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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 6o 55.80' West  57o 59.44' North
IBA criteria B2, C6
Area 17,870 ha
Altitude 0 - 679m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description Rocky hills with steep slopes, covered by montane grassland and moorland. The hills are drained by fast-flowing streams, and there are numerous nutrient-poor lochs (some of which are reverting to bog). Species-poor wet heath also occurs due to the oceanic character of the site. These mountains are important for breeding raptors, waders and other upland species.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos resident  2003  7 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Transportation and service corridors utility & service lines likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low

Aquila chrysaetos Golden Eagle 6 7 breeding pairs 100 favourable

Most of site (50-90%) covered (including the most critical parts for important bird species)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Very little or no conservation action taking place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
North Harris Site of Special Scientific Interest 12,921 protected area contained by site 12,921  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Heathland; Scrub  major
Grassland Alpine, subalpine and boreal grassland; Steppes and dry calcareous grassland  major
Wetlands (inland) Blanket bogs; Rivers and streams; Standing brackish and salt water  major

Land use

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: North Harris Mountains. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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