Gough and Inaccessible Islands

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK)
Inscribed in
1995
Criteria
(vii)
(x)
Designation
KBA,
IBA,
Ramsar site

The site, located in the south Atlantic, is one of the least-disrupted island and marine ecosystems in the cool temperate zone. The spectacular cliffs of Gough and Inaccessible Islands, towering above the ocean, are free of introduced mammals and home to one of the world’s largest colonies of sea birds. Gough Island is home to two endemic species of land birds, the gallinule and the Gough rowettie, as well as to 12 endemic species of plants, while Inaccessible Island boasts two birds, eight plants and at least 10 invertebrates endemic to the island.
© UNESCO

Summary

2017 Conservation Outlook

Finalised on
08 Nov 2017
Significant concern
While none of the key values of the site has been irreversibly lost yet since its inscription on the World Heritage List in 1995 (WHC 1995), the key factor determining the conservation outlook of the site is the relationship between the extraordinary threats to the biological values of the site (particularly but not exclusively seabirds), and the significant but apparently still insufficient initiative and resources mobilized to counter this threat. Because of this mismatch, the relatively steep decline in several key bird populations and the uncertainty regarding other important biodiversity values of the site, the conservation outlook of the site is of significant concern.

Current state and trend of VALUES

High Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
To the extent that the current state of the biodiversity values of Gough Island is known in sufficient detail, it is of high concern, and deteriorating; detail on the current state of biodiversity values of Inaccessible are lacking. On It is likely that the state of those terrestrial biodiversity values that are currently marked as data deficient is similar to that of the better understood values. As a consequence, the exceptional natural beauty is also at high concern, and deteriorating. Several species of globally threatened seabird are declining, including Tristan Albatross (by ca. 1% per year for the last 30-50 years). Population trends for Atlantic Petrel, MacGillivray’s Prion, and several other bird populations on the island are also likely declining. The population of Gough Bunting (Critically Endangered) is declining and has been estimated to go extinct within the next 10-20 years unless mice are eradicated, the population of Gough Moorhen (Vulnerable), Inaccessible Bunting (Vulnerable) and Inaccessible Rail (Vulnerable) are assumed to be stable and the population of Spectacled Petrel (Vulnerable) are increasing. No further detailed information about the current conservation status of marine biota around the site is available from known sources.

Overall THREATS

Very High Threat
The World Heritage values of Gough and Inaccessible Islands are currently acutely threatened by invasive species, particularly predatory house mice on Gough Island. In addition, there are threats from other invasive species, shipping accidents and from poorly managed long-line fishing throughout the southern oceans. Together these threats combine to produce an overall very high threat to the values of the site, which rely on the preservation of its native biota and ecosystems. Predation by house mice threatens the populations of several terrestrial and marine birds of Gough Island, including Tristan Albatross, Atlantic Petrel, MacGillivray’s Prion, and Gough Bunting. Together with long-line fishing, this may lead to the extinction of at least the Tristan Albatross, one of the emblematic species of the site, within 30 years. The MS Oliva shipping accident at Nightingale Island, approximately 20 km from Inaccessible Island and 395 km from Gough Island, in March 2011, resulted in significant damage to wildlife at Nightingale Island and probably some damage to the values of Inaccessible Island, e.g. by oiling of penguins, and demonstrates the potential impacts of future accidents at the site.

Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT

Some Concern
Although the legal framework, boundaries, monitoring and research of the site are all effective, some concerns remain about the overall effectiveness of the management system and the enforcement of the legal framework, which in turn may reflect limitations of funding and resourcing of management efforts at the site. The main threats to the site originating from the outside are the introduction of invasive alien species, decimation of seabirds by long-line fishing, shipping accidents and climate change. Of these, only invasive species can be addressed through site based management, and appear to be addressed effectively through access restrictions. There is a need to better resource marine enforcement and invasive species eradication, and to better coordinate the management of the two islands of the site. Funding of eradication efforts appears to be insufficient in comparison to estimated needs (ca. £7.5 million, according to the draft operational plan). Because of the urgency and cost of invasive species eradication measures, this is of some concern.

