Amsterdam And Saint-Paul Islands Temperate Grasslands

The Amsterdam and Saint-Paul Islands temperate grasslands is an ecoregion including two volcanic islands in the southern Indian Ocean. The French research vessel Marion Dufresne II, which services the Martin-de-Vivies research station on Amsterdam Island, is the only way to visit the islands.

There are two volcanoes that lie 83 kilometers from each other in the center of a triangle between Australia, Antarctica and southern Africa called Ile Amsterdam and Ile Saint-Paul. The islands are distant, located about 1,860 miles from each neighboring continent. They have cool oceanic climates with the temperatures ranging from 55 degrees Fahrenheit during August to 63 degrees Fahrenheit during February, rainfall of 43 inches, unrelenting westerly winds, and high levels of humidity.

The plant life varies with the elevation; at the lower levels, the volcanoes are blanketed with grass and tussock grasslands and sedge meadows and, on Amsterdam, the Phylica arborea tree mixed with ferns. With higher levels, on the Plateau des Tourbieres, there are bogs, mosses, and shrubs.

These remote islands aren’t rich in wildlife assortment but host a large population of Subantarctic Fur Seal. They’re a significant breeding ground for the Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, Gentoo Penguin, Northern Rockhopper Penguin, Antarctic Tern, Great Skua, Flesh-footed Shearwater, and the endemic Amsterdam Albatross.

Image Caption: Map of Saint-Paul and Amsterdam Islands in the Indian Ocean. Credit: Taken from Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL). Wikipedia