Rabbit Island, Falklands

Pebble Island

Pebble Island (Isla Borbón) is one of the Falkland Islands, lying north of West Falkland. It has an area of approximately 88 km² (c. 21,000 acres) and has been a sheep farm since 1846. The "capital" of the island, and only settlement is known as Pebble Island Settlement.

13,500 Corriedale sheep are kept here, along with 240 head of cattle (both beef and dairy).

History

The current farm was founded in 1846, by an Englishman called John Markham Dean. He also bought three neighbouring islands. Dean's family concern passed on to Dean Brothers Ltd, but it is currently managed locally by Raymond Evans, who is the great nephew of Johnny Evans, who introduced sheep to the island, and who also slaughtered the first feral cattle.

During the Falklands War, the island was occupied by Argentine forces and heavily fortified, but was assaulted successfully by the British SAS in the "Raid on Pebble Island". 300 Argentines were based here. There are memorials on the island to the British destroyer HMS Coventry and to an Argentinian Lear Jet, both destroyed during the conflict. Coventry sank 14 miles north of Pebble Island in May 1982. After the raid, the Argentines confined the islanders to the manager's house.

More recently, Pebble Island Settlement became one of the first in the Falkland Islands to use wind turbines to generate most of its electricity.

Geography and wildlife

The island can be divided into a marshy east, known for its waterfowl and wading birds, and a hilly west, known for its penguins. Penguin species found here include rockhopper, macaroni, king and erect-crested penguins. Waterfowl include wild duck, grebe, and black-necked swans, which live on the island's ponds.

The two halves are joined by an isthmus on which the settlement is located. The island is probably named for the peculiarly spherical pebbles found at its western tip. The western half is dominated by "First Mountain" or "First Mount".

Nearby islands include Golding Island, Middle Island, East Island, Rabbit Island and Pebble Islet.

References

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