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Location Gibraltar (to UK), Gibraltar
Central coordinates 5o 20.75' West  36o 8.50' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iv, B1iv, B2, C1, C5
Area 600 ha
Altitude 0 - 396m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society

Site description The Rock of Gibraltar is dominated by a dense cover of maquis and garrigue, including many important fruit-bearing shrubs that support large passerine populations on passage and during the winter.

Key Biodiversity Gibraltar is a well-known migratory bottleneck site for birds of prey, with an estimated 250,000 raptors crossing the Strait in a season. If the winds are right then most of these pass over Gibraltar, and numbers may in fact be higher. It is also a stop-over site for passerines and near-passerines, with a rapid turnover of birds on passage during both northward and southward migration.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Barbary Partridge Alectoris barbara resident  1967-1998  50-75 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni breeding  1967-1998  4-10 breeding pairs  A1, C1  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  1967-1998  11-100 individuals  A1, C1  Least Concern 
A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes passage  1967-1998  250,000 individuals  A4iv, B1iv, C5   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis  40%
Coastline Rock stacks and islets; Sea cliffs and rocky shores  20%
Artificial - terrestrial Other urban and industrial areas  40%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
military 30%
tourism/recreation 30%
urban/industrial/transport 40%
nature conservation and research 8%

Protection status National Low International None45 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Upper Rock, 45 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Rock of Gibraltar. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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