Database release:
SDF
NATURA 2000 - STANDARD DATA FORM

For Special Protection Areas (SPA),
Proposed Sites for Community Importance (pSCI),
Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and
for Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. SITE IDENTIFICATION

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1.1 Type

B

1.2 Site code

IE0002172

1.3 Site name

Blasket Islands SAC

1.4 First Compilation date

2001-09

1.5 Update date

2020-10

1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht
Address:               
Email:datadelivery@chg.gov.ie

1.7 Site indication and designation / classification dates

Date site proposed as SCI:2001-09
Date site confirmed as SCI: No information provided
Date site designated as SAC:2019-06
National legal reference of SAC designation:296/2019

2. SITE LOCATION

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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:

Longitude:-10.576032
Latitude:52.085565

2.2 Area [ha]

22715.9567

2.3 Marine area [%]

96.7510

2.4 Sitelength [km] (optional):


No information provided

2.5 Administrative region code and name

NUTS level 2 code Region Name
IE02Southern and Eastern

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Atlantic (0.00 %)

3. ECOLOGICAL INFORMATION

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3.1 Habitat types present on the site and assessment for them

Annex I Habitat types Site assessment
Code PF NP Cover [ha] Cave [number] Data quality A|B|C|D A|B|C
      RepresentativityRelative SurfaceConservationGlobal
1170  info      4859.77  0.00 
1230  info      227.12  0.00 
4030  info      305.603  0.00 
8330  info      227.12  0.00 
  • PF: for the habitat types that can have a non-priority as well as a priority form (6210, 7130, 9430) enter "X" in the column PF to indicate the priority form.
  • NP: in case that a habitat type no longer exists in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Cover: decimal values can be entered
  • Caves: for habitat types 8310, 8330 (caves) enter the number of caves if estimated surface is not available.
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation)

3.2 Species referred to in Article 4 of Directive 2009/147/EC and listed in Annex II of Directive 92/43/EEC and site evaluation for them

Species Population in the site Site assessment
G Code Scientific Name S NP T Size Unit Cat. D.qual. A|B|C|D A|B|C
      MinMax  Pop.Con.Iso.Glo.
BA200Alca torda    450  450   
BA103Falco peregrinus     
BA204Fratercula arctica    5000  5000   
BA009Fulmarus glacialis    2200  2200   
M1364Halichoerus grypus    648  833   
M1364Halichoerus grypus    989  989   
BA014Hydrobates pelagicus    40000  40000   
BA182Larus canus    10  10   
BA183Larus fuscus    420  420   
BA015Oceanodroma leucorhoa     
BA017Phalacrocorax carbo           
M1351Phocoena phocoena    267  477   
BA013Puffinus puffinus    5000   
BA346Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax    12  12   
BA188Rissa tridactyla    750  750   
BA194Sterna paradisaea    200  200   
BA199Uria aalge    370  370   
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, I = Invertebrates, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Type: p = permanent, r = reproducing, c = concentration, w = wintering (for plant and non-migratory species use permanent)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the Standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting (see reference portal)
  • Abundance categories (Cat.): C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present - to fill if data are deficient (DD) or in addition to population size information
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation); VP = 'Very poor' (use this category only, if not even a rough estimation of the population size can be made, in this case the fields for population size can remain empty, but the field "Abundance categories" has to be filled in)

3.3 Other important species of flora and fauna (optional)

Species

Population in the site

Motivation

Group CODE Scientific Name S NP Size Unit Cat. Species Annex Other categories
     MinMax C|R|V|PIVVABCD
Alcyonium glomeratum                   
Axinella dissimilis                   
Carpomitra costata                   
Cepphus grylle    40  40             
Crimora papillata                   
Diazona violacea                   
Gymnangium montagui                   
Larus argentatus    130  130             
Larus marinus    400  400             
Phalacrocorax aristotelis    350  350             
Schizymenia dubyi                   
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, Fu = Fungi, I = Invertebrates, L = Lichens, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • CODE: for Birds, Annex IV and V species the code as provided in the reference portal should be used in addition to the scientific name
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting, (see reference portal)
  • Cat.: Abundance categories: C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present
  • Motivation categories: IV, V: Annex Species (Habitats Directive), A: National Red List data; B: Endemics; C: International Conventions; D: other reasons

