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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 8o 34.81' West  57o 48.94' North
IBA criteria A4ii, A4iii, B1i, B1ii, B2, B3, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 860 ha
Altitude 0 - 384m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description A group of islands and smaller rocky islets with precipitous cliffs, situated about 70 km west of North Uist. The vegetation, influenced by sea spray, seabirds and livestock, consists of acidic grassland and submaritime heath. These islands are of outstanding importance for their breeding seabirds. An endemic subspecies of Troglodytes troglodytes is present.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis breeding  1999  68,448 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, C3  Least Concern 
Leach's Storm-petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa breeding  1999  45,433 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Northern Gannet Morus bassanus breeding  1999  61,340 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Great Skua Stercorarius skua breeding  1999  168 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, B3, C3  Least Concern 
Razorbill Alca torda breeding  1999  1,689 individuals  good  B3  Least Concern 
Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica breeding  1999  143,264 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, B2, C3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1999  341,941 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
St Kilda Birds Directive 867 is identical to site 860  
St Kilda Habitats Directive 25,468 protected area contains site 860  
St Kilda National Nature Reserve 872 is identical to site 853  
St Kilda Site of Special Scientific Interest 853 is identical to site 853  
St Kilda UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 865 is identical to site 860  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Heathland  83%
Grassland Humid grasslands  5%
Coastline Rock stacks and islets  10%
Artificial - terrestrial Other urban and industrial areas  2%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
military 2%
nature conservation and research 98%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: St Kilda. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/04/2014

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