Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
An area of massive summits, cut into separate areas by steep-sided glacial troughs.

First identified in 1989; boundary adjusted to match SPA in 2007. 2000 area, 49,113ha. Descriptive text and bird data refer to the 2000 Inventory.

Key biodiversity
This site is very important for a range of breeding birds associated with montane plateaus and pinewoods Pinus sylvestris. The site is also nationally important for breeding Bucephala clangula (5 pairs, 1989, 5%), Lagopus mutus (1,500 pairs, 1990, 15%) and Plectrophenax nivalis (40 pairs, 1990, 40%).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Threats include disturbance and habitat degradation associated with increased public access and the proposed railway development to replace the existing chairlift, overgrazing by deer, problems with birds striking deer fences and inappropriate forestry management (`Other' threat, above). A partnership management strategy is being developed, with most NGOs campaigning for better management of this proposed National Park, SPA, SAC and World Heritage Site. Research is ongoing, and a management strategy is being developed.

Protected areas
National High International HighIBA partly or wholly overlaps with the following national designated areas. National Nature Reserve: Cairngorms. Sites of Special Scientific Interest: Allt Mor, Cairngorms, Dollar Glen, Eastern Cairngorms, Inchrory, Morrone Birkwood, North Rothiemurchus Pinewood, Northern Corries, River Feshie. Overlaps with international designated areas: 49,113 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Cairngorms, 49,113 ha). 173 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Cairngorm Lochs, 173 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cairngorms. Downloaded from on 13/08/2022.