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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 5o 6.94' West  55o 15.15' North
IBA criteria A4ii, A4iii, B1ii, B2, C3, C4
Area 99 ha
Altitude 0 - 338m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description A cone-shaped granitic island in the outer part of the Firth of Clyde. The high cliffs support important seabird colonies.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Gannet Morus bassanus breeding  1999  35,825 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, B2, C3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1999-2001  43,348 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

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

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Morus bassanus Northern Gannet 32500 35825 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Larus fuscus Lesser Black-backed Gull 1500 400 breeding pairs 27 not assessed
Species group - seabirds A4iii 36664 43348 breeding pairs 100 favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  The conservation measures needed for the site are being comprehensively and effectively implemented  high 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Ailsa Craig RSPB Reserve 99 is identical to site 99  
Ailsa Craig Site of Special Scientific Interest 100 is identical to site 99  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
not utilised 100%

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

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