Full assessment

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Finalised on
08 Nov 2017

Description of values

Seabird populations

Criterion
(x)
Gough Island has been described as perhaps the most important seabird colony in the world (Bourne, 1981). >50 seabird species have been recorded, including 23 breeding species numbering >6 million breeding pairs. These include one globally Critically Endangered species (Tristan Albatross Diomedea dabbenena), five Endangered species (Northern Rockhopper Penguin Eudyptes moseleyi, Sooty Albatross Phoebetria fusca, Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos, Atlantic Petrel Pterodroma incerta, and MacGillivray’s Prion Pachyptila macgillivrayi) and a globally Vulnerable Spectacled Petrel Procellaria conspicillata (BirdLife International, 2012a; Ryan et al. 2014; McClelland et al. 2016). Inaccessible Island has 29 species of seabirds, 16 of which are breeding, including 1.5 – 2 million pairs of Great Shearwater Ardenna gravis. Both Islands are Important Bird Areas, partly because of their seabird colonies, and Gough Island is also an Alliance for Zero Extinction site (AZE, 2012).

Autochthonous terrestrial fauna

Criterion
(x)
Both islands have important endemic and globally threatened terrestrial avifauna and invertebrate fauna, while autochthonous terrestrial mammals, reptiles, or amphibians are absent (UNEP-WCMC, 2011). Gough Island has the endemic Gough Moorhen Gallinula comeri (Vulnerable) and endemic Gough Bunting Rowettia goughensis (Critically Endangered) of which fewer than 500 pairs remain. The Inaccessible Island has the endemic Inaccessible Rail Atlantisia rogersi (Vulnerable) and the endemic Inaccessible Bunting Neospiza acunhae (Vulnerable). Both islands are Important Bird Areas, partly because of their land bird populations, and belong to the Tristan Islands Endemic Bird Area (BirdLife International, 2012c). Gough Island is also an Alliance for Zero Extinction site (AZE, 2012). Both Islands also have a species-poor but endemism-rich invertebrate fauna, with about 100 species recorded from Gough and 22 of them endemic to the island or the Tristan archipelago. Inaccessible island has at least 10 endemic invertebrate species (UNEP-WCMC, 2011).

Autochthonous flora

Criterion
(x)
The autochthonous flora of the islands is species poor but rich in endemics. There are 26 species of flowering plants (21 endemic to the Tristan group) and 27 species of ferns (15 endemic to the Tristan group) on Gough Island, with an additional rich but poorly studied flora of mosses, and lichens. Vegetation shows a marked altitudinal zoning. Inaccessible Island has 213 plant species in total, 10 being restricted to the island and 60 to the archipelago. Vegetation on both islands shows a marked altitudinal zonation (UNEP-WCMC, 2011). Although the islands probably qualify as Important Plant Areas, they appear not to have assessed for IPA status yet (PlantLife, 2012).

Marine plants, mammals, fish and invertebrates

Criterion
(x)
There is a rich coastal marine fauna on and around the islands, including 300,000 Sub-Antarctic Fur Seal Arctocephalus tropicalis and ca. 50-100 Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina) on Gough Island, as well as several cetacean species including Southern Right Whale Eubalaena australis, Dusky Dolphin Lagenorhynchus obscurus and Humpback Whales Megaptera novaeangliae in coastal waters around both islands (Bester et al. 2006). There is also a typical South Atlantic marine flora, ichthyofauna (ca. 20 species around Gough and 40 species around Inaccessible islands) and invertebrate fauna (ca. 80 species around Gough and 250 species around Inaccessible islands), including the economically important Tristan Rock Lobster Jasus tristani (UNEP-WCMC, 2011).

Island ecosystems of exceptional natural beauty

Criterion
(vii)
Gough and Inaccessible islands are among the least disrupted cool temperate island ecosystems in the world, and comprise landscapes and natural phenomena (particularly seabird colonies) of superlative dimensions and exceptional natural beauty (IUCN, 1995, WHC, 2004, UNEP-WCMC, 2011).

