Docstoc

NORTH RONA _ SULA SGEIR SPECIAL PROTECTION AREA

Document Sample
NORTH RONA _ SULA SGEIR SPECIAL PROTECTION AREA Powered By Docstoc
					      PROPOSED MARINE EXTENSION TO

FORTH ISLANDS SPECIAL PROTECTION AREA (SPA)




            CASE FOR EXTENSION




        SCOTTISH NATURAL HERITAGE

                 June 2008




                     1
                        PROPOSED MARINE EXTENSION TO

             FORTH ISLANDS SPECIAL PROTECTION AREA (SPA)


CONTENTS


1.0 Summary

2.0 Background to the existing SPA

3.0 Fluctuations in qualifying seabird numbers

4.0 Case for the extension

5.0 Extension details

6.0 Conclusion

7.0 References

8.0 Appendices

      Appendix 1. Sources of bird information

      Appendix 2. Supporting documents for the consultation

                    i) Amended Citation

                    ii) Map of proposed marine extension to Forth Islands SPA




                                          2
1.0 Summary

Forth Islands Special Protection Area (SPA) comprises 7 islands (Bass Rock,
Craigleith, Fidra, Inchmickery, Isle of May, Long Craig and The Lamb) that support
the main seabird colonies in the Firth of Forth. The Forth Islands SPA is one of a
number of SPAs that have been classified for their seabird interests. In order to
better recognise the ecological requirements of some seabird species that are
qualifying interests of these sites Scottish Ministers are proposing to extend a
number of SPAs into the marine environment.

Of the qualifying species of this SPA there are five which, based on Joint Nature
Conservation Committee (JNCC) generic guidance (McSorley et al. 2003, Reid &
Webb 2005, McSorley et al. 2008, McSorley et al. in prep), require a marine
extension to the SPA. These are Northern gannet (Morus bassanus), Atlantic puffin
(Fratercula arctica), razorbill (Alca torda), common guillemot (Uria aalge) and
Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis). Northern gannet and Northern fulmar require
the greater extension distance of 2 km from the classified terrestrial SPA due to their
ecological requirements, therefore a 2 km extension to the site is proposed to
support the important breeding seabird populations of the SPA.




                                          3
2.0 Background to the existing SPA

The islands of Bass Rock, Craigleith, Fidra, Inchmickery, Isle of May and The Lamb
were originally classified as Forth Islands Special Protection Area (SPA) on account
of their seabird interests on 25th April 1990. The SPA is one of a suite of such sites
around the coast of Scotland identified to meet the requirements of the Birds
Directive (Stroud et al. 1990, 2001). Forth Islands SPA was extended to include the
island of Long Craig on 13th February 2004. The SPA therefore consists of seven
islands, together with outlying rocky islets, in the Firth of Forth. The site overlaps the
Unitary Authorities of Fife, East Lothian and City of Edinburgh (OS 1:50,000 sheets
59, 65, 66 and 67), and is located in the Forth & Borders Area of Scottish Natural
Heritage.

Table 1 below provides estimates of breeding populations of qualifying seabird
species within Forth Islands, and the proportion of the British and (where relevant)
international populations that these represent, used for site classification.
Proportions of over 1% are rounded to one decimal place.


Table 1. Qualifying breeding seabird species on Forth Islands SPA and population
estimates used for site classification. The qualifying species relevant for the
proposed marine extension are highlighted in orange.

   Qualifying    Numbers         % of      International Status:        Birds
    interest     p = pairs       British   comparison Annex 1           Directive
                 i=              Total     area* %       (A) or         (79/409/EEC)
                 individuals                             migratory      qualification
                                                         (M)            details¹
 Arctic tern     540 pa          1.2                      A             Article 4.1 &
 (Sterna                                                                4.2 –
 paradisaea)                                                            selection
                                                                        guidelines 1.1
                                                                        & 1.3
 Roseate tern    8 pb            12.5                     A             Article 4.1 &
 (Sterna                                                                4.2 –
 dougallii)                                                             selection
                                                                        guidelines 1.1
                                                                        & 1.3
 Common          334 pb          2.7                      A             Article 4.1 &
 tern                                                                   4.2 –
 (Sterna                                                                selection
 hirundo)                                                               guidelines 1.1
                                                                        & 1.3
 Sandwich        440 p           3.1                      A             Article 4.1 &
 tern (Sterna                                                           4.2 –
 sandivencis)                                                           selection
                                                                        guidelines 1.1
                                                                        & 1.3



