UK115
Caithness Cliffs


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
European Shag Gulosus aristotelis LC breeding 1999 1,131 breeding pairs A4i, B1i, B3, C3
Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla VU breeding 1999-2000 49,776 breeding pairs A4i, B1i, C3
Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle LC breeding 1999-2000 1,078 individuals B1ii, B2, C3
Razorbill Alca torda NT breeding 1999-2000 19,095 individuals A4ii, B1ii, B3, C3
Common Murre Uria aalge LC breeding 1999-2000 214,399 individuals A4ii, B1ii, C3
A4iii Species group - seabirds n/a breeding 1999-2001 198,061 breeding pairs A4iii, C4
A4iii Species group - waterbirds n/a breeding 1999-2001 54,739 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 low 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
Energy production and mining oil and gas drilling likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Condition of key/trigger populations (state)
Scientific Common TargetPop ActualPop Units Remaining Result
Gulosus aristotelis European Shag 2540 1131 breeding pairs 45 unfavourable
Rissa tridactyla Black-legged Kittiwake 40800 49776 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Larus marinus Great Black-backed Gull 875 183 breeding pairs 21 very unfavourable
Larus argentatus 9550 3506 breeding pairs 37 very unfavourable
Cepphus grylle Black Guillemot 1450 1078 individuals 75 near favourable
Alca torda Razorbill 16567 19095 individuals 100 favourable
Uria aalge Common Murre 129850 214399 individuals 100 favourable
Species group - seabirds A4iii 127039 198061 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 54035 54739 breeding pairs 100 favourable

Conservation actions taken at site (response)
Conservation Designation Management Planning Conservation Action Result
Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation Unknown Unknown 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)
Stroma Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 154 protected area overlaps with site 140
Red Point Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 164 protected area overlaps with site 171
Ousdale Burn Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 39 protected area overlaps with site 0
North Caithness Cliffs Marine Protected Area (OSPAR) 0 protected area overlaps with site 0
North Caithness Cliffs Special Protection Area (Birds Directive) 14,629 protected area overlaps with site 557
Holborn Head Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 135 protected area overlaps with site 128
Helmsdale Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 166 protected area is adjacent to site 0
East Caithness Cliffs Site of Community Importance (Habitats Directive) 457 protected area overlaps with site 443
East Caithness Cliffs Nature Conservation Marine Protected Area 11,423 protected area overlaps with site 0
East Caithness Cliffs Marine Protected Area (OSPAR) 0 protected area overlaps with site 0
East Caithness Cliffs Special Protection Area (Birds Directive) 11,696 protected area overlaps with site 443
East Caithness Cliffs Marine Protected Area (OSPAR) 11,400 protected area overlaps with site 0
Dunnet Head Nature Reserve 20 protected area overlaps with site 0
Dunnet Head Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 94 protected area overlaps with site 61
Duncansby Head Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 66 protected area overlaps with site 0
Dunbeath to Sgaps Geo Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 136 protected area overlaps with site 146
Craig Hammel to Sgaps Geo Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 71 protected area overlaps with site 72
Castle of Old Wick to Craig Hammel Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 25 protected area overlaps with site 0
Berriedale Cliffs Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 224 protected area overlaps with site 234
Berriedale And Langwell Waters Site of Community Importance (Habitats Directive) 58 protected area is adjacent to site 0

Habitats

IUCN Habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Heathland -
Grassland -
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: Caithness Cliffs. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2020.