Assessment information

Very High Threat
The values of the site under World Heritage criterion x, and as a consequence also under World Heritage criterion vii, are currently acutely threatened by invasive species, particularly predatory house mice on Gough Island. In addition, there are threats from other invasive species, shipping accidents, and from fishing operations throughout the South Atlantic Ocean.
Fishing / Harvesting Aquatic Resources
Low Threat
Outside site
Unlicensed fishing and illegal use of driftnets around the reserve has been reported (Pearce, 1999), but the threat originating from these practices is now not as serious as that of long-line fishing throughout the Southern Ocean (UNEP-WCMC, 2011).
Fishing / Harvesting Aquatic Resources
High Threat
Outside site
Mortality from accidental by-catch by long-line fishing is a major global threat for most albatross and many petrel species (Anderson et al., 2011), including for at least six of the species contributing to the values of the site (UNEP-WCMC, 2011, Wanless et al., 2009). This remains a high threat as long as available best practice mitigation devices and techniques are not enforced effectively (Anderson et al., 2011).
Water Pollution
High Threat
Inside site
, Extent of threat not known
Outside site
The MS Oliva shipping accident at Nightingale Island, approximately 20 km from Inaccessible Island and 395 km from Gough Island, in March 2011, resulted in significant damage to wildlife at Nightingale Island and probably some damage to the values of Inaccessible Island (Cuthbert 2013), e.g. by oiling of Northern Rockhopper Penguins, and demonstrates the potential impacts of future accidents at the site.
Fishing / Harvesting Aquatic Resources
Low Threat
Outside site
IUU fishing, including long-lines, gillnets, and trawls, have the potential to cause significant reductions in populations, but the extent to which these affect species on Gough and Inaccessible is unknown (Cuthbert et al. 2005).
Invasive Non-Native/ Alien Species
Very High Threat
Inside site
, Throughout(>50%)
Egg and chick predation by predatory house mice Mus musculus, the only invasive rodent on Gough Island, threatens the populations of several terrestrial and seabirds including Tristan Albatross, Atlantic Petrel and Gough Bunting (Cuthbert & Hilton, 2004, Wanless et al, 2012; Davies et a. 2015; Dilley et al. 2015). Together with long-line fishing, this may lead to the extinction of at least the Tristan Albatross, one of the emblematic species of the site, in the near future (Wanless et al. 2009). Mouse eradiation is technically feasible. Procumbent pearlwort (Sagina procumbens) was accidentally introduced to Gough Island in the late 20th Century, and spread rapidly, particularly in areas impacted by bird colonies(Visser et al. 2010). Continued eradication and control efforts, and monitoring for this and other invasives, including New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax) on Inaccessible, are needed to control this continuing threat (UNEP-WCMC, 2011; Ryan et al. 2012). Other invasive plant species include Verbena bonariensis, Solanum tuberosum, Juncus effusus Agrostis gigantean, Brassica rapa, and Cynodon dactylon. The number of introduced invertebrate species (most of them having been introduced since 1950), now exceeds that of native species, at least on Gough Island (Jones et al., 2002). However, the exact extent and impact of these invasions needs to be studied further and this particular point is data deficient. On Inaccessible Island, introduced scale insects and associated sooty mould fungus may reduce fruit yield of Phylica trees, impacting Inaccessible Buntings (Ryan et al. 2014).
Data Deficient
Several of the most serious threats that could affect the site are already a reality, and the additional threats, particularly climate change in combination with possible new invasive introductions, are potentially serious but require further study. The extent of IUU fishing is unknown, as are its effects on the site.
Habitat Shifting/ Alteration
Data Deficient
Inside site
, Throughout(>50%)
Outside site
Evidence of temperature increases on Gough Island since 1963, has been presented, and impacts on the distribution of species, habitats and ecosystems have been predicted (Jones et al., 2003). Climate change could further affect seals (Oosthuizen et al. 2015), seabirds (Trathan et al. 2014), kelp beds (Valdez et al. 2003), among other ecological communities. However, the exact extent and impact of climate change on the site needs further study.
Invasive Non-Native/ Alien Species
Low Threat
Inside site
, Throughout(>50%)
Visitation is minimal (<50 visitors to Gough Island annually, mostly on one voyage to replace weather station staff) and access is through one or two entry points in each of the islands only, and only by permit (UNEP-WCMC, 2011). However, a significant threat of new invasive species introductions (plants, invertebrates, rodents) remains, because of the high invasive potential of many of these species.
