Shiant Isles

IBA Justification

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 at site IBA criteria triggered
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis LC winter 2003 435 individuals B1i, B2, C2
European Shag Gulosus aristotelis LC breeding 1999 506 breeding pairs B3
Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica VU breeding 2000 65,170 breeding pairs A4ii, B1ii, B2, C3
Razorbill Alca torda LC breeding 1999 8,046 individuals A4ii, B1ii, B3, C3
A4iii Species group - seabirds n/a breeding 1999-2000 86,010 breeding pairs A4iii, C4

Note: The current IUCN Red List category may differ from the category that was valid at the time of IBA criteria assessment.

For more information about the IBA criteria, please click here

IBA Conservation

IBA conservation status - summary
Year of assessment (most recent) Threat (pressure) Condition (state) Action (response)
2007 high very unfavourable low
Was the whole site assessed? yes Condition (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 - industrial 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%) slow but significant deterioration high

Condition of the site (state), by species
Scientific name Common name Reference population Actual population Units % of population remaining Result
Branta leucopsis Barnacle Goose 490 435 individuals 89 near favourable
Gulosus aristotelis European Shag 1780 506 breeding pairs 29 very unfavourable
Fratercula arctica Atlantic Puffin 76000 65170 breeding pairs 86 near favourable
Alca torda Razorbill 10970 8046 individuals 74 near favourable
Species group - seabirds A4iii 102614 86010 breeding pairs 84 near favourable

Conservation actions taken at the site (response)
Protected-area designation Management planning Other conservation action Result
Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive Very little or no conservation action taking place low
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)
The Shiant Isles Marine Protected Area (OSPAR) 0 protected area overlaps with site 0
Shiant Isles Special Protection Area (Birds Directive) 6,936 protected area contains site 211
Shiant Islands Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 212 protected area overlaps with site 211
Inner Hebrides and the Minches Site of Community Importance (Habitats Directive) 1,380,199 protected area overlaps with site 0


IUCN Habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Heathland -
Grassland Humid grasslands -
Marine Coastal/Supratidal -
For further information about the IUCN habitat classification, please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
not utilised -
For further information about the land-use classification, please click here.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Shiant Isles. Downloaded from on 05/06/2023.