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

Dalkey 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:2009-10
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.
BA192Sterna dougallii    200   
BA192Sterna dougallii    11   
BA193Sterna hirundo    15  65   
BA193Sterna hirundo    1000  1000   
BA194Sterna paradisaea    10  30   
BA194Sterna paradisaea    1000  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 marinus               
  • 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

Site comprises Dalkey Island, Lamb Island, Maiden Rock, the intervening rocks and reefs between Dalkey Island, Lamb Island and Clare Rock, and the sea area around Maiden Rock to a distance of 100 m. Dalkey Island, which is the largest in the group, lies ca.400m off Sorrento Point and is separated by a deep channel. The island is low-lying, the highest point at c.15m is marked by a Martello Tower. Soil cover consists mainly of thin peaty layers, though in a few places there are boulder clay deposits. Vegetation cover is low, consisting mainly of grasses. Lamb Island lies to the north of Dalkey Island, attached at low-tided by a rocky reef. It has thin soil cover and a sparse vegetation cover. Further north lies Maidens Rock, a bare angular granite rock up to 5m high. There is no vegetation cover. Dalkey Island is grazed by a herd of feral goats.

4.2 Quality and importance

Site is of importance for both breeding and staging Sterna terns. There is a well-established colony of Sterna hirundo and smaller numbers of Sterna paradisaea. Sterna dougallii bred in 2003 and 2004, one of only three known sites in the country - this came about after several years of conservation management aimed at attracting the species. The site along with other parts of south Dublin Bay is used by the three Sterna tern species as a major post-breeding/pre-migration autumn roost area. The origin of the birds is likely to be the Co. Dublin breeding sites though numbers also suggest birds from other sites, perhaps outside the state. The site also has breeding Larus marinus, Tadorna tadorna and Haematopus ostralegus. The site is known to be frequented in winter by significant numbers of Arenaria interpres and Calidris maritima but recent count data is unavailable.

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)

Archer, E. (1997). Dalkey Island Tern Project 1997. Bridwatch Ireland Conservation Report No. 97/2. Cobot, D. (1996). Performance of the Roseate Tern population breeding in north-west Europe - Ireland, Britain and France, 1960-94. Biology and the Environment 96B: 55-68. Casey, S. Moore, N., Ryan, L., Merne, O.J., Coveney, J.A. and del Nevo (1995). The Roseate tern conservation project on Rockabill, Co. Dublin: a six year review 1989/1994. Irish Birds 5: 251-264. Crowe, O., Jones, V. and Newton S.F. (1999). Rockabill Tern Report 1999. Birdwatch Ireland Conservation Report No. 99/66. Dublin. Crowe, O., Maljkovic, A. and Newton, S.F. (2000). Rockabill Tern Report 2000. Birdwatch Ireland Conservation Report No. 00/2. Dublin. Hannon, C. (1997). The 1995 All-Ireland Tern Survey. Birdwatch Ireland Conservation Report No. 97/1. Dublin. 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, Artic 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). Hutchinson, C.D. (1975). The Birds of Dublin and Wicklow. Irish Wildbird Conservancy, Dublin. Llyod, C. (1982). Inventory of Seabird Breeding Colonies in Republic of Ireland. Unpublished report, Forest and Wildlife Service, Dublin. Llyod, C., Tasker, M.L. and Partridge, K. (1991). The Status of Seabirds in Britain and Ireland. Poyser, London. McAvoy, S. (2010). Dalkey Island Tern Project. Unpublished Report. Birdwatch Ireland, Kilcoole. Merne, O.J. (1988). Recent changes in breeding seabird population in Counties Dublin and Wicklow. Irish East Coast Bird Report 1987: 69-77. Mitchell, P.I., Newton, S., Ratcliffe, N. and Dunn, T.E. (2004). Seabird Populations of Britain and Ireland. Poyser, London. Murray, T. (1995). The Dalkey Island Tern Project 1995. Unpublished Report, Irish Wildbird Conservancy, Dublin. Newton, S.F. (2008). Dalkey Tern Report 2008. Unpublished Report. Birdwatch Ireland, Kilcoole. Newton, S.F. (2007). Dalkey Tern Report 2007. Unpublished Report. Birdwatch Ireland, Kilcoole. Newton, S.F. and Crowe, O. (2000). Roseate Terns - the natural connection. Maritime (Ireland/Wales) INTERREG Report no. 2. 66pp. Marine Institute, Dublin. Newton, S.F. and Crowe, O. (1999). Kish Bank: a Preliminary Assessment of its Ornithological Importance. Birdwatch Ireland Conservation report No. 99/8. Dublin. Pettitt, R.G. (1973). Movement of Terns observed in August 1972. Dublin and Wicklow Bird Report 1972. 27-34. 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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