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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 4o 24.44' West  59o 5.11' North
IBA criteria A4ii, A4iii, B1ii, B2, B3, C3, C4, C6
Area 19 ha
Altitude 0 - 15m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description Sule Skerry lies about 60 km west of Orkney Mainland, with Sule Stack a further 8 km to the south-west. The vegetation on Sule Skerry is limited by sea spray and bird activity, and is dominated by Tripleurospermum inodorum during the summer. A lighthouse is present. Sule Stack is a high, bare rock stack, with no vascular plants. Both islands are important for breeding seabirds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus breeding  2001  309 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Northern Gannet Morus bassanus breeding  1998  5,137 breeding pairs  good  A4ii, B1ii, B2, C3  Least Concern 
European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis breeding  1998  724 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica breeding  1998  59,471 breeding pairs  good  B1ii, B2, C3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1998-2001  72,717 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Sule Skerry Site of Special Scientific Interest 16 protected area contained by site 16  
Sule Skerry and Sule Stack Birds Directive 19 is identical to site 19  
Sule Stack Site of Special Scientific Interest 3 protected area contained by site 3  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Rock stacks and islets  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
other 5%
not utilised 95%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sule Skerry and Sule Stack. Downloaded from on 23/10/2014

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