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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 3o 0.70' West  59o 17.92' North
IBA criteria A4iii, B1ii, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 349 ha
Altitude 0 - 169m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description The site comprises Old Red Sandstone cliffs along the western coast of Westray, together with adjoining areas of grassland and maritime sedge-heath. The site is very exposed. The IBA holds breeding seabirds and waterbirds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea breeding  2000  2,166 breeding pairs  good  C2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Murre Uria aalge breeding  2007  50,613 individuals  good  B1ii, C3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1999-2002  43,019 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  1999-2002  37,500 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

2007 very high very unfavourable low
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high

Rissa tridactyla Black-legged Kittiwake 31000 12055 breeding pairs 39 very unfavourable
Sterna paradisaea Arctic Tern 1140 2166 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Uria aalge Common Murre 60597 50613 individuals 84 near favourable
Alca torda Razorbill 1761 813 individuals 47 unfavourable
Species group - seabirds A4iii 44965 43019 breeding pairs 96 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 32171 37500 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90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Not assessed  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
West Westray Site of Special Scientific Interest 372 is identical to site 349  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Heathland  -
Grassland   -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 100%
nature conservation and research -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: West Westray. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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