British Indian Ocean Territory

BIOT comprises the seven atolls of the Chagos Archipelago in the centre of the Indian Ocean. The land area is small but still home to large colonies of seabirds, the iconic coconut crab and nesting sea turtles. The surrounding territorial seas with their vast coral reefs support a near-pristine treasure trove of marine life in one of the world's largest marine protected areas. Its only human inhabitants are now military personnel on Diego Garcia, and visiting researchers.Read more

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

These icy jewels in the Southern Ocean support huge seabird colonies as well as several seal species that breed on the two island groups and a number of cetacean species that are frequently seen offshore. Endemic bird species to the islands include the South Georgia pipit, and a pintail and cormorant species. There are 25 species of vascular plants native to SGSSI and great diversity in the mosses, liverworts and lichens with many found nowhere else in the world.Read more

British Antarctic Territory

Life in the frozen south sees sparse vegetation on land, although there are many species of lichen, moss and algae. In the surrounding seas, vast amounts of krill provide the basis for rich marine life. This includes whales, seals and very large numbers of birds, especially petrels and penguins, inhabiting the islands and coastal areas of the Peninsula. Adélie and emperor penguins both breed on the continent itself.Read more

Pitcairn Islands

Best known as the haven for the mutineers from HMS Bounty, this group of four small and varied islands in the South Pacific support a range of impressive flora and fauna. This includes 10 endemic vascular plants, and a number of endemic land birds, including the Henderson rail, lorikeet, fruit-dove and reed-warbler. Green turtles use the beaches for breeding and the islands are home to many globally important populations of seabirds. The marine environment supports incredibly healthy ecosystems.Read more

Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands, a wildlife haven in the South Atlantic, are home to 2,800 native species, of which 30 have been confirmed as being found nowhere else. The Islands are exceptionally rich in marine life, supporting vast colonies of seabirds, including 85% of the world population of black-browed albatrosses, and the largest concentration of rockhopper penguins. They are breeding grounds for sea lions, elephant seals and fur seals, and 15 species of whale and dolphin occur in their waters.Read more

Tristan da Cunha

Rising to over 2000m above sea level, Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic is the most isolated inhabited island in the world. Devoid of all living organisms at its volcanic origin, the evolving flora and fauna of the islands hold a special interest. This includes indigenous land birds as well as the millions of seabirds and marine mammals that visit each year. Over 40% of Tristan's territory is a declared nature reserve and Gough and Inaccessible Islands are a World Heritage Site.Read more

St Helena

St Helena's isolated position in the South Atlantic has given rise to an unusual and remarkable land and marine flora and fauna. The Island is home to 45 plants that occur nowhere else and is a global hotspot for invertebrate diversity with around 460 endemic species. The marine environment supports a diverse array of marine life, including many endemics, and several charismatic migratory species including humpback whales, whale sharks and turtles.Read more

Ascension Island

Ascension Island lies in splendid isolation, just south of the equator, in the middle of the Atlantic. It has spectacular volcanic scenery and exceptional globally important biodiversity, including at least 60 endemic species of plants, fish and invertebrates. The island supports also the largest green turtle and seabird nesting colonies in the tropical Atlantic. However, as with many oceanic islands, Ascension has a significant invasive species problem.Read more