IBA Justification

The site was identified as important in 2007 because it was regularly supporting significant populations of the species listed below, meeting ('triggering') IBA criteria.

Populations meeting IBA criteria ('trigger species'):
Species Current IUCN Red List Category Season Year(s) Population estimate at site IBA criteria met
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus LC breeding 1999 1,127 breeding pairs B3
A4iii Species group - seabirds n/a breeding 1999-2000 15,084 breeding pairs A4iii, C4

The current IUCN Red List category may differ from that which was valid at the time of IBA criteria assessment (2007).

IBA Conservation

IBA conservation assessment
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2007 unfavourable very high high
Was the whole site assessed? State assessed by Accuracy of information
yes population good

State (condition of the trigger species' populations)
Scientific name Common name Reference population Actual population Units % of population remaining Result
Larus marinus Great Black-backed Gull 659 1127 breeding pairs 100 not assessed
Species group - seabirds A4iii 15350 7500 individuals 49 unfavourable
Species group - seabirds A4iii 15350 15084 breeding pairs 99 not assessed

Pressure (threats to the trigger species and/or their habitats)
Threat level 1 Threat level 2 Timing Scope Severity Result
Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high

Response (conservation actions taken for the trigger species and/or their habitats)
Protected-area designation Management planning Other conservation action Result
Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species The conservation measures needed for the site are being comprehensively and effectively implemented high
For more information about IBA conservation status, please click here

IBA Protection

Protected area (PA) PA designation PA area (ha) Relationship of PA with IBA Overlap of PA with IBA (ha)
Copinsay Special Protection Area (Birds Directive) 3,608 protected area contains site 125
Copinsay Marine Protected Area (OSPAR) 0 protected area overlaps with site 0
Copinsay Nature Reserve 127 protected area overlaps with site 0
Copinsay RSPB Reserve 127 is identical to site 125
Copinsay Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 126 protected area overlaps with site 125


Habitat (IUCN level 1) Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland -
Marine Coastal/Supratidal -
For more information about the IUCN Habitat classification, please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Copinsay. Downloaded from on 24/02/2024.