IBA Criteria

Year of most recent IBA criteria assessment: 2007

Populations of IBA trigger species
Species Current IUCN Red List Category Season Year(s) of estimate Population estimate IBA Criteria Triggered
Leach's Storm-petrel Hydrobates leucorhous VU breeding 2001 15 breeding pairs C6
Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis LC breeding 2000 21,106 breeding pairs B1ii, C3
European Shag Gulosus aristotelis LC breeding 2000 2,277 breeding pairs A4i, B1i, B3, C3
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea LC breeding 2000 950 breeding pairs C6
Great Skua Catharacta skua LC breeding 2000 2,293 breeding pairs A4ii, B1ii, B3, C3
Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica VU breeding 2000 22,500 breeding pairs B1ii, B2, C3
Razorbill Alca torda NT breeding 2000 2,121 individuals B3
Common Murre Uria aalge LC breeding 2000 41,435 individuals B1ii, C3
A4iii Species group - seabirds n/a breeding 2000-2001 76,012 breeding pairs A4iii, C4

Note: This table presents the IBA criteria triggered and the species that triggered then at the time of assessment, the current IUCN Red List category may vary from that which was in place at that time.

For more information about the IBA assessment process and criteria please click here

IBA Monitoring

Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2007 very high very unfavourable low
Was the whole site covered? Yes State assessed by Population
Accuracy of information good

Threats to the site (pressure)
Threat Level 1 Threat Level 2 Timing Scope Severity Result
Agricultural expansion and intensification marine and freshwater aquaculture - subsistence/artisinal aquaculture happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high

Condition of key/trigger populations (state)
Scientific Common TargetPop ActualPop Units Remaining Result
Fulmarus glacialis Northern Fulmar 46800 21106 breeding pairs 46 unfavourable
Gulosus aristotelis European Shag 2400 2277 breeding pairs 95 favourable
Sterna paradisaea Arctic Tern 1000 107 breeding pairs 11 very unfavourable
Catharacta skua Great Skua 2170 2293 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Fratercula arctica Atlantic Puffin 48000 22500 breeding pairs 47 unfavourable
Alca torda Razorbill 6194 2121 individuals 35 very unfavourable
Uria aalge Common Murre 37463 41435 individuals 100 favourable
Species group - seabirds A4iii 127014 76012 breeding pairs 60 unfavourable

Conservation actions taken at site (response)
Conservation Designation Management Planning Conservation Action Result
Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation Unknown Not assessed low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

IBA Protection

Protection status:

Protected Area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)
Shetland National Scenic Area 41,817 protected area contains site 0
Foula Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 223 protected area overlaps with site 236
Foula Marine Protected Area (OSPAR) 0 protected area overlaps with site 0
Foula Special Protection Area (Birds Directive) 7,985 protected area contains site 1,316
Foula Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 1,316 protected area overlaps with site 1,099


IUCN Habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland -
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores -
For further information about the habitat classification please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
For further information about the land use classification please click here.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Foula. Downloaded from on 06/07/2020.