and the Arctic
Measures Approved or Recommended
Under Article IX in Furtherance of the Principles and Objectives of the
Antarctic Treaty of 1 December 1959, Utrecht, 1996
Done at Utrecht 10 May 1996
Entered into force (not in force)
Depositary: United States of America
Primary source citation: Copy of text provided by the U.S. Department of State
Measure I (1996)
Revised Description and Management Plan for
Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Recommend to their Governments the following Measure for approval in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article IX of the Antarctic Treaty,
For the Sites of Special Scientific Interest mentioned below.
(i) the Management Plan inserted in the Annex to Recommendation XIII-8 on the Facilitation of scientific research: Sites of Special Scientific Interest be deleted;
(ii) the relevant Management Plan of the Sites of Special Scientific Interest, annexed to this Measure, be inserted in the Annex to Recommendation XIII-8 on the Facilitation of scientific research: Sites of Special Scientific Interest;
The Sites of Special Scientific Interest concerned are:
SSSI No 9 Rothera Point, Adelaide Island
SSSI No 19 Linnaeus Terrace, Asgard Range, Victoria Land;
(iii) that the Consultative Parties ensure that their nationals comply with mandatory provisions of the new Management Plans.
Measure II (1996)
Antarctic Protected Area System: New Historic Sites and Monuments
Recalling Recommendations I-IX, V-4, VI-14, VII-9, XII-7, XIII-16 and XIV-8, Measures 4 and 5 (1995) and Resolution 8 (1995),
Recommend to their governments the following Measure for approval in accordance with paragraph 4 of Article IX of the Antarctic Treaty
to add the following historic monuments to the “List of Historic Monuments Identified and Described by the proposing Government of Governments” annexed to recommendation VII-9, thereby guaranteeing its full protection and respect as envisaged by the Recommendations noted above.
Mikkelsen Cairn, Tryne Islands, Vestfold Hills. A rock cairn and a wooden mast erected by the landing party led by Captain Klarius Mikkelsen of the Norwegian whaling ship Thorshavn and including Caroline Mikkelsen, Captain Mikkelsen’s wife, the first woman to set foot on East Antarctica. The cairn, at latitude 6822’34”S longitude 7824’33”E was discovered by Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition field parties in 1957 and again in 1995.
for Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) No. 9
ROTHERA POINT, ADELAIDE ISLAND
I. Description of Values to be Protected
Rothera Point was originally designated in Recommendation XIII-8 (1985, SSSI No. 9) after a proposal by the United Kingdom that the Site would serve as a biological research site and control area against which the effects of human impact associated with the adjacent Rothera Research Station (UK) could be monitored in an Antarctic fulfilled ecosystem. The Site itself has little intrinsic nature conservation value.
2. Aims and Objectives
2 (i) Aims
Management of Rothera Point aims to:
• avoid major changes to the structure and composition of the terrestrial ecosystems, in particular to the fellfield ecosystem and breeding birds, by:
— preventing physical development within the site, and;
— limiting human access to the Site to maintain its value as a control area for environmental monitoring studies;
• allow scientific research and monitoring studies of breeding birds, terrestrial and freshwater biota, and soils, while ensuring as far as possible that the Site is protected from over-sampling;
• alow regular visits for management purposes in support of the objectives of the management plan.
2 (ii) Objectives
The Site is unique in Antarctica as it is the only protected area currently designated (1995) solely for its value in the monitoring of human impact. The objective is to use the Site as an unaffected control area in assessing the impact of activities undertaken at Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic environment.
The hypothesis being tested is that the activities undertaken at Rothera Research Station have not caused environmental impact within the Site.
Monitoring studies undertaken by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) began at Rothera Point in 1976, before the establishment of the station later that year, and have expanded considerably since 1989. The BAS plans to continue monitoring studies in the future.
The purposes of the monitoring programme (1995) are to:
• survey the distribution of terrestrial flora and invertebrates every decade;
• assess heavy metal concentrations in lichens every five years;
• assess petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations in gravel and soil every other year;
• survey the breeding bird population annually.
