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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 1o 0.99' West  60o 8.70' North
IBA criteria A4ii, A4iii, B1ii, B2, B3, C3, C4
Area 342 ha
Altitude 0 - 181m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description An island located off the east coast of Bressay, which in turn lies off the east coast of mainland Shetland. The eastern part of the island slopes steeply. One of the largest seabird colonies in Britain.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Gannet Morus bassanus breeding  1998  8,017 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Great Skua Catharacta skua breeding  2001  432 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, B3, C3  Least Concern 
Common Murre Uria aalge breeding  2000  45,782 individuals  good  B1ii, C3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1998-2001  47,409 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

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

Agriculture and aquaculture marine and freshwater aquaculture - industrial 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

Morus bassanus Northern Gannet 7300 8017 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Catharacta skua Great Skua 425 432 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Uria aalge Common Murre 38955 45782 individuals 100 favourable
Species group - seabirds A4iii 41766 47409 breeding pairs 100 favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Not assessed  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Noss National Nature Reserve 313 is identical to site 313  
Noss Site of Special Scientific Interest 344 is identical to site 313  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 100%

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

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