Blasket Islands

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
This is the largest group of islands on the south-west coast, lying a few kilometres off the Dingle peninsula in County Kerry. The group includes Great Blasket Island, with steep cliffs on its northern side, and the five smaller, exposed rocky islands of Inistooskert, Inisvickillaun, Inisnabro, Tearaght and Beginish. Great Blasket Island was once inhabited and now has a visitor centre at its northern end. A small herd of feral red deer Cervus elaphus are present on Inishvickillaun. The islands are visited by tourists.

Key biodiversity
This site is of particular importance for its seabird colonies. Additional species occurring in numbers of national importance are Fulmarus glacialis (2,200 pairs, 1988), Rissa tridactyla (750 pairs, 1988) and Alca torda (450 birds, 1988).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Human disturbance from visitors to Great Blasket is a possible threat. However, isolation protects the islands from most threats.

Protected areas
National Low International Partial27 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Tearaght Island, 27 ha). 19 ha of IBA covered by [Marine] Nature Reserve (Terraght Island, 19 ha). 287 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Blasket Islands, 287 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Blasket Islands. Downloaded from on 03/10/2022.