See stunning birds, endangered plants, and enchanting silver foxes
Weddell Island claims to be the largest privately owned island in the world, at over 102 square miles. It’s also the third largest of all the Falkland Islands. It was named after British explorer James Weddell, after whom the Weddell Sea in Antarctica was also named.
Weddell Island was historically run as a farm, but farming activity declined in the 20th century. Recent owners have begun to return the island to sustainable farming as well as managing the habitats for wildlife and replanting native tussac grasses where birds in particular love to nest.
One interesting creature to be seen here is the tiny Patagonian fox. Distinctly not a native species, these foxes were introduced to the island in the 1930s by an eccentric previous owner who also brought with him skunks, rheas, and parrots! Only the foxes remain, and although they do prey on very young lambs, their future on the island has still not been decided.
Weddell Island is a very important plant habitat for the Falklands. It contains more than 60% of all the native Falkland plant species, including some very rare species. The birdlife here is also prolific and plays host to most of the Falklands species as well as some occasional visitors from South America. Gentoo and Magellanic penguins are resident, and another 54 species have so far been recorded on Weddell.
The whole island is open for exploration, and you are welcome to either stay close to the small settlement to enjoy the views or to hike across the island in the hope of spotting some of its rarer bird species.
Interesting facts about Weddell Island
As well as the rare and unusual plants, birds, and Patagonian foxes, the owners of Weddell Island have offered a challenge. The maximum number of species spotted in one trip no more than 2.5 miles of the settlement is 33 – come to Weddell and try and beat that!
Highlights Close to Weddell Island
Arrival at Port Stanley
The Falkland Islands
Embark in Port Stanley
Animals in Weddell Island
Our trips to Weddell Island