SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Sule Skerry and Sule Stack

image: SPA location map 

 

The two small and remote islands of Sule Skerry and Sule Stack lie in the North Atlantic, west of Orkney. Sule Skerry is about 60 km from Orkney, while Sule Stack is another 8 km to the south-west. Sule Skerry is the larger of the two islands, covering about 16 ha, and is low-lying and covered by peaty soil with rocky outcrops. Vegetation is limited by the combination of salt spray and seabird activity. Sule Stack is a higher, bare rock with no vascular plants. The islands provide strategically placed nesting localities for large numbers of seabirds which feed in the waters off the north coast of Scotland outside the SPA. They also hold a diverse assemblage of largely pelagic species, including large numbers of petrels, auks and Gannet Morus bassanus. It is one of only seven known nesting localities in the EU for Leach's Petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa.   

 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section


This site qualifies under Article 4.1 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex I of the Directive:
 
During the breeding season;
 
Leach's Storm-petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa, 5 pairs representing at least 0.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count, as at 1986)
 
Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus, 1,000 pairs representing at least 1.2% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count, as at 1986)
 
 
This site also qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:
 
During the breeding season;
 
Gannet Morus bassanus, 4,890 pairs representing at least 1.9% of the breeding North Atlantic population (Count, as at 1994)
 
Puffin Fratercula arctica, 43,380 pairs representing at least 4.8% of the breeding population (Count, as at 1993)
 
 
Assemblage qualification: A seabird assemblage of international importance
 
The area qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by regularly supporting at least 20,000 seabirds
 
During the breeding season, the area regularly supports 100,000 individual seabirds including: Leach's Storm-petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa, Guillemot Uria aalge, Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis, Puffin Fratercula arctica, Gannet Morus bassanus, Storm Petrel Hydrobates pelagicus.

 


Note:

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.
 
Note that sites selected for waterbird species on the basis of their occurrence in the breeding, passage or winter periods also provide legal protection for these species when they occur at other times of the year.