Status: Designated


Site overview

Rum is an island located south-west of Skye in the Scottish Highlands. Rum is known for its huge colony of Manx Shearwater puffins, the largest colony of this species in the world, breeding on the slopes of some of the higher hills. It also supports 4 pairs of golden eagles as well as a number of other breeding seabirds (auks and gulls) on the cliffs. The seabirds feed outside the SPA in nearby waters. This area overlaps with the Small Isles Marine Protected Area and Canna and Sanday Special Protection Area.

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 1982

Surface Area

466.79 km2 (180.23 mi.2)


109.28 km (67.90 mi.)

  • 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.

  • Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus)

    A seabird with long straight slim wings that flies with a series of rapid stiff-winged flaps followed by long glides on stiff straight wings over the surface of the sea, occasionally banking or ‘shearing’ - hence the name.

  • Red-throated diver (Gavia stellata)

    The smallest of Scotland’s diver species. Typically breeds on inland water bodies in open moorland or blanket bog landscapes. Feeds on a mix of freshwater and marine prey, mainly fish.

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