4. SITE DESCRIPTION

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4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover
N0197.00
N081.00
N091.00
N051.00

Total Habitat Cover

100

Other Site Characteristics

The Blasket Islands are situated at the end of the Dingle peninsula in Co. Kerry. The site includes all of the islands in the group as well as a substantial area of the surrounding seas. There are six main islands, plus some smaller islands, islets and sea stacks. The largest island, Great Blasket, is separated from the mainland by the Blasket Sound, a distance of some 2 km. The smallest island, Beginish, occurs close to Great Blasket, while the other islands (Inishtooskert, Inishnabro, Inishvickillane, Tearaght Island) are between about 7 km and 12 km from the mainland. The bedrock is principally Old Red Sandstone, with some outcrops of volcanic and Silurian rocks on Inishvickillane and Beginish. The islands have a very maritime climate, being exposed to the prevailing Atlantic wind and swells. Sea cliffs, mostly precipitous, are the dominant terrestrial habitat and, indeed, much of the vegation of the islands consists of species typical of cliffs or cliff-tops. Other habitats are dry heath, bracken dominated areas, and grassland used for grazing. There are no permanent habitations, though Great Blasket was inhabited until 1953.

4.2 Quality and importance

The site has good examples of exposed infralittoral and circalittoral reef communities. Species richness can be high. The rare red alga, Schizymenia dubyi, occurs in the infralittoral zone, and notable sponge, nudibranch, anthozoan and hydroid species also occur in the area. Sea caves occur on several of the islands though the flora and fauna of the caves has not been studied. Vegetated sea cliffs are very well represented on most of the islands and the site is an extreme oceanic outpost for the habitat in a European context. The cliffs are all of good quality with little or no interference from man. Dry heath, the most western example in the country, occurs on several of the islands. The site is one of the two most important breeding sites in the country for Halichoerus grypus, with c. 600 animals in a recent survey. The site is of significance for the occurrence of Phocoena phocoena with relative high abundances recorded, and presents high quality habitat for this marine mammal. The Blasket Islands have at least 15 species of breeding seabird, with internationally important populations of Hydrobates pelagicus and Puffinus puffinus. Six other seabird species occur in nationally important numbers, including Sterna paradisaea, and in addition it is one of the few known sites in the country where Oceanodroma leucorhoa breeds or has bred. Falco peregrinus and Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax also breed. The Blaskets formerly had wintering populations of Anser flavirostris albifrons and Branta leucopsis.

4.3 Threats, pressures and activities with impacts on the site

The most important impacts and activities with high effect on the site

Negative Impacts
RankThreats and pressures [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]
LA04i
Positive Impacts
RankActivities, management [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]
LA04i
MG03i

Rank: H = high, M = medium, L = low
Pollution: N = Nitrogen input, P = Phosphor/Phosphate input, A = Acid input/acidification,
T = toxic inorganic chemicals, O = toxic organic chemicals, X = Mixed pollutions
i = inside, o = outside, b = both

