Røst is an archipelago consisting of more than 400 islands. The most important seabird colonies are on Vedøy, Storfjellet, Ellefsnyken, Trenyken and Hernyken. These are steep, grass-covered islands (92-259 m high). The island of Røstlandet is inhabited, with numerous ponds, saltmarshes and mires.
The islands of Røst are famous for one of Europe's largest colonies of Fratercula arctica. However, the species has declined severely in abundance during the last 30 years, due to a collapse in the food supply: in the late 1960s the population was estimated as twice as large as it is now. Other breeding seabirds include Hydrobates pelagicus and Oceanodroma leucorhoa (the largest colonies in Norway), Alca torda, Phalacrocorax aristotelis, Uria aalge (abundance has decreased by 20-30% since the early 1980s), Fulmarus glacialis and Rissa tridactyla (c.17,500 pairs in 1988; decrease in numbers by more than 30% between 1993 and 1994). Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaeetus albicilla (common).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Following the collapse of the Norwegian herring stock in the late 1960s, the breeding numbers of Fratercula arctica have decreased, due to high chick mortality. The only island which is open to the public, apart from Røstlandet, is Vedøy. Access to the bird cliffs is prohibited between 15 April and 15 August, except for daytime excursions to parts of Vedøy. Monitoring and research on the Fratercula arctica colony is carried out by the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research.
National Low International None92 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Røstlandet, 92 ha).
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Røst. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 18/07/2019.