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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 2o 52.97' West  59o 22.61' North
IBA criteria B1ii, B2, C3, C6
Area 245 ha
Altitude 0 - 48m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description North Hill is the northern part of Papa Westray, and consists of a rocky coastline and maritime heath and grassland. The Holm is an island of 48 ha situated off the east coast of Papa Westray. The site is important for breeding seabirds, and Stercorarius parasiticus.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea breeding  2007  800 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle breeding  2007  294 individuals  good  B1ii, B2, C3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high

Sterna paradisaea Arctic Tern 1690 800 breeding pairs 48 unfavourable
Cepphus grylle Black Guillemot 380 294 individuals 78 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90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  medium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)  
Holm Of Papa Westray Site of Special Scientific Interest 48 protected area contained by site 48  
North Hill RSPB Reserve 201 protected area contained by site 201  
North Hill Site of Special Scientific Interest 206 protected area contained by site 206  


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

Land use

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Papa Westray (North Hill and Holm). Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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