3. Management Activities
The following management activities are to be undertaken to protect the values of the Area:
• signboards illustrating the location and boundary of the Site and stating entry restrictions shall be erected at the major access points and serviced on a regular basis;
• a map showing the location and boundaries of the Site and stating entry requirements shall be displayed in a prominent position at Rothera Research Station;
• visits shall be made as necessary (no less than once every two years) to assess whether the Site continues to serve the purposes for which is was designated and to ensure management activities are adequate.
4. Period of Designation
Designation for an indefinite period.
Map 1 shows the location of Rothera Point in relation to northern Marguerite Bay. Map 2 shows the Site in greater detail, with an inset showing the Site in relation to Rothera Research Station.
6. Description of the Area
6 (i) Geographical coordinates, boundary markers and natural features
Rothera Point (lat. 67 34’S, long 68 08’W) is situated in Ryder Bay, at the south-east corner of Wright Peninsula on the east side of Adelaide Island, south-west Antarctic Peninsula.
The Site is the north-eastern one-third of Rothera Point (Map 2), and is representative of the area as a whole. It is about 300 m from west to east and 250 m from north to south, and rises to a maximum height of 36 m. At the coast, the Site boundary is the 2.5 m contour. No upper shore, littoral or sublittoral areas of Rothera Point are therefore included within the SSSI. The southern boundary of the Site, running across Rothera Point, is marked by a line of pink fuel drums filled with concrete. The remaining boundary is unmarked. There are two signboards just outside the perimeter of the Site located at the starting points of the pedestrian access rout around Rothera Point.
The Site boundary extends to the 2.5 m contour at the coast. There is unrestricted pedestrian access below this contour height around Rothera Point. The recommended pedestrians access route follows the Mean High Water Mark (MHWM) and is shown on Map 2.
Small areas of permanent ice occur to the north and south of the summit of the SSSI. There are no permanent streams or pools.
The rocks are predominantly heterogeneous intrusions of diorite, granodiorite and adamellite of the mid-Cretaceous-Lower Tertiary Andean Instrusive Suite. Veins of copper ore are prominent bright green stains on the rock. Soil is restricted to small pockets of glacial till and sand on the rock bluffs. Local deeper deposits produce scattered small circles and polygons of frost sorted material. There are no extensive areas of patterned ground. Around prominent rock outcrops used as bird perches by Dominican gulls (Larus dominicanus) there are accumulations of recent and decaying limpet (Nacella concinna) shells forming patches of calcareous soil. There are no accumulations of organic matter.
There are no special or rare geological or geomorphological features in the Site.
The limited terrestrial biological interest within the Site is confined to the rock bluffs where there is locally abundant plant growth dominated by lichens. The vegetation is representive of the southern “maritime” Antarctic fellfield ecosystem and is dominated by the fruticose lichens Usnea antarctica, U.sphacelata, and Pseudephebe minuscula, and the foliose lichen Umbilicaria decussata. Numerous crustose lichens are associated, but bryophytes (mainly Andreaea spp.) are sparse.
A single very small population of antarctic pearlwort (Colobanthus quitensis) occurs below the northern cliff of the Site, whilst a few plants of Antarctic hair grass
(Deschampsia antarctica) have become established at two locations since 1989.
The invertebrate fauna is impoverished and consists only of a few species of mites and springtails, of which Halozetes belgicae and Cryptopygus antarcticus are the most common.
There are no special or rare terrestrial flora and fauna in the Site.
Brown and south polar skuas (Catharacta lonnbergii and C. maccormicki) are the most abundant breeding birds found in the Site, with three pairs of skuas recorded nesting in the 1994/95 season. A pair of Dominican gulls (Larus dominicanus) nest in the Site. Wilson’s storm petrels (Oceanites oceanicus) also breed, but only one nest has been found.
Rothera Research Station (UK) lies about 250 m west of the western boundary of the Site (see inset on Map 2).
6 (ii) Restricted zones within the Site
6 (iii) Location of structures within the Site
A rock cairn marks the summit of the Site (36 m) and 35 m to the east south east of it there is another cairn (35.4) marking a survey station.
