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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 6o 21.64' West  57o 53.82' North
IBA criteria A4ii, A4iii, B1i, B1ii, B2, B3, C2, C3, C4
Area 211 ha
Altitude 0 - 125m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description Two large and two small islands with associated skerries, lying about 6 km west of Lewis in the Minch. The vegetation consists primarily of maritime heath and grassland. The islands support breeding seabirds and wintering and passage Greenland Branta leucopsis.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis winter  2003  435 individuals  good  B1i, B2, C2  Least Concern 
European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis breeding  1999  506 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Razorbill Alca torda breeding  1999  8,046 individuals  good  A4ii, B1ii, B3, C3  Least Concern 
Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica breeding  2000  65,170 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, B2, C3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1999-2000  86,010 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Shiant Isles Birds Directive 212 is identical to site 211  
Shiant Isles Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) 202 is identical to site 202  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Heathland  80%
Grassland Humid grasslands  10%
Coastline Rock stacks and islets; Sea cliffs and rocky shores  10%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 90%
not utilised 10%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Shiant Isles. Downloaded from on 23/10/2014

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