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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 3o 21.08' West  59o 6.43' North
IBA criteria C7
Area 9 ha
Altitude 0 - 76m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description A short section of eroded sandstone cliffs and associated maritime grassland on the west coast of Orkney Mainland, important for breeding seabirds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Common Murre Uria aalge breeding  2004  10,476 individuals  good  C7  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Uria aalge Common Murre 36418 10476 individuals 29 very unfavourable
Species group - seabirds A4iii 26047 8887 breeding pairs 35 very unfavourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Not assessed  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Marwick Head RSPB Reserve 10 protected area overlaps with site 5  
Marwick Head Site of Special Scientific Interest 9 is identical to site 9  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

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

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