6 (iv) Location of other Protected Areas within close proximity
SPA No. 8, Dion Islands, Marguerite Bay, lies about 15 km south of Adelaide Island. SPA No. 19, Lagotellerie Island, Marguerite Bay, lies about 11 km south of Pourquoi Pas Island. SPA No. 21, Avian Island, Marguerite Bay, lies about 0.25 km south of the south-west tip of Adelaide Island. The locations of these SPAs are shown on Map 1.
7. Permit Conditions
Entry to the Site is prohibited without a Permit. Permits shall be issued only by appropriate national authorities, and may contain both general and specific conditions.
General conditions for issuing a Permit to enter the Site may include:
• activities limited to scientific research or monitoring purposes;
• the actions permitted will not jeopardize the ecosystem or scientific or monitoring values of the Site.
• any management activities are in support of the objectives of the Management Plan;
• the actions permitted are carried out in accordance with this Management Plan;
• the permit holder must carry the permit, or an authorized copy, within the Site.
National authorities may attach further general and specific conditions to a permit.
7 (i) Access to and movement within the Site
Access to the Site shall be on foot.
Landing of helicopters within the Site is prohibited. As far as practicable, helicopter overflight of the Site shall be avoided.
Vehicles are prohibited in the Site.
7 (ii) Activities which are or may be conducted within the Site, including restrictions on time and place
Activities which are or may be conducted within the Site are:
• scientific research or monitoring which will not jeopardise the ecosystems of the Site;
• essential management activities.
7 (iii) Installation, modification or removal of structures
No structures are to be erected in the Site, or equipment installed, except for essential scientific or management activities (eg. signboards, monitoring equipment) as specified in the permit.
All scientific and monitoring equipment, including marker stakes, installed in the Site must be approved by Permit and clearly identified to show principal investigator, project and year of installation. The Permit holder must remove any scientific or monitoring equipment installed as soon as it is no longer required or on the expiry of the permit which ever is the sooner.
7 (iv) Location of field camps
Camping in the Site is prohibited. Accommodation may be available at Rothera Research Station.
7 (v) Restrictions on materials and organisms which may be brought into the site
No non-indigenous living animals, plant material, microorganisms or soil shall be deliberately introduced into the Site.
Any hazardous substances or chemicals, including radioisotopes, which may be introduced for scientific, monitoring or management purposes specified in the Permit, shall be removed from the Site at or before the conclusion of the activity for which the Permit was granted.
Fuel, food and other materials must not be stored in the Site, unless required for essential purposes connected with the activity for which the Permit has been granted. All such materials introduced shall be removed from the Site at or before the conclusion of the activity for which the Permit was granted. Permanent depots are not permitted.
No poultry products, including food products containing uncooked dried eggs, shall be taken into the Site.
7 (vi) Taking of or harmful interference with native flora and fauna
Taking of or harmful interference with native flora and fauna is prohibited, except in accordance with a Permit. Where taking of or harmful interference with animals is involved this should be in accordance with the SCAR Code of Conduct for the use of Animals for Scientific Purposes in Antarctica, as a minimum standard.
7 (vii) Collection or removal of anything not brought into the Area by the Permit holder
Material may be collected and/or removed from the Site only in accordance with a Permit and should be limited to the minimum necessary to meet scientific or management needs. Material of human origin not brought into the site by the Permit holder, or otherwise authorised, which is likely to compromise the values of the Site shall be removed unless the impact of removal is likely to be greater than leaving the material in situ. In the latter case the appropriate authority shall be notified.
7 (viii) Disposal of wastes
All wastes, including all human wastes, must be removed from the Site.
7 (ix) Measures that are necessary to ensure that the aims and objectives of the Management Plan can continue to be met
Permits may be granted to enter the Site to carry out scientific research, monitoring and site inspection activities, which may involve the collection of a small number of samples for analysis, to erect or maintain signboards, or to carry out protective measures.
