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Carcass Island


51° 18′ S


60° 34′ W


Carcass Island is situated 6.5km (4 miles) off Hope Point, the nearest part of West Falkland. It is some 10km (6 ¼ miles) long, with a maximum width of 2.5km (1 ½ miles). The two highest points are Jason Hill (500ft/150m) to the South, and Mount Byng (723ft/217m) in the centre of the island, which has been used for sheep farming since 1872. Ground nesting birds are plentiful because the island is free of rats and mice. Large areas were planted with tussac that was used as winter animal fodder. The usual landing is in Port Pattison, either at Dyke Bay, from where we will walk the 4km (2 ½ miles) to Carcass Settlement, or directly at the settlement itself. An alternative landing is at Leopard beach. The Island is owned by Rob and Lorraine Gill, who have lived and farmed here since the 1970’s. Although they are self sufficient in food and still farm over 600 sheep, tourism is now their main focus, and their afternoon tea has become famous.


In 1766, HMS Carcass, Captain Pattison, resupplied the British fort at Port Egmont, Saunders Island. Carcass Island and Port Pattison are named after them. The island was first fenced and farmed from 1872 by a Dane, Charles Hansen.


Various grazed grasses, as well as areas of Tussac grass (Poa flabellata), and areas  of teaberry (Myrteola), diddle dee (Empetrum rubrum) and gorse (Ulex europaeus), Falklands scurvy grass (Oxalis enneaphylla), pig vine (Gunnera magellanica), coastal nassauvia (Nassauvia gaudichandii), small fern (Blechnum penna marina), tall fern (Blechnum magellanicum).



Confirmed breeders: Cobb’s wren (Troglodytes cobbi) one of two indigenous Falkland Islands birds, tussac bird (Cinclodes antarcticus antarcticus), black throated finch (Melanodera melanodera melanodera), dark-faced ground tyrant (Muscisaxicola maclovianus maclovianus), Falkland pipit (Anthus correndera grayi), Falkland grass wren (Cistotherus platensis falklandicus), Falkland thrush (Turdus falklandii falklandii), long-tailed meadowlark (Sturnella loyca falklandica), black chinned siskin (Carduelsis barbata), magellanic penguin (Sphensiscus magellanicus), gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), ruddy-headed goose (Chloeophaga rubidiceps), steamer duck (flying and Falkland flightless, Tachyeres patachonicus/brachypterus), upland goose (Chloephaga picta leucoptera), and striated caracara (Phalocoboenus australis).


Occasional southern sea lions (Otaria flavescens). These breed on the nearby islands known as The Twins.

Resident Commerson’s dolphins (Cephalorhrynchus commersonii).

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