Mosvatnet, Sørkappøya. Remains from a Russian trappers station
The lagoon at Sørkappøya with the purple sandpiper


  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    55,203 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    76°33'N 16°34'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


The Site, at the southern tip of Spitsbergen, includes shallow,nutrient-rich marine areas, islands, numerous ponds and lakes, streams, small rivers and, further inland, ice-covered mountain ridges. It is characterized by permafrost and erosion by wind, ice and the sea, and mainly covered by intermittent spots of grass. More than 60% of the Sørkapp land territory is still covered by glaciers, despite its climate warming since the beginning of the 20th century. The Svalbard rock ptarmigan Lagopus muta hyperborea is the only bird species wintering on land. A few bird species such as the long-tailed duck Clangula hyemalis and gulls and auks might occasionally overwinter in areas free of sea ice, but most bird species are migratory. Waders, goose species and seabirds are the dominant groups. 19 species of mammals can be observed in the area, including the Svalbard reindeer Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus, the Arctic fox Vulpes lagopus, and the polar bear Ursus maritimus. The Site’s permafrost areas and mires are important carbon reservoirs. There are several cultural heritage sites relating to overwintering Russian (17th century) and Norwegian (19th century) groups, including graves, huts and hunting traps.

Administrative region: 

  • National legal designation: 
    • National Park - South Spitsbergen
    • Nature Reserve - Sørkapp
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

Additional reports and documents