The site comprises all of the islands (and surrounding waters) in this offshore archipelago. Traditional harvesting of seabirds takes place (`Other' land-use): the eggs of Fulmarus glacialis and auks; the young, mainly of Sula bassana; and adults of Fratercula arctica.
More than one million pairs of seabirds breed here, including the largest congregation of breeding Oceanodroma leucorhoa in Europe, more than 90% of breeding Hydrobates pelagicus in Iceland, and 100% of breeding Puffinus puffinus in Iceland.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The islands are not protected, except Surtsey, but Ystiklettur and three islands, Ellidaey, Súlnasker and Hellisey, are on the list of sites of conservation interest in the Nature Conservation Register.
National Low International None270 ha of IBA covered by Scientific Reserve (Surtsey, 270 ha).
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Vestmannaeyjar. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 11/12/2019.