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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 6o 24.70' West  55o 46.10' North
IBA criteria A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C3, C6
Area 9,357 ha
Altitude 0 - 232m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description A mosaic of natural and semi-natural habitats, exposed to the prevailing south-westerly weather and experiencing an oceanic climate. The site consists of low hills running down to a rocky coastline. The IBA supports breeding raptors and waders, and wintering geese which come from roosts in other Islay IBAs to feed in this area. Anser albifrons are the flavirostris subspecies, and Branta leucopsis are from the Greenland breeding population.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons winter  1994-1997  2,590 individuals  good  B1i, C2, C3, C6  Least Concern 
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis winter  1994-1997  3,640 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax resident  2002  26 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2007 medium favourable medium
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
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax Red-billed Chough 21 26 breeding pairs 100 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90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  medium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)  
Loch Gruinart/Ardnave RSPB Reserve 2,780 protected area overlaps with site 673  
Rinns Of Islay Site of Special Scientific Interest 8,312 protected area contained by site 8,312  
Rinns of Islay Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 3,587 protected area contained by site 3,587  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mixed woodland  -
Shrubland Heathland  -
Grassland Humid grasslands; Machair  -
Wetlands (inland) Blanket bogs; Standing freshwater  -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 90%
urban/industrial/transport 5%
water management 5%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Rinns of Islay. Downloaded from on 29/10/2016

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