Charcot Island – Antarctic Specially Protected Area

In 2007, the UK proposed that the Marion Nunataks on Charcot Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula, be designated an ASPA.

Akin to islands in the ocean, nunataks are islands of land in the Antarctic ice and, because they are so rare, nunataks are valuable places to study Antarctic ecosystems. Because they lack certain species (predatory arthropods and springtails), Marion Nunataks are unique in the maritime Antarctic and give scientists a rare opportunity to study land-based biological communities where key parts of the ecosystem are absent.

Small, north-facing nunatak with exceptional terrestrial biota. Location photo identifying the terrestrial site at Marion Nunataks, Charcot Island (centre left). The aircraft skiway can also be seen on the small col between the two main rock exposures