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Volunteer Point

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Volunteer Point

Volunteer Shanty

Volunteer Point is a headland on the east coast of East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands, to the north north east (as the crow flies) of Stanley, and east of Johnson's Harbour and Berkeley Sound.

It is at the end of a narrow peninsula, which protects Volunteer Lagoon. At its landward end is Volunteer Shanty, a well maintained outhouse, which was used by trekkers until a few years ago.

Strategic value in Falklands War

Volunteer Point is one of the easternmost points of the islands, but Cape Pembroke is the furthest east. During the Falklands War, Argentine commanders considered it a potential British landing point, because it was a) far from continental Argentine airbases (e.g. Rio Grande, Comodoro Rivadavia), and those at Pebble Island, but b) also a strategic foothold for any British force wishing to retake Stanley.[1] However, in the event, the British landings took place on San Carlos Water in the west of East Falkland, on Falkland Sound.

Wildlife

Volunteer Point has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA). Birds for which the site is of conservation significance include Falkland steamer ducks (75 breeding pairs), ruddy-headed geese (100 pairs), gentoo penguins (100 pairs), Magellanic penguins (2000 pairs) and white-bridled finches.[2]

Volunteer Point is notable for having about 150 pairs of king penguins breed here, at the most northerly part of their range. King penguins were once nearly extinct in the Falklands, and Volunteer Point contains most of the Falkland population. There are also southern elephant seals.

References

  1. ^ Bicheno, Hugh (2006) Razor's Edge: The Unofficial History of the Falklands War. London. Weidenfield & Nicholson. ISBN 978-0-7538-2186-2
  2. ^ "Volunteer Point". Important Bird Areas factsheet. BirdLife International. 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-20. 


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