North Colonsay and Western 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
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis LC winter 1989-1994 500 individuals B1i, B2, C2
Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax LC breeding 2002 13 breeding pairs B2, C6
A4iii Species group - seabirds n/a breeding 1999-2000 20,882 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 medium favourable medium
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
Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Condition of key/trigger populations (state)
Scientific Common TargetPop ActualPop Units Remaining Result
Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax Red-billed Chough 10 13 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Species group - seabirds A4iii 10983 20882 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90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity medium
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)
West Colonsay Seabird Cliffs Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 44 protected area overlaps with site 0
North Colonsay and Western Cliffs Marine Protected Area (OSPAR) 0 protected area overlaps with site 0
North Colonsay and Western Cliffs Special Protection Area (Birds Directive) 3,297 protected area contains site 971
North Colonsay Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 935 protected area overlaps with site 870
Inner Hebrides and the Minches Site of Community Importance (Habitats Directive) 1,380,199 protected area is adjacent to site 0
Colonsay Nature Reserve 343 protected area overlaps with site 0


IUCN Habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland -
Shrubland Heathland -
Grassland Mesophile grasslands -
Wetlands (inland) Sand dunes and beaches, Shingle or stony beaches, Standing freshwater, Blanket bogs -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores, Inland cliffs -
Artificial/Terrestrial Highly improved re-seeded landscapes, Arable land -
For further information about the habitat classification please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
For further information about the land use classification please click here.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: North Colonsay and Western Cliffs. Downloaded from on 20/09/2020.