Database release:

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



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1.1 Type


1.2 Site code


1.3 Site name

Clare Island Cliffs SAC

1.4 First Compilation date


1.5 Update date


1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

1.7 Site indication and designation / classification dates

Date site proposed as SCI:2002-01
Date site confirmed as SCI: No information provided
Date site designated as SAC:2017-12
National legal reference of SAC designation:619/2017


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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:


2.2 Area [ha]


2.3 Marine area [%]


2.4 Sitelength [km] (optional):

No information provided

2.5 Administrative region code and name

NUTS level 2 code Region Name
IE01Border, Midland and Western

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Atlantic (0.00 %)


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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
1230  info      28.36  0.00 
8210  info      7.09  0.00 
8220  info      10.64  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    200  200   
BA103Falco peregrinus     
BA204Fratercula arctica    100   
BA009Fulmarus glacialis    2555  2555   
BA188Rissa tridactyla    800  800   
BA016Sula bassana     
BA199Uria aalge    1000   
  • 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)


Population in the site


Group CODE Scientific Name S NP Size Unit Cat. Species Annex Other categories
     MinMax C|R|V|PIVVABCD
Larus argentatus      500             
Larus marinus    30  30             
Lepus timidus hibernicus                     
Lepus timidus hibernicus                     
Lepus timidus hibernicus                     
Phalacrocorax aristotelis    30  30             
Polystichum lonchitis                     
Rana temporaria                     
Rana temporaria                     
Saussurea alpina                     
Saxifraga oppositifolia                     
Silene acaulis                     
  • 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


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4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover

Total Habitat Cover


Other Site Characteristics

Clare Island lies 5km from the mainland. The geology of the site is diverse, consisting of Dalradian sandstones and shore Carboniferous sandstones, shales and conglomerates and a variety of silurian rocks. The dominant feature of the site is a high ridge that attains a height of 462km at Knockmore mountain and forms precipitous sea cliffs (400m high) along the northern side of the island. Vegetated sea cliff, rocky slope and heathy vegetation dominate this area of the site. Elsewhere in the site, areas of lower cliffs, shingle and salt marsh are found.

4.2 Quality and importance

The site holds fine examples of the Annex I Habitats, vegetated sea cliffs, siliceous rocky and calcareous rocky slopes. These habitats support interesting alpine vegetation communities and include a number of Red Data Book species. In addition Falco peregrinus, a species listed on Annex I of the EU Birds Directive occur on the site. The site supports important colonies of seabirds.

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]
Positive Impacts
RankActivities, management [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]

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)

Barlee, J., and Ruttledge, R.F. (1945). Notes on the present status of birds on Clare Island. The Irish Naturalists' Journal 8: 311-313.Borrow, S. D., Mackie, K.L., O Sullivan, O., Sheppard, R. B., Mellan, C. and Coveney J.A. (1993). The second International Chough Survey in Ireland, 1992. Irish Birds 5: 1-10.Brodie, J. (1991). Some observations on the flora of Clare Island, Western Ireland. The Irish Naturalists' Journal 23: 376.Curtis, T.G.F. and McGough, H. (1988). The Irish Red Data Book 1: Vascular Plants. Stationary Office, Dublin.D'Arcy, G. (1992). Fauna observed on Clare Island, Co. Mayo. Irish Wildbird Conservancy. Dublin.Doyle, G.J. and Foss, P.J. (1986). A resurvey of the Clare Island Flora. Irish Naturalists' Journal 22: 85 89.Foss, P.J., Doyle, G. J. and Nelson, E.C. (1987). The distribution of Erica erigena R. Ross in Ireland. Watsonia 16: 311-327.Goodwillie, R. (1979). Field Survey of Clare Island Cliffs. Unpublished AFF, Dublin.Lloyd, C.S. (1984). The birds of Clare Ireland Co. Mayo in June 1982. Irish Naturalists' Journal 5: 212-216.Merne, O. (1989). Important bird areas in the Republic of Ireland. In: Grimmet, R.F.A. and Jones, T.A. (Eds). Important Bird Areas in Europe. I.C.B.P. Technical Publication No. 9. Cambridge.Praeger, R. L1. (1903). The flora of Clare Island. Irish Naturalist 12: 277-294.Praeger, R. L1. (1911). Clare Island Survey 10. Phanerogamia and Pteridophtya. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 31B: 1-47.Praeger, R. L1(1934). The Botanist in Ireland. Hodges Figgis, Dublin.Ruttledge, R.E. (1994). Birds in Counties Galway and Mayo. Irish Wildbird Conservancy, Dublin.Stewart, N. (undated). Rare Bryophytes in Ireland. Unpublished National Parks and Wildlife, Dublin.Synnott, D. 1982. An outline of the flora of Mayo. Glasra 9: 13-114.


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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:

No, but in preparation

6.3 Conservation measures (optional)

No information provided



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