7 (x) Requirements for reports
Parties should ensure that the principal holder of each Permit issued submits to the appropriate authority a report describing the activities undertaken. Such reports should include, as appropriate, the information identified in the Visit Report Form suggested by SCAR. Parties should maintain a record of such activities and, in the Annual Exchange of Information, should provide summary description of activities conducted by persons subject to their jurisdiction, in sufficient detail to allow evaluation of the effectiveness of the Management Plan. Parties should, wherever possible, deposit originals or copies of such original reports in a publicly accessible archive to maintain a record of usage, to be used both in any review of the Management Plan and in organizing the scientific use of the Site.
for Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) No. 19
LINNAEUS TERRACE, ASGAARD RANGE
1. Description of Values to be Protected
Linnaeus Terrace was originally designated in Recommendation XIII-8 (1985, SSSI No. 19) after a proposal by the United States of America on the grounds that the Area is one of the richest known localities for the cryptoendolithic communities that colonize the Beacon Sandstone. Exposed surfaces of the Beacon Sandstone are the habitat of cryptoendolithic microorganisms, which may colonize a zone of up to 10 millimetres deep below the surface of the rocks. The sandstones exhibit a range of biological and physical weathering forms, as well as trace fossils, and many of the formations are fragile and vulnerable to disturbance and destruction by trampling and sampling. Cryptoendolithic communities are known to develop over time periods in the order of tens of thousands of years, and damaged rock surfaces would be slow to recolonize. The excellent examples of these communities found at the site are the subject of the original detailed Antarctic cryptendolithic descriptions. As such, Linnaeus Terrace is considered a type locality with outstanding scientific values related to this ecosystem. These values, as well as the vulnerability of the site to disturbance and destruction, require that it receives long-term special protection.
2. Aims and objectives
Management at Linnaeus Terrace aims to:
• avoid degradation of, or substantial risk to, the values of the Area;
• prevent unnecessary human disturbance to the Area and protect the fragile rock formations from breakage;
• permit research on the cryptoendolithic communities while ensuring they are protected from over-sampling;
• permit visits for management purposes in support of the objectives of the management plan.
3. Management activities
• Durable wind direction indicators should be erected close to the designated helicopter landing site whenever it is anticipated there will be a number of landings at the Area in a given season. These should be replaced as needed and removed when no longer required.
• Brightly colored markers, which should be clearly visible from the air and pose no significant threat to the environment, shall be placed to mark the helicopter landing pad.
• Markers or structures erected within the Area for scientific or management purposes shall be maintained in good condition.
• Visits shall be made as necessary (no less than once every five years) to assess whether the Area continues to serve the purposes for which it was designated and to ensure management and maintenance measures are adequate.
• National Antarctic Programs operating in the region shall consult together with a view to ensuring these steps are carried out.
4. Period of designation
Designated under ATCM Measure XX-I for an indefinite period.
5. Maps and photographs
Map A: Linnaeus Terrace, Wright Valley, location image-map. Orthophotograph specifications:
Projection: Lambert conformal conic; Standard parallels: 1st-7918’00”S; 2nd-7642’00”S.
Central Meridian: 16230’00”E Latitude of Origin: 7801’16.211”S
Spheriod: WGS84; Positional accuracy of original orthophotograph at 1:10,000 is ca. 2m.
Photography USGS/DoSLI (SN7856) 22 November 1993.
Map B: Linnaeus Terrace, protected area orthophotograph. Orthophotograph specifications are the same as in Map A, except positional accuracy of original orthophotograph at 1:2,500 is ca. 0.5m.
Map C: Linnaeus Terrace, topographic map. Map specifications are the same as those for Map B. Contours are derived from the digital elevation model used to generate the orthophotograph in Map B.
Figure 1: Perspective view showing Linnaeus Terrace above the South Fork of Wright Valley and Don Juan Pond. The perspective is from an elevation of 7000m, 20 km out from the Area at a bearing of 65E.
Figure 2: Linnaeus Terrace, perspective view, showing the boundaries of the Area and the designated helicopter pad (16104’29”E, 7735’50”S, elevation 1610m). The perspective is from an elevation of 2000 m, 2300 m out from the Area at a bearing of 65E. Image source: Maps A and B.
Figure 3: Photograph illustrating some of the fragile rock formations and fossils found on Linnaeus Terrace.