4.4 Ownership (optional)


No information provided

4.5 Documentation (optional)

Alexander, S.M.D. (1954). The Birds of the Blasket Islands with special reference to Great Blasket Island. Inishvickillane and Illaunboy, and some notes on the adjacent mainland. Bird Study 1: 148-168. Barrington, R.M. (1881). Report on the flora of the Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Series 2: 3: 368-369. Berrow, S.D., Mackie, K.L., O'Sullivan, O., Shepperd, K.B., Mellon, C. and Coveney, J.A. (1993). The second International Chough Survey in Ireland, 1992. Irish Birds 5: 1-10. Berrow, S.D. and Rogan, E. (1998). Incidental capture of cetaceans in Irish waters. Irish Naturalists' Journal 26: 22-31. Berrow, S.D., Whooley, P. and Ferriss, S. (2002). Irish Whale and Dolphin Group Cetacean Sighting Review (1991-2001). 34pp. Irish Whale and Dolphin Group. Brazier, H. and Merne, O.J. (1989). Breeding seabirds on the Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry. Irish Birds 4: 43-64. Cramp, S., Bourne, W.R.P. and Saunders, D. (1974). The Seabirds of Britain and Ireland. Collins, London. Evans, P.G.H. (1973). Report on the 1973 Expedition to the Islands of Co. Kerry. Unpublished report. Evans, P.G.H. and Lovegrove, R.R. (1974). The birds of the south-west Irish islands. Irish Bird Report 1973: 33-64. Evans, P.G.H. and Bourne, W.R.P. (1979). Auks on Inishtearaght, 1968-1973, and the occurrence of disease in terns. Irish Birds 1: 239-242. Fox, A.D., Norriss, D.W., Stroud, D.A. and Wilson, H.J. (1994). Greenland white-fronted Geese in Ireland and Britain 1982/83, 1993/94. Greenland White-fronted Goose Study research report no. 8. Greenland White-fronted Goose Study, Wales and National Parks & Wildlife Service, Dublin. Goodbody, I. (1955). The breeding of Leach's Petrels on Inishtearaght in 1901. Irish Naturalists' Journal 11:346-347. Hamilton, A.C. and Holligan, P.M. (1966). The Flora of the Blasket Islands. Unpublished report. Hunt, J., Derwin, J., Coveney, J. and Newton, S. (2000). Republic of Ireland. Pp. 365-416 in Heath, M.F. and Evans, M.I. (eds.). Important Bird Areas in Europe: Priority Sites for Conservation 1: Northern Europe, Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No. 8). Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (2002). IWDG Cetacean Sighting Scheme : Harbour Porpoise. Contract report to Dchas. Unpublished. Kiely, O. and Myers, A.A. (1998). Grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) pup production at the Inishkea Island Group, Co. Mayo, and Blasket Islands Co. Kerry. Biology and the Environment, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 98B: 113-122. Lloyd, C. (1982). Inventory of Seabird Breeding Colonies in Republic of Ireland, Unpublished report, Forestry and Wildlife Service, Dubin. McCarthy, P.M. and Holligan, P.M. (1984). Inishvickillane, Co. Kerry: an important lichen site. Irish Naturalists' Journal, 21: 266-274. Merne, O.J. (1989). Important Bird Areas in the Republic of Ireland. In: Grimmett, R.F.A. and Jones, T.A. (eds) Important Bird Areas in Europe. ICBP Technical Publication No. 9. Cambridge. Nunn, J.D. (1994). The marine Mollusca of Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry, and the neighbouring coastline. Conchologists' Newsletter, 7: 281-286. O'Riordan, C.E. (1975). Rare and interesting marine fauna from the Dingle Bay area, Co. Kerry. Irish Naturalists' Journal, 18: 129-132. O'Riordan, C.E. (1978). An appreciation of Michael Long's contribution to our knowledge of the marine zoology of Co. Kerry. Irish Naturalists' Journal, 19: 177-178. Parkin, J. (1974). Silurian rocks of Inishvickillane, Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry. Scientific Proceedings of the Royal Dublin Society A5: 277-291. Praeger, R.L. (1912). Notes on the flora of the Blaskets. Irish Naturalist, 21: 157-163. Praeger, R.L. (1934). The Botanist in Ireland. Hodges, Figgis and Co. Dublin. Preston, C.D., Pearman, D.A. and Dines, T.D. (2002). New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora. University Press, Oxford. Quigley, D.T.G. and Flannery, K. (2002). Leucoptic harbour porpoise Phocoena phocoena (L.). Irish Naturalists' Journal 27: 170. Sheppard, R. (1993). Ireland's Wetland Wealth. IWC, Dublin. Smyth, M., Berrow, S., Nixon, E. and Rogan, E. (2000). Polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorines in by-caught harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena and common dolphins Delphinus delphis from Irish coastal waters. Biology and Environment 100B: 85-96. Summers, C.F. (1983). The Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus, in Ireland. Unpublished report to the Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Wildlife, Dublin. Walton, G.A. Kelly, T.C., and McCarthy, K. (1976). Expeditions to Inishtearaght, July 1973 and May 1975. Unpublished report to the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin. Cronin, M., Duck, C., Cadhla, O., Nairn, R., Strong, D. and O'Keeffe, C. (2004). Harbour seal population assessment in the Republic of Ireland: August 2003. Irish Wildlife Manuals No. 11. National Parks & Wildlife Service, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government., 7 Ely Place, Dublin 2, Ireland. 