The World Heritage values of Gough and Inaccessible Islands are currently acutely threatened by invasive species, particularly predatory house mice on Gough Island. In addition, there are threats from other invasive species, shipping accidents and from poorly managed long-line fishing throughout the southern oceans. Together these threats combine to produce an overall very high threat to the values of the site, which rely on the preservation of its native biota and ecosystems. Predation by house mice threatens the populations of several terrestrial and marine birds of Gough Island, including Tristan Albatross, Atlantic Petrel, MacGillivray’s Prion, and Gough Bunting. Together with long-line fishing, this may lead to the extinction of at least the Tristan Albatross, one of the emblematic species of the site, within 30 years. The MS Oliva shipping accident at Nightingale Island, approximately 20 km from Inaccessible Island and 395 km from Gough Island, in March 2011, resulted in significant damage to wildlife at Nightingale Island and probably some damage to the values of Inaccessible Island, e.g. by oiling of penguins, and demonstrates the potential impacts of future accidents at the site.
Relationships with local people
Highly Effective
There are no local populations on either island. One licensee is allowed to fish Tristan Rock Lobster in the seas around the site (UNEP-WCMC, 2011), and this fishery is MSC Certified (MSC 2017). No issues with other people from Tristan da Cunha.
Legal framework
Some Concern
Both Gough and Inaccessible Islands are designated as IUCN Category I Strict Nature Reserves, as confirmed in the Conservation of Native Organisms and Natural Habitats (Tristan da Cunha) 2006 (Government of St Helena 2006). The legal protection is considered adequate but enforcement capacity is insufficient (particularly marine enforcement capacity) (WHC, 2006).
Enforcement
Some Concern
Enforcement on-island is adequate given the very small number of visitors annually, and the permitting process in place. There is limited capacity for enforcement of the marine portion of the site owing to the lack of a suitable vessel to travel between Tristan da Cunha and Gough, or to patrol around Inaccessible in poor weather.
Integration into regional and national planning systems
Some Concern
The UK Overseas Territories White Paper 2012 mentions the World Heritage Status of the site, but does not demonstrate specific commitments to mainstream conservation of its values into overall government planning systems (UKOT Conservation Forum, 2011b, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 2012 ; McKie, 2012, Pierce, 1999).
Management system
Effective
Both of the islands belonging to the site need minimal management, apart from invasive species eradication and access/fishery resource use control. The Tristan da Cunha Fisheries Limits Ordinance 1982, as amended 1991 and 1992, limit fishing in the vicinity of the site. The management plan for both islands was recently updated (Tristan da Cunha Government and RSPB 2016) and an annual monitoring visit to Gough Island, which is about 400 km distant from Tristan da Cunha, takes place (UNEP-WCMC, 2011). The RSPB, Tristan da Cunha Conservation Department, and university researchers conduct conservation management and monitoring on the island. The RSPB is active in the field of invasive species eradication, as well as wildlife monitoring and research (RSPB, 2012). The management regime appears viable overall. There clearly is a need to better resource marine enforcement and invasive species eradication (WHC 2016), and to better coordinate the management of the two islands of the site. A Gough and Inaccessible Islands World Heritage Site Management Plan 2015-2020 has been developed and is under implementation in partnership with NGOs and other organizations and individuals. Tristan da Cunha Government has also formally committed to establishing a regime for protecting the water across its entire Exclusive Economic Zone by 2020.
Management effectiveness
Some Concern
No systematic management effectiveness assessment has been published for the site. Because of the considerable challenges of invasive species control/eradication and the enforcement of a management regime at such a distance from Tristan da Cunha (WHC, 2006), and without an appropriate sea-going fisheries patrol vessel, there is some concern regarding the management capacity of the site. Preparation and implementation of a comprehensive biosecurity plan is needed at both islands for all human movements and activities to minimize the risk of non-native species introductions, inter-island transfers and intra-island spreading (including in the marine environment).
Implementation of Committee decisions and recommendations
Effective
Decision 33 COM 7B.32 (IUCN 2009) requested the State Party to continue invasive species eradication and monitoring activities at the site and to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2012, an updated report on the eradication programmes at the site (WHC, 2009). This report was submitted in January 2012, and detailed the progress in eradication and monitoring activities to date. However, eradication efforts in response to Decision 33 COM 7B.32 appear to be insufficiently resourced (McKie, 2012). Decision 40 COM 7B.103 requested that the State Party allocate sufficient funds to eradicate house mice, and provide an update to the WHC by December 2017 on the status of the procumbent pearlwort (Sagina procumbens) and house mouse eradication projects.
Boundaries
Effective
The boundaries of the site include the 12 nm zone around the islands (WHC, 2004) and are generally considered adequate, but marine enforcement capacity is missing (WHC, 2006) and some of the key bird species contributing to the values of the site forage far beyond its boundaries (UNEP-WCMC, 2011).
Sustainable finance
Some Concern
No systematic annual budget information for the management of the site could be identified. The RSPB currently funds three conservation staff at Gough Island, and the UK Government has supported specific projects focused on the islands. However, funding of eradication efforts appears to be insufficient in comparison to estimated needs (ca. £7.5 million, according to the new operational plan). Because of the urgency and cost of invasive species eradication measures and the lack of clarity about the sustainable financing of the management of the site, this area is assessed as of some concern. Mechanisms for funding on-island conservation staff following the conclusion of the RSPB’s mouse eradication programme (ca. 2021) are unclear – these costs could be compounded if the South African weather station is no longer operating.
Staff training and development
Effective
The RSPB-funded conservation staff at Gough appear to be sufficiently trained (RSPB 2016), but skills and resources for invasive species control at Inaccessible and vessels for use in fisheries inspection may be insufficient (WHC, 2006).
Sustainable use
Some Concern
Use of resources in the waters belonging to the site is limited to fishing of Tristan Rock Lobster, is certified as sustainable by the MSC (MSC 2017). There is however, limited capacity to control Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in the World Heritage property.
Education and interpretation programs
Some Concern
Some information about Gough Island is available through the Tristan da Cunha website (Tristan da Cunha Government, 2017), and some information is disseminated periodically by the UKOT Conservation Forum (e.g. UKOT Conservation Forum 2011a, b). The RSPB also maintain a webpage for the island restoration programme (RSPB 2017). The information and education section of the Inaccessible Island management plan deals mainly with informing visitors about the appropriate behaviour while visiting the island, and with ensuring that they follow these instructions (Tristan da Cunha Government and RSPB 2016). Education and interpretation programmes appear limited in general.
Tourism and visitation management
Effective
Tourist numbers to both component islands of the site are very low, with ca. 40 visitors to Gough Island annually as part of the annual weather station relief voyage. Visits to Inaccessible are few, and usually restricted to researchers or conservation staff. Visits are by permission only, and limited to small areas of the islands. It has been suggested that some interpretative signs be erected at the few landing sites of the site. There are no jetty or visitor facilities (UNEP-WCMC, 2011).
Monitoring
Effective
The Tristan Conservation Department conducts annual monitoring visits to Gough Island, and visits to Inaccessible when weather permits. Additional bird monitoring, and procumbent pearlwort control on Gough is being implemented by the RSPB (RSPB 2017).
Research
Effective
Gough Island has supported a wide range of scientific works, particularly in the fields of zoology, botany and ecology (Haenel, 2008). Noteworthy activities in the 20th century have included the Gough Island Scientific Survey 1955/56, and the research by the South African meteorological station, the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town, and the RSPB. Inaccessible Island has also been visited by several scientific expeditions (UNEP-WCMC, 2011). A Collectively, >250 peer-reviewed scientific publications have appeared in international journals. A more detailed scientific bibliography for 1869-1982 has been compiled by Watkins and Cooper (1983). There is not a systematic research strategy for the site (WHC, 2006) but some research priorities are listed in the site management plan (Tristan da Cunha Government and RSPB 2016).
Although the legal framework, boundaries, monitoring and research of the site are all effective, some concerns remain about the overall effectiveness of the management system and the enforcement of the legal framework, which in turn may reflect limitations of funding and resourcing of management efforts at the site. The main threats to the site originating from the outside are the introduction of invasive alien species, decimation of seabirds by long-line fishing, shipping accidents and climate change. Of these, only invasive species can be addressed through site based management, and appear to be addressed effectively through access restrictions. There is a need to better resource marine enforcement and invasive species eradication, and to better coordinate the management of the two islands of the site. Funding of eradication efforts appears to be insufficient in comparison to estimated needs (ca. £7.5 million, according to the draft operational plan). Because of the urgency and cost of invasive species eradication measures, this is of some concern.
Assessment of the effectiveness of protection and management in addressing threats outside the site
Some Concern
The main threats to the site originating from the outside are the introduction of invasive alien species, decimation of seabirds by fishing (long-lines, IUU), shipping accidents and climate change. Of these, only invasive species can be addressed through site based management, and appear to be addressed effectively through access restrictions. The remaining external threats are of some concern.
Best practice examples
The British-South African-Tristanian Partnership in the monitoring and management of Gough Island is a best practice example of close international cooperation to maintain the integrity of natural World Heritage, which may be applicable in other remote sites, particularly those belonging to European overseas territories.
World Heritage values

