Our coastal areas are of critical importance to both humans and wildlife, and knowledge of them is essential for their management and conservation. Historically in the South Atlantic, the coastal margins of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia have been subject to relatively little study. However, the Falklands have received increased pressures over recent years from shipping, tourism and oil production. While South Georgia has received less human impact, it is still home to globally important populations of marine birds and mammals, and their habitat extends around its coastline.
This new project seeks to utilise recently available satellite imagery alongside other spatial data and local expert knowledge to develop the first broad scale coastal margin (terrestrial, intertidal and subtidal) habitat maps for the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. Where there is significant uncertainty in these broad scale maps, or in response to specific priorities from stakeholders, higher resolution habitat maps utilising very high-resolution satellite imagery or bespoke imagery captured using aerial drones will also be developed. These habitat maps will create an essential baseline, providing a sound basis for use in future planning, decision-making and monitoring.