|Central coordinates||10o 9.00' West 53o 30.00' North|
|IBA criteria||B1i, B2, C2, C6|
|Altitude||0 - 63m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2000|
Ornithological information This group of islands supports some of the most important colonies of breeding terns Sterna, especially Sterna paradisaea, in Ireland and is also an important winter feeding site for Branta leucopsis, particularly on St Macdara's Island and more recently in Inishmuskerry. A detailed review of tern usage from surveys in 1969-1970, 1984 and 1995 is required to clarify which are the most important islands. In the absence of such a review, a single such IBA is considered a better approach as terns appear to be very mobile within this area.
Site description This very large site encompasses many small islands and islets stretching from Slyne Head (Illaunamid Island) south-eastwards via Ballyconneely, Bertraghboy and Kilkieran Bay as far as Greatman's Bay. Several IBAs which were treated separately in the previous pan-European inventory (Grimmett and Jones 1989) have been combined to form this site, including Eeshal Island (formerly IE041), Horse Island (formerly IE042), Hen Island (formerly IE043), Oilean Geabhrog (formerly IE045), Oilean nan Geabhrog (formerly IE046), Duck Island (formerly IE047) and Geabhrog Island (formerly IE048). The site also includes surrounding waters, covering a sea area up to 5 km off the mainland, along a coast of 40 km in length.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis||winter||1994||225-370 individuals||-||B1i, C2||Least Concern|
|Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis||breeding||1995||223 breeding pairs||good||B2, C6||Least Concern|
|Common Tern Sterna hirundo||breeding||1995||139 breeding pairs||good||C6||Least Concern|
|Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea||breeding||1995||666 breeding pairs||good||C6||Least Concern|
|Little Tern Sterna albifrons||breeding||1995||41 breeding pairs||good||B2, C6||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Connemara Bog Complex - IE0002034||Habitats Directive||49,228||protected area is adjacent to site||0|
|Cregduff Lough - IE0001251||Habitats Directive||73||protected area overlaps with site||8|
|Dog's Bay - IE0001257||Habitats Directive||141||protected area overlaps with site||40|
|Kilkieran Bay and Islands - IE0002111||Habitats Directive||21,314||protected area overlaps with site||6,696|
|Murvey Machair - IE0002129||Habitats Directive||80||protected area overlaps with site||5|
|Rosroe Bog - IE0000324||Habitats Directive||262||protected area contained by site||262|
|Slyne Head Islands - IE0000328||Habitats Directive||2,385||protected area overlaps with site||468|
|Slyne Head Peninsula - IE0002074||Habitats Directive||4,028||protected area overlaps with site||109|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Sea||Sea inlets and coastal features||80%|
|Coastline||Lagoons; Rock stacks and islets; Sand dunes & beaches||10%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Management considerations Fishing in surrounding waters may deplete the prey stock of seabirds, with implications for their breeding success, while increasing tourism (trips to the islands) may lead to disturbance of nesting terns. The site overlaps with a proposed Special Protection Area (Slyne Head, 1,514 ha).
Protection status National None International None
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Connemara Islands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/05/2013
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