SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Rinns of Islay

image: SPA location map 

 

The Rinns of Islay SPA is located on the Hebridean island of Islay on the west coast of Scotland. It comprises extensive areas of the western side of the island, being a mosaic of natural and semi-natural habitats including bog, moorland, dune grassland, maritime grassland, marsh and farmland. Much of the natural vegetation is utilised as rough grazing for sheep and cattle and is managed extensively. These habitats are used by an extremely rich assemblage of scarce bird species throughout the year. The site is of particular importance for a number of breeding and wintering birds, including raptors, Greenland White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons flavirostris and Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax. The Choughs depend on the diverse mix of habitats present and their continued low-intensity agricultural management.

The site also includes the subsumed SPAs of Glac na Criche and Feur Lochain, which were subject to separate classification.
 
For more information see Phased, extended and subsumed SPAs
 

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;
 
Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, 31 pairs representing at least 9.1% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count, as at 1998)
 
Corncrake Crex crex, 2 individuals representing at least 0.4% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5 year mean, 1993-1997)
 
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus, 7 pairs representing at least 1.4% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count, as at 1998)
 
On passage;
 
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, 140 individuals representing at least 2.5% of the population in Great Britain (Count, as at 1988)
 
Over winter;
 
Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, 62 pairs representing at least 9.0% of the wintering population in Great Britain (Count as at 1998)
 
Greenland White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons flavirostris, 1,600 individuals representing at least 11.4% of the wintering population in Great Britain (Count, as at 1993/4)
 
 
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;
 
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra, 10 pairs representing <0.1% of the breeding Western Siberia/Western & Northern Europe/Northwestern Africa population (Count, as at 1997)

 


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.