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Location United Kingdom, Northern Ireland
Central coordinates 5o 31.98' West  54o 40.48' North
IBA criteria A4ii, B1ii, B2, C3, C6
Area 154 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description Copeland Islands IBA is located off the County Down coast of Northern Ireland and comprises Big Copeland, Light House Island and Mew Island. The site is important for breeding seabirds and waders, in addition to their coastal plant communities and geological features.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus breeding  2000-2002  4,634 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus breeding  2002  1 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea breeding  2000  650 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea breeding  2006  975 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2007 high favourable medium
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Sterna paradisaea Arctic Tern 310 975 breeding pairs 100 favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Outer Ards Area of Special Scientific Interest 1,116 protected area overlaps with site 74  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Rock stacks and islets; Sea cliffs and rocky shores  major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Copeland Islands. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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