34 pp. Cronin, M and Cadhla, O. (2004). Aerial surveying of grey seal breeding colonies on the Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry, the Inishkea Group, Co. Mayo and the Donegal coast during the 2003 breeding season. Report to the National Parks & Wildlife Service, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 7 Ely Place, Dublin 2, Ireland. Coastal & Marine Resources Centre, University College, Cork. 10pp. Cronin, M.A., Duck, C.D. and Cadhla, O. (2007). Aerial surveying of grey seal breeding colonies on the Blasket Islands, Co. Kerry, the Inishkea Group, Co. Mayo and the Donegal coast, Ireland. J. Nat. Conserv. 15 (2): 73-83. Kiely, O.R.M. (1998). Population biology of grey seals (Halichoerus grypus Fabricius 1791) in western Ireland. PhD. thesis for the National University of Ireland, University College Cork. Ireland. Lyons, D.O. (2004). Summary of National Parks & Wildlife Service surveys for common (harbour) seals (Phoca vitulina) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), 1978 to 2003. Irish Wildlife Manuals No. 13. National Parks & Wildlife Service, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, 7 Ely Place, Dublin 2, Ireland. 67pp. Cadhla, O., Strong, D., O'Keeffe, C., Coleman, M., Cronin, M., Duck, C., Murray, T., Dower, P., Nairn, R., Murphy, P., Smiddy, P., Saich, C., Lyons, D. and Hiby, A.R. (2007). An assessment of the breeding population of grey seals in the Republic of Ireland, 2005. Irish Wildlife Manuals No. 34. National Parks & Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin, Ireland. 60pp. Cadhla, O. and Strong, D. (2007). Grey seal moult population survey in the Republic of Ireland, 2007. Report to the National Parks & Wildlife Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dublin, Ireland. 22pp. Berrow, S.D., O'Brien, J., O'Connor, I. and McGrath, D. (2007). Abundance Estimate and Acoustic Monitoring of Habour porpoise Phocoena phocoena in the Blasket Islands candidate Special Area of Conservation. Report to the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Irish Whale and Dolphin Group. 23pp. Berrow, S.D., Hickey, R., O'Connor, I. and McGrath, D. (2008). Small Cetacean Site Survey Investigations 2008. Report to the National Parks and Wildlife Service. Irish Whale and Dolphin Group. 24pp. Berrow, S.D., O'Brien, J., O'Connor, I. and McGrath, D. (2009). Abundance Estimate and Acoustic Monitoring of Habour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena (L.)) in the Blasket Islands' candidate Special Area of Conservation. Biology and Environment: Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 109B, No.1: 35-46. Pollock, C., Reid, J.B., Webb, A. and Tasker, M.L. (1997). The distribution of seabirds and cetaceans in the waters around Ireland. JNCC Report, No. 267. Reid, J.B., Evans, P.G.H. and Northridge, S.P. (2003) Atlas of Cetacean distribution in north-west European waters. Joint Nature Conservation Committee. 75pp. Rogan, E. and Berrow, S.D. (1996). Review of Harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena L. in Irish waters. Report of the International Whaling Commission 46: 595-605.

5. SITE PROTECTION STATUS

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5.1 Designation types at national and regional level (optional):

Code Cover [%]
IE011.00
IE021.00

5.2 Relation of the described site with other sites (optional):

Designated at national or regional level:

Type code Site name Type Cover [%]
IE01Tearaght Island Nature Reserve (Foreshore)+1.00
IE02Tearaght Island Nature Reserve+1.00

5.3 Site designation (optional)


No information provided

6. SITE MANAGEMENT

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6.1 Body(ies) responsible for the site management:


No information provided

6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:

Yes
No, but in preparation
X
No

6.3 Conservation measures (optional)


No information provided

 

7. MAP OF THE SITE

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Map delivered as PDF in electronic format (optional)
Yes
X
No

SITE DISPLAY