Canna and Sanday SPA
Canna and Sanday are two adjacent basaltic islands in the Small Isles, north-west of Rum. The islands are important for their breeding seabird colonies including gulls, auks and shags. The seabirds feed outside the area in the nearby waters. This area overlaps with the Small Isles Marine Protected Area and the Rum Special Protection Area.
MPA TypeSpecial 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 date1 February 1998
Surface Area65.60 km2 (25.33 mi.2)
Perimeter46.86 km (29.12 mi.)
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.
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.
European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
An inshore seabird that is only found in the northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean. It is seldom seen out of sight of land and nests on particular islands and cliffs in colonies of up to several thousand pairs.
Herring gull (Larus argentatus)
Herring gulls are large, noisy gulls found throughout the year around our coasts and inland around rubbish tips, fields, large reservoirs and lakes, especially during winter. Though they seem to be everywhere, populations continue to decline.
One of the first Seasearch surveys took place in Canna in 1988.Learn more about Seasearch
Did you know?…
Over 500,000 records of undersea species and habitats have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers
Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns
An area over 9 times the size of Wales is now in marine protected areas in the UK, but less than 1% is considered by MCS scientists to be well managed