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Location United Kingdom, Northern Ireland
Central coordinates 6o 12.03' West  55o 18.01' North
IBA criteria A4ii, A4iii, B1ii, B3, C3, C4
Area 1,466 ha
Altitude 0 - 400m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description A large island with cliffs and stacks on the north and west shores. Further inland there are wetlands, a limited amount of maritime heath and a mosaic of unimproved and improved grazing. The IBA is 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  1999  95,117 individuals  good  B1ii, C3  Least Concern 
Razorbill Alca torda breeding  1999  20,860 individuals  good  A4ii, B1ii, B3, C3  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1999  81,416 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  1999  10,566 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

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

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Uria aalge Common Murre 62537 95117 individuals 100 favourable
Alca torda Razorbill 8955 20860 individuals 100 favourable
Species group - seabirds A4iii 51977 81416 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 11206 10566 breeding pairs 95 favourable

Some of site covered (10-49%)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Antrim Coast and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 0 protected area contains site 1,466  
Kebble National Nature Reserve 127 protected area contained by site 127  
Rathlin RSPB Reserve 103 protected area contained by site 103  
Rathlin Island Coast Area of Special Scientific Interest 236 protected area contained by site 257  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Heathland  -
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland)   -
Coastline Rock stacks and islets; Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
not utilised -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Rathlin Island. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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