Cape Wrath SPA

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

Cape Wrath lies at the north-westernmost tip of mainland Scotland. The cliffs here provide suitable nest sites for large numbers of breeding seabirds and areespecially important for gulls and auks. During the breeding season, the area regularly supports 50,000 individual seabirds including: puffins, razorbills, guillemots, kittiwakes and fulmars. The seabirds feed outside of this area in the nearby waters and more distantly in the North Atlantic. 

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 March 1996

Surface Area

67.34 km2 (26.00 mi.2)

Perimeter

72.09 km (44.79 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.

  • 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

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