Tiree and Coll

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
Two large Inner Hebridean islands and associated islets. Coll is a whale-backed island, with many lochs, while Tiree is a low, flat island overlooked by three hills. Unlike Coll, most of the peat deposits on Tiree have been cut away in the past. Extensive sand-dune, machair, moorland and grassland complexes are present.

First identified in 1989, and extended to include the whole of both islands in 2000. Descriptive text and bird data refer to the 2000 Inventory.

Key biodiversity
This IBA is of major international importance for a range of birds of wetland and low intensity agricultural land. It is also nationally important for breeding Gavia stellata (10 pairs, 1993-1996, 1%), Anas acuta (2 pairs, 1994, 5%), Charadrius hiaticula (100 pairs, 1994, 1%), Stercorarius parasiticus (49 pairs, 1987, 2%), Sterna hirundo (185 pairs, 1995, 1%) and Sterna paradisaea (465 pairs, 1995, 1%), as well as for wintering Calidris alba (380 birds, 1989, 2%). Anser albifrons are the flavirostris subspecies, A. anser are from the Hebridean population, and Branta leucopsis are from the Greenland breeding population.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Threats include recreational and tourism disturbance, and wind-power development. Crofting rights apply to most of Tiree, and a RSPB management plan exists for Coll Reserve and for The Reef, Tiree. Tiree wetlands are a candidate SPA.

Protected areas
National Partial International PartialIBA partly or wholly overlaps with the following national designated areas. Reserves: Coll, The Reef. Sites of Special Scientific Interest: An Fhaodhail and the Reef, Ceann a'Mhara, Crossapol and Gunna, Hough Bay and Balevullin Machair, North East Coll Lochs and Moors, North-east Coll Lochs and Moors, Totamore Dunes. Overlaps with international designated areas: 2,321 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Coll, 2,321 ha). 2,208 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Coll, 2,208 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tiree and Coll. Downloaded from on 24/11/2020.