6. Description of the Area
6(i) Geographical coordinates, boundary markers and natural features
Linnaeus Terrace (16105’00”E, 7735’50”S) is an elevated bench of weathered Beacon Sandstone approximately 1.5 km in length and 1 km in width. It is located at the east end of the Asgaard Range, 1.5 km north of Oliver Peak (16102’30”E, 7736’40”S) at an elevation of about 1600 m. The Area overlooks the South Fork of the Wright Valley, is about 4 km from Don Juan Pond and 10 km from the terminus of the Wright Upper Glacier (Map A and Figure 1). The boundaries of the Area and prominent features are shown in the accompanying maps and figures.
On the ground, the lower (northern) boundary of the Area is characterized by the presence of a predominantly sandstone outcrop of approximately 3 m in height which extends for much of the length of the terrace. The lower boundary of the Area is defined as the upper edge of this outcrop, and as straight lines adjoining the visible edges where the outcrop is covered by surface talus (Figure 2). The upper (southern) boundary of the Area is characterized by a line of sandstone outcrop of about 2-5 m in height, occurring between the elevations of 1660-1700 m about 70 above the general elevation of the terrace. The upper boundary of the Area is defined as the uppermost edge of this outcrop, and shall be considered a straight line between the visible edges where the outcrop is covered by surface talus (Map B, Figure 2). The west end of the Area is defined as where the terrace narrows and merges with a dolerite talus slope on the flank of the NW ridge of Oliver Peak. The boundary at the west dips steeply from where the upper outcrop disappears, following the border of the dolerite talus with the terrace sandstone down to the westernmost corner. The east boundary is defined as the 1615 m contour, which follows closely the edge of an outcrop which extends much of the width of the terrace. At the southernmost corner of the Area the terrace merges with the slopes into the valley to the east: from this point the boundary extends upward to the 1700 m contour, from where it follows the line of outcrop defining the south boundary (Map B, Figure 2).
Winter air temperature at Linnaeus Terrace ranges between -20C and -45C, while in January the daily mean is
-5. Cryptoendolithic micoorganisms typically colonize porous Beacon sandstones with a 0.2 - 0.5 mm grain size, with an apparent preference for rocks stained tan or brown by Fe +3-containing oxyhydroxides. A silicified crust of about 1 mm thickness on many of the rocks probably facilitates colonization by stabilizing the surface and reducing wind erosion. Three of the five described cryptoendolithic microbial communities have been found on Linnaeus Terrace: the Lichen Dominated, Red-Gloeocapsa and Chroococcidiopsis Communities. Linnaeus Terrace is the type locality of the endemic green algal genus Hemichloris and of the endemic Xanthopycean algal species Heterococcus endolithicus. The Area is unusual in that so many different living and fossil endolithic communities are present within a small area. The main physical and biological features of these communities and their habitat are described in Friedmann, E.I. (ed) 1993 Antarctic Microbiology, Wiley-Liss, New York.
A small area (Map C) has been contaminated by release of the C(14) radioactive isotope. While the contamination poses no significant human or environmental threat, any samples gathered within this area are considered unsuitable for scientific work using C(14) techniques.
6(ii) Restricted zones within the Area
6(iii) Structures within the Area
A number of rocks within the Area have small instruments installed into them for scientific purposes and should not be disturbed.
6(iv) Location of other Specially Protected Areas or Sites of Special Scientific Interests within close proximity of the Area
7. Permit conditions
Permits may be issued only by appropriate national authorities as designated under Annex V, Article 7 of the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. Conditions for issuing a Permit to enter the Area are that:
• it is issued only for scientific study of the cryptoendolithic ecosystem, or for a compelling scientific or management purpose that cannot be served elsewhere;
• the actions permitted will not jeopardize the natural ecological system or scientific values of the Area;
• any management activities are in support of the objectives of the Management Plan;
• the actions permitted are in accordance with the Management Plan;
• the Permit, or an authorized copy, shall be carried within the Area;
• a Visit Report is supplied to the authority named in the Permit;
• any Permit issued shall be valid for a stated period.
