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Sturge Island
Balleny Map.jpg
Sturge Island is the southernmost of the Balleny Islands
Geography
Location Antarctica
Archipelago Balleny Islands
Area 437.2 km2 (168.8 sq mi)
Length 37 km (23 mi)
Width 12 km (7.5 mi)
Highest elevation 1,705 m (5,594 ft)
Highest point Brown Peak
Administration
Administered under the Antarctic Treaty System
Demographics
Population 0

Sturge Island is one of the three main islands in the uninhabited Balleny Islands group located in the Southern Ocean. It lies 25 km (16 mi) southeast of Buckle Island and 95 km (59 mi) north-east of Belousov Point on the Antarctic mainland. The island, in Oates Land, also forms part of the Ross Dependency, claimed by New Zealand.

Description

The island is roughly a parallelogram in shape, with long east and west coasts and shorter coasts facing north-west and south-east. Of volcanic origin, it is about 12 km (7.5 mi) in width, with a maximum length of 37 km (23 mi), between Cape Freeman in the north and Cape Smyth in the south. It is mostly covered by ice and snow throughout the year. The island's highest point reaches 1,524 m (5,000 ft) with the unclimbed stratovolcano Brown Peak, the highest point in the Balleny chain.

Discovery and naming

The Balleny Islands were discovered by British mariner John Balleny in 1839. Sturge Island was named after Thomas Sturge, one of the London merchants who had financed Balleny's expedition.

Important Bird Area

A 4,655 ha site on the island has been designated an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International because it supports extensive breeding colonies of southern fulmars and snow petrels on ice free cliffs along the western and northern coasts.

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