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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 6o 32.18' West  58o 16.39' North
IBA criteria B1i, B2, B3, C3, C6
Area 58,984 ha
Altitude 50 - 397m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description These peatlands cover the greater part of the island, and are interspersed with freshwater lochs and complexes of bog pools. The area is important for breeding waders, divers and raptors, and nationally for Crex crex.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Arctic Loon Gavia arctica breeding  1995  12 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata breeding  1995  80 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Merlin Falco columbarius resident  2004  29 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos resident  2003  7 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria resident  2004  1,602 breeding pairs  good  B3, C6  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina breeding  2004  4,386 breeding pairs  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Energy production and mining renewable energy likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Gavia arctica Arctic Loon 12 10 breeding pairs 84 near favourable
Gavia stellata Red-throated Loon 57 80 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Falco columbarius Merlin 20 29 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Aquila chrysaetos Golden Eagle 6 7 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Pluvialis apricaria Eurasian Golden Plover 1800 1602 breeding pairs 89 near favourable
Calidris alpina Dunlin 3650 4386 breeding pairs 100 favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun  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)  
Lewis Peatlands Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 58,984 is identical to site 58,634  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Heathland; Scrub  minor
Grassland   minor
Wetlands (inland) Blanket bogs; Fens, transition mires and springs; Standing freshwater  major
Coastline Scree and boulders  minor

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture major
fisheries/aquaculture minor
forestry minor

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lewis Peatlands. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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