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Cooper Bay


54° 46.8′ S


35° 48.4′ W


Cooper Bay is an exposed bay on the southeast extremity of South Georgia. The northeastern shore of the bay consists of low cliffs of tightly folded sedimentary rock and wave-cut platforms. A series of cobbled beaches indent the bay and provide access to the higher ground via steep scree and tussac slopes. Slopes are vegetated to an altitude of approximately 200m. Above this, scree slopes, lichen-covered boulder fields and bare rock dominate. The surrounding coast has interesting rock formations with considerable wildlife around the shore. Swell, fur seals and the steep tussac covered terrain can make landings difficult. Given suitable sea conditions, the area is an excellent Zodiac cruise venue.


The area was frequented by sealers in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and was the site of at least one shipwreck. There are no visible remains of human activity.


Predominantly tussac interspersed with sparse lowland fellfield. Rock outcrops and upper scree slopes support extensive lichen communities. Dense tussac is interspersed with deep mud pools at the edge of macaroni colony.



Confirmed breeders: gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua), macaroni penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus), light-mantled sooty albatross (Phoebetria palpebrata), southern giant petrel (Macronectes giganteus), white-chinned petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis), Wilson’s storm-petrel (Oceanites oceanicus), snowy sheathbill (Chionis alba), kelp gull (Larus dominicanus), brown skua (Stercorarius antarcticus). South Georgia pintail (Anas georgica georgica), South Georgia pipit (Anthus antarcticus), Antarctic tern (Sterna vittate georgiae).


Confirmed breeders: elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) and fur seal (Arctocephalus gazella).

The habitat restoration project to remove the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) is scheduled for early 2015.


Extensive kelp beds, hazardous rocks and reefs lie immediately off shore. The area makes an excellent Zodiac cruise.

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