email a friend
printable version
Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 2o 4.71' West  60o 8.03' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4ii, A4iii, B1i, B1ii, B2, B3, C3, C4, C6
Area 1,316 ha
Altitude 0 - 418m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description An island characterized by steep slopes and a cool oceanic climate. Vegetation types include mire and cliff-top communities, with submaritime and montane communities on higher ground. The site holds very large populations of cliff and moorland nesting seabirds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis breeding  2000  21,106 breeding pairs  good  B1ii, C3  Least Concern 
Leach's Storm-petrel Hydrobates leucorhous breeding  2001  15 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis breeding  2000  2,277 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B3, C3  Least Concern 
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea breeding  2000  950 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Great Skua Catharacta skua breeding  2000  2,293 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, B3, C3  Least Concern 
Common Murre Uria aalge breeding  2000  41,435 individuals  good  B1ii, C3  Least Concern 
Razorbill Alca torda breeding  2000  2,121 individuals  good  B3  Near Threatened 
Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica breeding  2000  22,500 breeding pairs  good  B1ii, B2, C3  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  2000-2001  76,012 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

2007 very high very unfavourable low
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture marine and freshwater aquaculture - subsistence/artisinal aquaculture happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high

Fulmarus glacialis Northern Fulmar 46800 21106 breeding pairs 46 unfavourable
Phalacrocorax aristotelis European Shag 2400 2277 breeding pairs 95 favourable
Sterna paradisaea Arctic Tern 1000 107 breeding pairs 11 very unfavourable
Catharacta skua Great Skua 2170 2293 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Uria aalge Common Murre 37463 41435 individuals 100 favourable
Alca torda Razorbill 6194 2121 individuals 35 very unfavourable
Fratercula arctica Atlantic Puffin 48000 22500 breeding pairs 47 unfavourable
Species group - seabirds A4iii 127014 76012 breeding pairs 60 unfavourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  Unknown  Not assessed  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Foula Site of Special Scientific Interest 1,327 protected area contained by site 1,099  
Foula Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest 236 protected area contained by site 236  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs  -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 90%

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Foula. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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