Science and Management at Edmonson Point, Ross Sea.

STOP PRESS: Antarctic Specially Protected Area No. 165 Edmonson Point was adopted by the XXIX Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM) in Edinburgh in June 2006.

Edmonson Point (74°20' S, 165°08' W) is located in Wood Bay, Victoria Land, Ross Sea, at the foot of the eastern slopes of Mount Melbourne, about 50 km NE of Terra Nova Bay Station (Italy). Encompassing almost two km2, Edmonson Point is one of the largest of the few low-lying coastal ice-free areas in Northern Victoria Land. The Programma Nazionale di Ricerche in Antartide (PNRA) has been working toward development of an plan for special protection of the site for some years.

Italy established a station at Terra Nova Bay in 1986-87 and increased research interest in the site followed. A variety of scientific projects have been initiated, many of which are long-term with international involvement. For example, Edmonson Point was an important site for the SCAR Biological Investigations of Terrestrial Antarctic Systems (BIOTAS) programme in 1995-96 in BIOTEX-1, which involved collaborative research among Australia, Italy, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States (Bargagli et al., 1997). Terrestrial ecology studies are on-going (e.g. Frati, 1999; Cannone and Guglielmin, 2003). There is important long-term research being conducted on bird colonies at Edmonson Point by Italy and Australia, which contributes to the CCAMLR Ecosystem Monitoring Programme (CEMP) (e.g. Corsolini and Trémont, 1997; Olmastroni et al., 2000; Pezzo et al., 2001). In addition, studies have been conducted on the geology, glacial geomorphology (e.g. Baroni and Orombelli, 1994), freshwater ecosystems (e.g. Broady, 1987; La Rocca et al., 1996), and on background contaminants (e.g. Bargagli et al., 1998; Corsolini et al., 2003).

On 15 April 2003 a small workshop was convened at the Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali (DSA), Università di Siena, Italy, to bring together scientists from a variety of disciplines working at Edmonson Point to discuss proposals for a protected area. Given the multi-disciplinary context, it was considered important to take the opportunity to discuss the reasons for special protection and to exchange views on management proposals, which have the potential to influence how science and support is carried out at the site.

The workshop had three principal objectives:

The first objective was accomplished through presentations made by Prof Roberto Bargagli (Terrestrial and freshwater ecology), Dr Nicoletta Cannone (Vegetation and permafrost), Prof Silvano Focardi (Seabirds and mammals), and Prof. Carlo Baroni (Geology and glacial geomorphology). The second objective was met by making a systematic evaluation using a 'Values Appraisal Matrix'. The third objective was achieved through workshop discussion of key management issues.

The final report from the Siena Workshop Science and Management at Edmonson Point: Report on the Workshop held in Siena, Italy, 15 April 2003, is available in Adobe Acrobat format (1.74 MB), which includes photos in Appendix 3. A version without photos (664 KB) is provided for those who do not wish to download the larger document. The text is identical in both versions.

ERA worked with project collaborators DSA and PNRA to complete the final draft management plan and maps in April 2006, and Italy submitted this to the XXIX Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM), held in Edinburgh in June 2006. The management plan was adopted by the ATCM without any significant changes.


Bargagli, R., Wynn-Williams, D., Bersan, F., Cavacini, P., Ertz, S., Freckman, D., Lewis Smith, R., Russell, N. and Smith, A. 1997. Field Report - BIOTEX 1: First BIOTAS Expedition (Edmonson Point - Baia Terra Nova, Dec 10 1995 - Feb 6 1996). Newsletter of the Italian Biological Research in Antarctica 1 (1995-96): 42-58.

Bargagli, R., Sanchez-Hernandez, J.C., Martella, L. and Monaci, F. 1998. Mercury, cadmium and lead accumulation in Antarctic mosses growing along nutrient and moisture gradients. Polar Biology 19: 316-22.

Baroni, C. and Orombelli, G. 1994. Holocene glacier variations in the Terra Nova Bay area (Victoria Land, Antarctica). Antarctic Science 6(4): 497-505.

Broady, P.A. 1987. A floristic survey of algae at four locations in northern Victoria Land. New Zealand Antarctic Record 7(3): 8-19.

Cannone N. and Guglielmin, M. 2003. Vegetation and permafrost: sensitive systems for the development of a monitoring program of climate change along an Antarctic transect. In: Huiskes, A.H.L., Gieskes, W.W.C., Rozema, J., Schorno, R.M.L., Van der Vies, S.M., Wolff, W.J. (Editors) Antarctic biology in a global context. Backhuys, Leiden: 31-36.

Corsolini, S. and Trèmont, R. 1997. Australia-Italy cooperation in Antarctica: Adélie Penguin monitoring program, Edmonson Point, Ross Sea Region. Newsletter of the Italian Biological Research in Antarctica 1 (Austral summer 1995-96): 59-64.

Corsolini, S., Ademollo, N., Romeo, T., Olmastroni, S. and Focardi, S. 2003. Persistent organic pollutants in some species of a Ross Sea pelagic trophic web. Antarctic Science 15(1): 95-104.

Frati F. 1999. Distribution and ecophysiology of terrestrial microarthropods in the Victoria Land. Newsletter of the Italian Biological Research in Antarctica 3: 13-19.

Keys, J.R., Dingwall, P.R. and Freegard, J. (eds) 1988. Improving the Protected Area system in the Ross Sea region, Antarctica. Central Office Technical Report Series No. 2. Wellington, NZ Department of Conservation.

La Rocca N., Moro I. and Andreoli, C. 1996. Survey on a microalga collected from an Edmonson Point pond (Victoria Land, Antarctica). Giornale Botanico Italiano 130: 960-62.

New Zealand 2000. Report on the Open Ended Intersessional Contact Group on Protected Areas - Development of guidelines for Protected Areas under Annex V of the Environmental Protocol. Working Paper 11 for the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP 3), The Hague, The Netherlands, 11-15 September 2000.

Olmastroni, S., Corsolini, S., Pezzo, F., Focardi, S. and Kerry, K. 2001. The first five years of the Italian-Australian Joint Programme on the Adélie Penguin: an overview. Italian Journal of Zoology 1: 141-45.

Pezzo, F., Olmastroni, S., Corsolini, S., and Focardi, S. 2001. Factors affecting the breeding success of the south polar skua Catharacta maccormicki at Edmonson Point, Victoria Land, Antarctica. Polar Biology 24: 389-93.

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