EXPLORE the Gough and Inaccessible Islands with this slideshow, check the location map and get all the facts and information below.
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Website Category: Islands
Area: 79 km2
Year of Inscription: 2004
- Outstanding natural beauty (vii);
- Natural habitat for biodiversity (x);
- Significant number of rare, endemic and/or endangered species (x)
Location and Values: The Gough and Inaccessible Islands are located in the cool temperate zone of the central South Atlantic, and form part of the Tristan da Cunha Island group. They represent the eroded remnants of two long-extinct volcanoes in one of the most remote oceanic settings in the world. Both islands feature spectacular high cliffs, dropping precipitously into the ocean below and supporting some of the world’s most important seabird colonies. As a result of their extreme isolation, a small number of endemic land birds and plants have evolved on the islands.
Conservation Status and Prospects. According to IUCN’s Conservation Outlook Assessment (2017) the conservation status of the Gough and Inaccessible Islands is ‘of significant concern’. The IUCN report notes that the main threats to the site are the introduction of invasive alien species; decimation of seabirds by long-line fishing in the wider South Atlantic; shipping accidents and climate change. Of these, only invasive species can be addressed through site-based interventions, and these appear to be largely effective. The most significant current threat is the presence of predatory introduced house mice on Gough Island. These threaten the populations of several terrestrial and marine birds, including Tristan Albatross, Atlantic Petrel, MacGillivray’s Prion and Gough Bunting.
The slideshow ‘tells the story’ of the Gough and Inaccessible Islands, showing the landscapes of Gough Island, its habitats, plants and animals, and illustrating some of the threats and conservation needs. Most of the photos were taken by Steffen Oppel during a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) expedition to Gough Island in September 2018, with additional images by Jaimie Cleeland, Michelle Jones and Kate Lawrence. They include some particularly good photos of breeding albatross, and illustrate ongoing efforts by RSPB staff to eradicate predatory introduced house mice. This page of the website is still under development and a more detailed description of the various aspects of the Gough and Inaccessible Islands will be included in due course – so please come back again soon!