Inishkeeragh and Illancrone

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
The site comprises two uninhabited marine islands: Inishkeeragh, located 2.5 km from the mainland and comprising unimproved dry grassland, and Illancrone (former site IE010), a small island on a stony reef, 1.5 km from the mainland. The only land-use is sheep-grazing (intensity not known).

Key biodiversity
This is an important site for wintering Branta leucopsis and breeding seabirds, particularly terns Sterna. Historically, five tern species bred on these islands, but in recent years (1994-1995) Sterna dougallii has not bred, and the number of Sterna sandvicensis has been small (1 pair, 1995). Sterna hirundo continues to breed, and the islands are one of the top five breeding sites in the Republic of Ireland for Sterna paradisaea and Sterna albifrons.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The site is under consideration by NPW for designation as a Special Protection Area. Nesting terns are disturbed by sheep grazing.

Protected areas
National None International None

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Inishkeeragh and Illancrone. Downloaded from on 02/04/2023.