French Southern Ocean islands designated a Wetland of International Importance




On 15 September 2008 the French sub-Antarctic/cool temperate island groups in the southern Indian Ocean of Crozet, Kergeulen, Amsterdam and St Paul were listed as a Wetland of International Importance in terms of the Ramsar Convention with the name Réserve Naturelle Nationale des Terres Australes Françaises (

The total area of the Ramsar Site is 2 270 000 ha.  The site includes a great variety of inland and marine coastal wetland types such as peatlands, marshes and lakes but also rocky shores, estuaries and fjords.  The four island groups support breeding populations of 12 ACAP-listed species, including the rare and Critically Endangered Amsterdam Albatross Diomedea amsterdamensis, which is endemic to Amsterdam Island.

Click here for the ACAP Species Assessment for the Amsterdam Albatross.

The South African Prince Edward Islands in the southern Indian Ocean were listed as a Ramsar site in 2007 (

In October 2008 the United Kingdom announced that the cool temperate Gough and Inaccessible Island Nature Reserves in the UK's Overseas Territory of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic will be added to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance (see earlier news item).  These sites are to include the 12-nautical-mile territorial waters surrounding the two islands.

News from John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 8 February 2009

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

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