Gough and Inaccessible Islands (1995, 2004)
Great Britain

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Tristan da Cunha 2005. World Cultural Heritage. Gough Island.  Gough Moorhen.

Gough Island, in the South Atlantic, is one of the least disrupted island and marine ecosystems in the cool temperate zone. One of the largest colonies of sea birds in the world lives there, amidst spectacular scenery of cliffs towering above the ocean. 

The island is also home to two endemic species of land birds, the galinulle and the Gough rowettie, as well as to twelve endemic species of plants. 

  • Tristan da Cunha 2005.  Gough Moorhen (gallinula comeri) depicted on a single stamp bearing UNESCO's World Heritage Logo. 

The exact location of the uninhabited Gough Island is 40''10' S - 9''45' W, 250 miles southeast of Tristan da Cunha, by whom it is administered.  It may -- in some ways -- be compared to other isolated "bird islands" in the Atlantic, for example the Faeroe Islands, or the Falkland Islands.  The island is uninhabited.  

Here is shown a wonderful set of four stamps, featuring the two birds mentioned by UNESCO in the declaration making Gough Island a World Heritage Site.  

Tristan da Cunha 1991. World Cultural Heritage. Gouch Moorhen.

A similar set was issued in 1996, when Gough Islands was declared world heritage, completed with two species of Albatross.  

Tristan da Cunha 1996. World Cultural Heritage. Wildlife on Gouch Island.

The island was first sighted in 1505 by the Portuguese Gonçalo Alvarez when he was blown south after trying to round the Cape of Good Hope. Because of this, the island is sometimes called Gonzalo Alvarez. British Captain Charles Gough rediscovered the island on 3 March 1732, naming it for himself even though he did not make a landing. Antoine de la Roche made the first landing in May 1675, and sealers first arrived in 1804. A territorial claim was made during a British naval visit in 1938. In 1955 to 1956, British scientists built a small scientific station. In 1976, Gough Island was declared a Wildlife Reserve, and in 1995, it was also declared a World Heritage Site (the first sub-Antarctic island to become one). 

Gough Island covers about 65 sq km (14 km long; 7 km wide), and it's highest point, Edinburgh Peak, rises up to 910m. There are no glaciers on the island, and wildlife on it includes the long-crested rockhopper penguin, the Gough bunting, the Gough flightless moorhen, the wandering albatross and the southern elephant seal..

Other World Heritage Sites in Great Britain (on this site). Inactive links are not described on postage stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, United Kingdom Section, for further information about the individual properties. 

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Revised 19 jul 2006  
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