Pebble Island

Pebble Island Map
Pebble Island – Click to enlarge

Pebble Island is situated north of West Falkland. The island, the fifth largest in the Falklands archipelago, stretches about 30 km (19 mi) and about 7 km (4.3 mi) at its widest point, with a total area of 103.36 km2 (39.91 sq mi).
Its three high points are First Mountain 277 m (909 ft), Middle Mountain 214 m (702 ft) and Marble Mountain 237 m (778 ft), all of which lie in the western part of the island.
The eastern part of the island has lakes and wetlands and is of high conservation value. The two halves are joined by an isthmus on which lies Pebble Island Settlement where the inhabitants live. The island has been a sheep farm since 1846; 13,500 Corriedale sheep are farmed, along with 240 head of beef and dairy cattle.

The current farm was founded in 1846, by an Englishman called John Henry 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.



Pebble Island Jetty
Pebble Island Jetty

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 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.