Spread over 750 islands and islets in the South Atlantic Ocean, the Falkland Islands are over 8,000 miles away from the rest of the UK. Despite this, there is a distinctly British feel to the islands. English is the spoken language, the currency is the Falkland Pound (pegged to the British pound which can also be used on the islands) and plug sockets are the three-pinned UK variety. There is a fish and chip shop in the capital – Stanley and other British favourites such as roast dinners can be found on pub and restaurant menus.
When it comes to wildlife, the similarities end however. In the summer months, penguins come ashore to breed on the islands. The Falkland Islands mark the most northerly range of king penguins. Hundreds of them come to breed each year, taking advantage of the sheltered beaches and grassy areas near the shore. The islands also support populations of orange-billed Gentoo penguins, aptly named rockhopper penguins, burrowing Magellanic penguins and a small number of Macaroni penguins.
As well as the penguins, the islands provide breeding habitat for other seabirds including southern giant petrels, imperial cormorants, black-browed albatross and storm petrels. There are also some local specialities such as the Falkland steamer duck, Striated Caracara, Falkland Thrush and Falkland pipit. The islands also support populations of southern sea lions, elephant seals and fur seals, all of which come ashore to breed.