The Particulars of Sea Lion Island
Sea Lion Island lies about 15 km (9 miles) south of East Falkland and is one of the smaller islands of the Falklands archipelago. It is owned by the Falkland Islands Development Cooperation. There used to be a sheep farm on the island, but in 1997 most of the sheep were removed. Since then the original biotope of tussac grass has been returning. Conservation, research, and ecotourism activities are central on Sea Lion Island, which supports a lodge for nature-minded tourists.
Sea Lion Island’s Plant and Bird Biotope
Unlike many of the other islands in the Falklands, there are no land predators (cats, rats, mice) on Sea Lion Island left over from former generations of sailors and seal hunters. As such, many birds have a good opportunity to breed here. Sea Lion Island is a national reserve and Ramsar Site, listed as a “Wetland of International Importance.” Tussock birds, Magellanic snipes, black-throated finches, rufous-chested dotterels, and endemic Cobb’s wrens can be seen on the island.
The Plants, Penguins, and Marine Life of Sea Lion Island
Around 56 flowering plant species have been identified on Sea Lion Island, along with several penguin species: gentoo, Magellanic, and rockhopper. Sea lions and southern elephant seals (2,000 in the breeding season) breed on the coast, and the waters around the island are frequently visited by Peale’s dolphins. Killer whales are also sometimes spotted around Sea Lion Island.