Flannan Isles SPA

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

The Flannan Isles are a group of six rocky islands, with outlying skerries, which lie about 30 km west of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. ¬†These islands provide a strategically placed nesting location for seabirds, which feed in the surrounding waters. This includes auks and Leach’s Petrels. In fact this is one of only seven known nesting locations in the EU.¬†

MPA Type

Special Protection Area

Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are strictly protected sites designated uner European legislation. They are established to protect rare and vulnerable birds and for regularly occurring migratory species.

Designation date

1 August 1992

Surface Area

58.22 km2 (22.48 mi.2)

Perimeter

31.34 km (19.47 mi.)

  • Razorbill (Alca torda)

    A migratory bird that breeds on coastal cliffs and spends the rest of the year at sea feeding on small fish like sandeel, sprat and herring.

  • Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica)

    Puffins are unmistakable and much loved birds. Sometimes referred to as the clown among seabirds they are one of the world’s favourite birds. With half of the UK population at only a few sites it is a Red List species.

  • Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)

    Almost gull-like, this grey and white seabird is related to the albatrosses. It flies low over the sea on stiff wings.

  • Leach's storm-petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa)

    A bird, about the size of a starling, that comes ashore at night to breed on remote islands and spends the rest of it’s life on the open ocean. Few remain in the northern Atlantic.

  • Black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla)

    A small cliff nesting seabird named for it its nasal “ki-ti-waak”” callnotes. The population is declining in some areas

  • Seabird assemblage (Seabird assemblage)

    Important areas where a number of seabird species occur in significant numbers.

  • Common guillemot (Uria aalge)

    One of the most common birds breeding on sheer, crowded cliffs known as ‘seabird cities’. This seabird only comes to land to breed and spends the rest of its life at sea.

  • Marine areas, Sea inlets

Did you know?…

Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns

Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’

Over 170 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum signed up to our Marine Charter calling for a network of ‘marine protected areas’ in UK Seas

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