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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 5o 49.51' West  59o 7.37' North
IBA criteria A4ii, A4iii, B1ii, B2, B3, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 138 ha
Altitude 0 - 108m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description Two islands, with a number of outlying rocky islets, lying about 65 km north of the island of Lewis. Sula Sgeir is located about 15 km to the west of the far larger North Rona. The islands support submaritime grassland modified locally by sea spray. These islands are of major importance for breeding seabirds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus breeding  2001  377 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Leach's Storm-petrel Hydrobates leucorhous breeding  1998  1,137 breeding pairs  good  B1ii, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Northern Gannet Morus bassanus breeding  1998  10,703 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus breeding  1998  983 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Common Murre Uria aalge breeding  1998  31,374 individuals  good  B1ii, C3  Least Concern 
Razorbill Alca torda breeding  1998  1,625 individuals  good  B3  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1998-2001  43,314 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

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

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Morus bassanus Northern Gannet 10400 10703 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Larus marinus Great Black-backed Gull 735 983 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Uria aalge Common Murre 43134 31374 individuals 73 near favourable
Alca torda Razorbill 1550 1625 individuals 100 favourable
Species group - seabirds A4iii 55208 43314 breeding pairs 79 near favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Very little or no conservation action taking place  low 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 Rona and Sula Sgeir Site of Special Scientific Interest 130 is identical to site 130  
Rona and Sula Sgeir National Nature Reserve 130 is identical to site 130  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   85%
Coastline Rock stacks and islets; Sea cliffs and rocky shores  15%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture major
not utilised minor

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: North Rona and Sula Sgeir. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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