7(i) Access to and movement within the Area
Access to the Area is permitted by foot or by helicopter. No special restrictions apply to the routes used to move to and from the Area. Helicopters shall land only at the designated site at the west end of the terrace (16104’29”E, 7735’50”S, elevation 1610 m: Maps B and C), except when specifically authorized by Permit otherwise for a compelling scientific or management purpose. Use of helicopter smoke bombs within the Area is discouraged. When transporting permitted visitors, pilots, air crew, or passengers en route elsewhere on helicopters are prohibited from moving on foot beyond the immediate vicinity of the designated landing and camping sites unless specifically authorized by a Permit. Land vehicles are prohibited within the area.
Pedestrian traffic should be kept to the minimum necessary consistent with the objectives of any permitted activities. Visitors should avoid breaking fragile rock formations.
7(ii) Activities that are or may be conducted in the Area, including restrictions on time or place
• Scientific research which will not jeopardize the ecosystem of the Area;
• Essential management activities, including monitoring.
7(iii) Installation, modification or removal of structures
No structures, except boundary markers and signs, are to be erected within the Area except as specified in a Permit. All scientific equipment installed in the Area must be approved by Permit and clearly identified by country, name of the principal investigator and year of installation. All such items should be made of materials that pose minimal risk of contamination of the Area. Removal of specific equipment for which the Permit has expired shall be the responsibility of the authority which granted the original Permit.
7(iv) Location of field camps
Camping is permitted within the Area only at the designated site in the immediate vicinity of the helicopter landing pad (Maps B and C).
7(v) Restrictions on materials and organisms which can be brought into the Area
To avoid compromising the microbial ecosystem for which this site is protected, no living animals, plant material or microorganisms shall be deliberately introduced into the Area and precautions should be taken against accidental introductions. No herbicides or pesticides shall be brought into the Area. Any other chemicals, including radio-nuclides or stable isotopes, which may be introduced for scientific or management purposes specified in the Permit, shall be removed from the Area at or before the conclusion of the activity for which the Permit was granted. Food, fuel, and other materials are not to be stored in the Area, unless required for essential purposes connected with the activity for which the Permit has been granted. All such materials introduced shall be for a stated period only, shall be removed at or before the conclusion of that stated period, and shall be stored and handled so that risk of their introduction into the environment is minimized.
7(vi) Taking or harmful interference with native flora or fauna
This is prohibited, except in accordance with a Permit. Where animal taking or harmful interference is involved this should be in accordance with the SCAR Code of Conduct for the Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes in Antarctica, as a minimum standard.
7(vii) Collection or removal of anything not brought into the Area by the Permit holder
Material may be collected or removed from the Area only in accordance with a Permit. Material of human origin, not brought into the Area by the Permit Holder, but which is likely to compromise the values of the Area may be removed from any part of the Area.
7(viii) Disposal of waste
All wastes, including all human wastes, must be removed from the Area.
7(ix) Measures that are necessary to ensure that the aims and objectives of the Management Plan can continue to be met
Permits may be granted to enter the Area to carry out biological monitoring and site inspection activities, which may involve the collection of small amounts of biological material for analysis or audit, or to carry out protective measures.
7(x) Requirements for reports
Parties should ensure that the principal holder of each permit issued submit to the appropriate authority a report describing the activities undertaken. Such report should include, as appropriate, the information identified in the Visit Report form suggested by SCAR. Parties should provide summary descriptions of activities conducted by persons subject to their jurisdiction, in sufficient detail to allow evaluation of the effectiveness of the management plan. Parties should, wherever possible, deposit originals of copies of such original reports in a publicly accessible archive to maintain a record of usage, to be used both in any review of the management plan and in organizing the scientific use of the Area.
Map A - Linnaeus Terrace, Wright Valley, location image-map
Map B - Linnaeus Terrace, Site of Special Scientific Interest No. 19: site orthophotograph
Map C - Linnaeus Terrace, Site of Special Scientific Interest No. 19: topographic map
Figure 1 – Wright Valley, perspective view
Figure 2 – Linnaeus Terrace, perspective view