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The plants and birds of Stoltenhoff and Middle Islands, Tristan da Cunha

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 June 2010

Peter G. Ryan
Percy FitzPatrick Institute, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa (
Norman Glass
Tristan Conservation Department, Tristan da Cunha, South Atlantic Ocean
Robert A. Ronconi
Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, 1355 Oxford Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4J1, Canada


Few scientific observations have been made at Middle and Stoltenhoff Islands, small (ca 10 ha) islands off the north coast of Nightingale Island, Tristan da Cunha. We recorded vascular plants and numbers of breeding birds on both islands in December 2009. Despite being smaller and more isolated than Middle Island, Stoltenhoff supported more species of plants, including Cotula moseleyi, previously thought to be endemic to Nightingale Island. Only one alien plant was found, Sonchus oleraceus. Populations of two albatross species apparently have decreased by at least half over the last 40 years, presumably due to mortality at sea. Stoltenhoff probably has the least disturbed habitat in the Tristan group, and strict controls are needed to prevent accidental introductions by anyone going ashore.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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