Seabird populations

High Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
Northern Rockhopper Penguin (EN) populations on Gough Island (Cuthbert and Sommer, 2004) and on Inaccessible Island have been stable in the short term (Robson et al. 2011). Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos populations are declining slightly, and Sooty Albatross Phoebetria fusca and southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus populations are stable (Cuthbert et al. 2014 ) Tristan Albatross has been declining by ca. 1% per year for the last 30-50 years (Wanless et al., 2009). Populations of Atlantic Petrel, and several other bird populations on the island are also declining (IUCN, 2012, Wanless et al., 2012).

Autochthonous terrestrial fauna

High Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
The population of Gough Bunting (Critically Endangered) is declining and has been estimated to go extinct within the next 10-20 years unless mice are eradicated, the population of Inaccessible Bunting (Vulnerable) and Inaccessible Rail (Vulnerable) are stable and the population of Gough Moorhen (Vulnerable) is increasing (IUCN, 2012). The populations of native invertebrates are likely to be strongly affected by invasive species (Jones et al., 2003), but detailed information is missing.

Autochthonous flora

Data Deficient
Trend
Data Deficient
No detailed information about the current conservation status of the native flora at the site is available.

Marine plants, mammals, fish and invertebrates

Data Deficient
Trend
Deteriorating
The population of the Subantarctic Fur Seal is increasing globally (IUCN, 2012), and this may also be true for the site. No further detailed information about the current conservation status of marine biota around the site is available.

Island ecosystems of exceptional natural beauty

High Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
The overall natural beauty of the site is intact and stable, but the values in relation to its superlative importance as a seabird breeding location are declining with the conservation status of key seabird populations as analyzed above. Therefore, the current status of the values of the site under World Heritage criterion vii is of high concern, and deteriorating.
Assessment of the current state and trend of World Heritage values
High Concern
Trend
Deteriorating
To the extent that the current state of the biodiversity values of Gough Island is known in sufficient detail, it is of high concern, and deteriorating; detail on the current state of biodiversity values of Inaccessible are lacking. On It is likely that the state of those terrestrial biodiversity values that are currently marked as data deficient is similar to that of the better understood values. As a consequence, the exceptional natural beauty is also at high concern, and deteriorating. Several species of globally threatened seabird are declining, including Tristan Albatross (by ca. 1% per year for the last 30-50 years). Population trends for Atlantic Petrel, MacGillivray’s Prion, and several other bird populations on the island are also likely declining. The population of Gough Bunting (Critically Endangered) is declining and has been estimated to go extinct within the next 10-20 years unless mice are eradicated, the population of Gough Moorhen (Vulnerable), Inaccessible Bunting (Vulnerable) and Inaccessible Rail (Vulnerable) are assumed to be stable and the population of Spectacled Petrel (Vulnerable) are increasing. No further detailed information about the current conservation status of marine biota around the site is available from known sources.

Additional information

Fishing areas and conservation of fish stocks
The licensed Tristan Rock Lobster and crayfish fisheries of the area, including in the waters around at least Inaccessible Island, are the major source of income for the Tristan da Cunha economy (UNEP-WCMC, 2011).
Factors negatively affecting provision of this benefit
Overexploitation
Impact level - Low
Trend - Decreasing
The fishery is certified as sustainable (MSC 2017), has 100% observer coverage, and zero bycatch (Glass and Ryan 2013).
Collection of genetic material
The current use of genetic material from the site is unclear, but there may be considerable potential for using genetic materials from the many endemic plants and invertebrates on the island.
Factors negatively affecting provision of selected benefit are unknown.
Importance for research
The site has already contributed significantly to the overall scientific understanding of temperate island ecosystems (UNEP-WCMC, 2011). Additionally, it may turn into a pilot example for invasive rodent eradication and a biological climate change impact monitoring centre, if the required programmes are developed.
Due to its remoteness, lack of population and need for meticulous conservation management and invasive alien species control, the site offers mainly conservation and scientific benefits. However, the waters around Inaccessible Island are an important fishing area for Tristan Rock Lobster, and the many endemic species of the site may hold additional benefits related to genetic material.
Organization/ individuals Project duration Brief description of Active Projects
1 Royal Society for the Protection of Birds To: 2021 Sagina procumbens and Mus musculus eradication activities on Gough Island, as well as wider bird research
2 South African National Antarctic Programme Meteorological research/monitoring and some bird monitoring at Gough Island
3 Tristan da Cunha Conservation Department Monitoring of biodiversity at site (particularly Inaccessible Island)
Site need title Brief description of potential site needs Support needed for following years
1 . Fisheries and marine surveillance and monitoring programme around Gough and Inaccessible Islands
2 Invasive species eradication Full scale house mouse eradication programme at Gough Island, based on Parkes (2008). Eradication of Sagina procumbens from Gough Island. From: 2017
To: 2022

