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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 2o 33.37' West  56o 11.19' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4ii, A4iii, B1i, B1ii, B2, B3, C3, C4, C6
Area 151 ha
Altitude 0 - 76m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description A large group of islands situated in the Firth of Forth. The inner islands are generally low-lying, whilst those in the Outer Firth are higher, steeper and rockier. The islands support extensive maritime cliff-top grasslands. They are important for breeding seabirds and waterbirds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Gannet Morus bassanus breeding  1999  44,110 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, B2, C3  Least Concern 
European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis breeding  2001  1,089 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B3, C3  Least Concern 
Herring Gull Larus argentatus breeding  1999-2001  10,988 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus breeding  1999-2002  7,492 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B3, C3  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis breeding  2000  300 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii breeding  2000  2 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii breeding  2006  5 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  1999-2000  313 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Guillemot Uria aalge breeding  1999-2001  36,417 individuals  good  B1ii, C3  Least Concern 
Razorbill Alca torda breeding  2001  4,768 individuals  good  B1ii, B3, C3  Least Concern 
Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica breeding  1998-1999  72,115 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, B2, C3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1999-2002  145,356 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  1999-2002  27,669 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bass Rock Site of Special Scientific Interest 8 protected area contained by site 8  
Fidra RSPB Reserve 11 protected area contained by site 11  
Firth of Forth Birds Directive 105 protected area contained by site 105  
Forth Islands Site of Special Scientific Interest 22 protected area contained by site 22  
Inchmickery Site of Special Scientific Interest 5 protected area contained by site 5  
Isle of May Habitats Directive 357 protected area overlaps with site 42  
Isle of May National Nature Reserve 57 protected area contained by site 57  
Isle Of May Site of Special Scientific Interest 57 protected area contained by site 57  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   -
Coastline Rock stacks and islets  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%
tourism/recreation 80%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Firth of Forth Islands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/07/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife