The island of Mingulay off Barra has had its best seabird season since 2000 according
to new figures from the National Trust for Scotland.
The population of guillemots reached over 19,000 this year - an all-time high said
the conservation charity.
Razorbills also fared well this season but there is “serious concern” over the Leach’s
St Kilda is the largest colony for this species but only three chicks hatched out
of 47 nest boxes this summer.
Wild weather conditions in early summer made it very difficult to monitor other seabirds
on St Kilda.
National Trust for Scotland senior nature conservation adviser Dr Richard Luxmoore
said: “Some species have had a really strong season this summer at sites across the
“However, we remain very concerned about the long term plight of the kittiwake which
despite a more successful season at a few locations this summer, continues to decline
at an alarming rate.
“It is always difficult to disentangle the many factors at play here and change in
the availability of prey is often implicated.
“In the case of kittiwakes and puffins, which feed largely on sandeels, the long-term
trend has been linked to the inexorable rise in sea temperatures caused by climate
change which is obviously a real concern.”
Scotland is internationally important for its seabirds, having some 45% of the breeding
population in the whole of the European Union.
The National Trust for Scotland hosts almost a fifth of these at is properties of
St Kilda, Mingulay, Fair Isle, Canna, St Abb’s Head, Iona, Staffa and Unst.