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Hebrides News


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 Storm Petrel.

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 country.

“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.

Best seabird breeding season on Mingulay


19 November 2017