Coastal MPA
Islas Cormorán y Justicia
Area of Limited Use under Special Protection

Cover Photo © G Harris


The Scientific Use Area under Special Protection Cormorant and Justicia Islands was created in 1990 under provincial jurisdiction. The purpose of its creation is the protection and conservation of the different species, both birds and cetaceans, found in the area.

In Justicia Island, also known as Isla de los Pájaros, nest the imperial cormorant, the black-necked cormorant or rock cormorant, the biguá, the gull, the gull, the southern gull and the swallow tern, among other birds. It is a place of geomorphological and paleontological interest due to the large amount of mega and microfossils found in tertiary deposits and the presence of the remains of a Jurassic petrified forest. The island is also a site of historical and cultural importance. One of the mutineers during the voyage of Hernando de Magallanes in 1520 was executed there. It was also visited by prominent people such as Fitz Roy and Charles Darwin.

On Cormorant Island, also known as Penguin Island, there are different birds such as the biguá, the Antarctic pigeon, the black oystercatcher and gulls and terns, among others. It stands out for a colony of more than 120,000 individuals of the Magellanic penguin.

Among the islands, it is common to observe the Commerson’s dolphin, which uses the surrounding waters as a breeding site.

Geographic Location


Santa Cruz


-49.29° Latitude S

-67.70° Longitude W

Size and Limits

Total Area:


Marine Area:


Continental Area:


Area estimated based on the calculation of the area of the polygon represented on the map (ArcGIS PRO) with an Albers Equivalent Conic projection to preserve area calculations.

Legal Aspects



Year of Creation


Creation Legislation

Instrument 15/90

Eco-regions represented



Patagonian Steppe Ecoregion

Conservation Objectives

Protection of the islands as nesting sites for the Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus maguellanicus), Magellanic Cormoran, King Cormoran, and other birds, as well as cetaceans such as the Commerson’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersoni)

Colonies and stopover sites

The following table presents the colonies or stopover sites of some emblematic species of birds and marine mammals present within the MPA boundaries.


Management effectiveness and evaluation year

32 % – METT Evaluation (2014)

Sources of information consulted:
Biodiversity Information System (see here).
Creation Provisions N° 15/90 and N° 16/90
Padin (2007)

Bird and marine mammal colonies: See Bibliography