References

References
1 Alliance for Zero Extinction (2012). AZE site database. [Electronic reference] <http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=4ecca6…;. Accessed 30 July 2012.
2 Anderson, O. R. J., Small, C. J., Croxall, J. P., et al. (2011). ‘Global seabird bycatch in longline fisheries’. Endangered Species Research 14(2): 91-106.
3 Bester, M. N., Wilson, J. W., Burle, M.-H. and Hofmeyr, G. J. G. (2006). Population trend of Subantarctic fur seals at Gough Island. South African Journal of Wildlife Research 36: 191-194.
4 BirdLife International (2012a). ‘Datazone: Factsheet Gough Island Important Bird Area’. [Electronic reference] <http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/sitefactsheet.php?id=6829&…;. Accessed 30 July 2012.
5 BirdLife International (2012b). ‘Datazone: Factsheet Inaccessible Island Important Bird Area’. [Electronic reference] <http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/sitefactsheet.php?id=6827&…;. Accessed 30 July 2012.
6 BirdLife International (2012c). ‘Datazone: Factsheet Tristan Islands Endemic Bird Area’. [Electronic reference] < http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/ebafactsheet.php?id=86&gt;. Accessed 30 July 2012.
7 Bourne, W. (1981). ‘Fur seals return to Gough Island’. Oryx 16: 46-47.
8 Cuthbert, R. J. 2013. Northern Rockhopper Penguin. Pages 131-143 in Penguins: natural history and conservation (P. G. Borboroglu, and P. D. Boersma, Eds.). University of Washington Press, Seattle.
9 Cuthbert, R. J. and Hilton, G. (2004). ‘Introduced house mice Mus musculus: a significant predator of threatened endemic birds on Gough Island, South Atlantic Ocean’. Biological Conservation 117(5): 483-489.
10 Cuthbert, R. J. and Sommer, E. (2004). ‘Population size and trends of four globally threatened seabirds at Gough Island, South Atlantic Ocean’. Marine Ornithology 32(1): 97-103.
11 Cuthbert, R. J., J. Cooper, and P. G. Ryan. 2014. Population trends and breeding success of albatrosses and giant petrels at Gough Island in the face of at-sea and on-land threats. Antarctic Science 26:163-171.
12 Cuthbert, R., G. Hilton, P. Ryan, and G. N. Tuck. 2005. At-sea distribution of breeding Tristan albatrosses Diomedea dabbenena and potential interactions with pelagic longline fishing in the South Atlantic Ocean. Biological Conservation 121:345-355.
13 Davies, D., B. J. Dilley, A. L. Bond, R. J. Cuthbert, and P. G. Ryan. 2015. Trends and tactics of mouse predation on Tristan Albatross Diomedea dabbenena chicks at Gough Island, South Atlantic Ocean. Avian Conservation and Ecology 10:5.
14 Dilley, B. J., D. Davies, A. L. Bond, and P. G. Ryan. 2015. Effects of mouse predation on burrowing petrel chicks at Gough Island. Antarctic Science 27:543-553.
15 Glass, J. P., and P. G. Ryan. (2013). Reduced seabird night strikes and mortality in the Tristan rock lobster fishery. African Journal of Marine Science 35:589-592.
16 Government of St. Helena. 2006. Conservation of Native Organisms and Natural Habitats (Tristan da Cunha) Ordinance. St. Helena Government Gazette Extraordinary 44:TA1-TA13.
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