archipelago is a treasure-chest for Antarctica-minded nature lovers and photographers.
The islands are full of wildlife, vast colonies of Black-browed Albatrosses, five species of penguins, Elephant Seals and much more. They are one of the last “off the beaten track” destinations. A visit to a Black-browed Albatross colony is an unforgettable experience.
Furthermore not less than five penguin species are represented on the islands. Three of these species you will not find in Antarctica, the Rockhopper, the Magellanic and the King Penguin.
The list of marine mammal species is extensive. Southern Elephant Seal, South American Fur Seal, Southern Sea Lion, Killer Whale, Commerson’s Dolphin and Peale’s Dolphin are seen frequently. Offshore baleen whales are seen in increasing numbers.
Because of the isolated location of the islands some a unique flora and fauna has developed. The dramatic cliff coasts, the white sandy beaches and the sheltered Tussock grass make excellent breeding grounds for numerous animal species.
Around 60 bird species regularly breed on the islands and also several endemic species can be found such as Cobb’s Wren and the Falkland Pipit. You may even encounter the rare and remarkably Striated Caracara, locally known as Johnny Rook. This inquisitive bird, that has the reputation of being the rogue of the bird world, hangs around bird colonies in search of eggs, chicks and even adult birds.