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

Magharee Islands SPA

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 classified as SPA:2011-08
National legal reference of SPA designation No information provided


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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
IE02Southern and Eastern

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Atlantic (0.00 %)


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3.1 Habitat types present on the site and assessment for them

No habitat types are reported for the site

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.
BA045Branta leucopsis    200  270   
BA009Fulmarus glacialis    85  85   
BA182Larus canus    43  43   
BA183Larus fuscus    20  20   
BA017Phalacrocorax carbo    20  20   
BA346Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax     
BA195Sterna albifrons    36  36   
BA193Sterna hirundo    12  12   
BA194Sterna paradisaea    164  164   
  • 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
Cepphus grylle               
Larus argentatus               
Larus marinus    21  21             
Phalacrocorax aristotelis    65  65             
  • 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

The Magharee Islands or Seven Hogs lie about 2 km north of the Magharees Peninsula. The group includes seven main islands (Illaunimmill and Illauntannig being the largest) plus a number of holms and skerries. The islands are exposed on their west coasts and more sheltered to the east, with moderately strong currents between them. The islands are composed of Carboniferous limestone, the larger ones having a cover of glacial boulder clay. Illaunimmill and Illauntannig were at one time inhabited and both are still grazed by cattle and sheep. On these islands the main vegetation type is unimproved grassland. A maritime grassy sward occurs around the shoreline of the larger islands and also on the smaller islands. The marine areas around each island to a distance of 200 m are included in the site for the benefit of the breeding birds. The marine areas have important examples of infralittoral reef communities.

4.2 Quality and importance

The site is of international importance for breeding seabirds. There is a long-established tern colony, with Sterna albifrons (21% of national total in 1995), Sterna paradisaea (7% of national total in 1995) and small numbers of Sterna hirundo. Other breeding seabirds are Fulmarus glacialis, Phalacrocorax carbo, Phalacrocorax aristotelis, Larus canus, Larus fuscus and Cepphus grylle. The Phalacrocorax aristotelis and Larus canus populations are of national importance. The wintering population of Branta leucopsis is of national importance and is notable as it is the most southerly population in Ireland.

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)

Berrow, S.D., Mackie, K.L., O'Sullivan, O., Shepherd, K.B., Mellon, C. and Coveney, J.A. (1992). The Second International Chough Survey in Ireland, 1992. Unpublished report to IWC and RSPB, Dublin. Goodwillie, R. (1976). A Preliminary Report on Areas of Scientific Interest in County Kerry. An Foras Forbartha, Dublin.Hannon, C. (1997). The 1995 All-Ireland Tern Survey. BirdWatch Ireland Conservation Report No. 97/1. Hannon, C., Berrow, S.D., and Newton S.F. (1997). The status and distribution of breeding Sandwich Sterna sandvicensis, Roseate S. dougallii, Common S. hirundo, Arctic S. paradisaea and Little Terns S. albifrons in Ireland in 1995. Irish Birds 6: 1-22.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). Lloyd, C. (1982). Inventory of Seabird Breeding Colonies in Republic of Ireland. Unpublished report, Forest and Wildlife Service, Dublin.Lloyd, C., Tasker, M.L. and Partridge, K. (1991). The Status of Seabirds in Britain and Ireland. Poyser, London. 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. Merne, O.J. and Walsh, A. (1994). Barnacle Geese in Ireland, spring 1993 and 1994. Irish Birds 5: 151-156.Merne, O.J. and Walsh, A. (2002). Barnacle Geese in Ireland, spring 1999. Irish Birds 7: 53-56. Mitchell, P.I., Newton, S., Ratcliffe, N. and Dunn, T. (In prep.). Seabird 2000: The Status of Breeding Seabirds in Britain and Ireland. Parnell, J.A.N., Wyse Jackson, P.S. and Akeroyd,J.R. (1983). The flora of the Magharee Islands, Co. Kerry. Bulletin of the Irish Biogeographical Society 7: 45-54. Picton, B.E. and Costello M.J. (eds). (1997). BioMar Biotope Viewer: a Guide to Marine Habitats, Fauna and Flora of Britain and Ireland (Ver. 2.0). Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin. (Compact Disc).Walsh, A. and Merne, O.J. (1988). Barnacle Geese in Ireland, spring 1988. Irish Birds 3: 539-550. West, B., Cabot, D. and Greer-Walker, M. (1975). The food of the Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo at some breeding colonies in Ireland. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 75B: 285-305. Whilde, A. (1985). The All Ireland Tern Survey 1984. Unpublished report for the Irish Wildbird Conservancy, Dublin.


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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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