Namuncura Banco Burdwood II is an extension of the current marine reserve Namuncurá Banco Burdwood I, located in the southeast of the Argentine Sea. It is situated to the south of the Malvinas Islands and to the east of Staten Island, covering approximately 28,973 km2.
It is an undersea plateau which, being of lesser depth than the surrounding areas and thanks to the marine currents that flow around, generates the ascension of nutrients from the depths, making the area teem with life. The main purpose of designing this area, is to complete the current Marine Protected Area, protecting the steep plateau and the undersea canyons inhabited by unique species.
NB-Burdwood II is a feeding and transit ground for endangered birds and marine mammals, such as the wandering albatross and the fin whale. Banco Burdwood is affected by marine currents and its varied topography helps to create areas with ascending nutrients. The “animal forest” in the plateau is made up of sponges, cnidarian, ascidians and bryozoans; these species are significant for the ocean system because of their capacity to capture carbon and nitrogen, with functions equivalent to those of forests in a terrestrial environment.
On the seabed and slopes of Banco Burdwood II live animal forests. The main builders of these forests are animals which, as some plants, are capable of creating three-dimensional structures that occupy space and accumulate nutrients, and are then used by other species for shelter, mating or eating. The species that shape this marine bottom —such as sponges, bushy soft coral and cup corals— are fragile and slow to recover.
Longline fishery affects birds and sea turtles, while gillnets and trawling constitute a great danger for marine birds and mammals.
At least six species in the area are endangered, such as the emperor penguin, the black-browed albatross, the northern giant petrel and the hourglass dolphin.