St Kilda

Site overview: This is a group of remote Scottish islands lying in the North Atlantic about 70 km west of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. The St Kilda group consists of the largest island of Hirta, the nearby Dun and Soay, and Boreray with its flanking pinnacles of Stac Lee and Stac an Armin, together with some smaller rocky islets. These special islands provide a strategic nesting location for seabirds that feed in the sea to the west of Scotland. The total population of seabirds exceeds 600,000 pairs, making this one of the largest concentrations in the North Atlantic and the largest in the UK. Among the many breeding species are auks, petrels and shearwaters, gulls and large proportions of the national and international populations of Gannets and Puffins. It is also one of only seven known nesting locations in the EU for Leach’s Petrels.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Special Protection Area
MPA Purpose
areas of the most important habitat for rare (listed on Annex I to the Directive) and migratory birds within the European Union


57° 50' 2" North,
8° 34' 18" West

Surface Area

289.28 km2
(111.69 mi.2 )

Iconic features protected by this site


  • Marine areas, Sea inlets


  • Razorbill (Alca torda) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • European storm-petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus) (Annex I (species))
  • Northern gannet (Morus bassanus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Leach’s storm-petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) (Annex I (species))
  • Black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) (Regularly occurring migratory species)


  • Seabird assemblage


  • Common guillemot (Uria aalge) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) (Regularly occurring migratory species)
  • Great skua (Stercorarius skua) (Regularly occurring migratory species)