Saltee Islands

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
The Saltee Islands (Great Saltee and Little Saltee) lie 5 km offshore from Kilmore Quay in County Wexford. Both islands have exposed rocky cliffs and boulder beaches. The islands have not been farmed since the 1940s.

Key biodiversity
The Saltees are internationally important for breeding seabird colonies. Species occurring in numbers of national importance are: Fulmarus glacialis (350 pairs, 1996), Larus argentatus (500 pairs, 1996), Rissa tridactyla (2,500 pairs, 1996) and Uria aalge (15,000 birds, 1996). Great Saltee is also a notable site for spring and autumn passerine migration.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Day-trippers, mainly to Great Saltee, may cause some disturbance to seabird colonies. NPW runs a long-term seabird population monitoring and ringing programme on the islands, which are a private bird sanctuary.

Protected areas
National High International High126 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Saltee Islands, 126 ha). 126 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Saltee Islands, 126 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Saltee Islands. Downloaded from on 28/09/2020.