                                            4
    Northern          21,600 p             W     8.2       M           Article 4.2 –
    gannet                                                             selection
    (Morus                                                             guidelines 1.2
    bassanus)                                                          & 1.3
    European          2,400 p              NE     1.9      M           Article 4.2 –
    shag                                                               selection
    (Phalacrocor                                                       guidelines 1.2
    ax aristotelis)                                                    & 1.3
    Lesser            1,500 p              Total L. f.     M           Article 4.2 –
    black-backed                           graellsii 1.2               selection
    gull (Larus                                                        guidelines 1.2
    fuscus)                                                            & 1.3
    Atlantic          14,000 p             Total F. a.     M           Article 4.2 –
    puffin                                 grabae 1.5                  selection
    (Fratercula                                                        guidelines 1.2
    arctica)                                                           & 1.3
    Northern          798 pc                               M           Article 4.2 –
    fulmar                                                             selection
    (Fulmarus                                                          guideline 1.3
    glacialis) (a)
    Common            16,000 p    2.2                      M           Article 4.2 –
    guillemot                                                          selection
    (Uria aalge)                                                       guideline 1.3
    (a)
    Razorbill         1,400 p     1.4                      M           Article 4.2 –
    (Alca torda)                                                       selection
    (a)                                                                guideline 1.3
    Black-legged      8,400 p     1.7                      M           Article 4.2 –
    kittiwake                                                          selection
    (Rissa                                                             guideline 1.3
    tridactyla) (a)
    Herring gull      6,600 p     4.1                      M           Article 4.2 –
    (Larus                                                             selection
    argentatus)                                                        guideline 1.3
    (a)
    Great             200 p       2.8                      M           Article 4.2 –
    cormorant                                                          selection
    (Phalacrocor                                                       guideline 1.3
    ax carbo) (a)
    Breeding          90,000 id   Over                                 Article 4.2 –
    seabird                       20,000                               selection
    assemblage                    i                                    guideline 1.3

*        The relevant biogeographical comparison areas are: W = World, NE = North Europe
         (see Lloyd et al. (1991) for further details).
a
         Mean between 1992 and 1996.
b
         Mean 1997 - 2001.



                                            5
c
      Within the SPA Review period (1991/2 – 1995/6) fulmar numbers on all the SPA
      islands are only held for 1994 (798p). However, in 1996 (1035p) and 1997 (1053p)
      numbers exceeded 10% of the minimum qualifying assemblage of 20,000 individuals.
d
      Mean 1986 – 1988
¹     Whether the SPA qualifies under Article 4.1 or 4.2 of the Birds Directive for that
      species and the stage it meets of the UK SPA selection guidelines (see JNCC 1999
      for details)
(a)   A qualifying interest of the SPA as part of the breeding seabird assemblage



Sources of bird information, and population estimates against which counts for the
Forth Islands were judged at the time of classification are listed in Appendix 1.
Annex 1 species, listed in the Birds Directive, are considered to be rare or vulnerable
in the EU and are referred to in Article 4.1; regularly occurring migratory species are
referred to in Article 4.2. As can be seen in Table 1 the Forth Islands SPA qualifies
for its seabird interests under Article 4.1 and Article 4.2 of the Birds Directive.

As outlined in Table 1 the area is of special nature conservation importance within
Britain and the EU for regularly supporting in excess of 20,000 individual seabirds.
The main component species that characterise the assemblage have been identified
(following Stroud et al. 2001). These are those where:
     • at least 1% of a national population is present within the assemblage
     • numbers of the species present exceed 10% of the minimum qualifying
        assemblage of 20,000 individuals (i.e. there are at least 2,000 individuals).

This existing SPA only includes the terrestrial element of each qualifying feature’s
habitat requirements during the breeding season, i.e. nesting locations on land
adjacent to the sea down to the Mean Low Water Springs (MLWS) level.



3.0 Fluctuations in qualifying seabird numbers

Over time the populations of all species will tend to fluctuate, normally within certain
limits, not only in relation to a variety of ecological factors, e.g. food availability,
weather, productivity, etc., but also through the effects of non-ecological factors, e.g.
pollution incidents and entanglement in fishing nets. Such variability in no way
invalidates the SPA status of a locality and the numbers of individual species on this
SPA are no exception to these short-term population fluctuations.

Classification of the Forth Islands SPA was based on seabird counts from a range of
sources including the Seabird Colony Register (SCR) Census (1985-88) (figures are
shown in Table 1 and Table 2). Since then, seabird numbers on the SPA have been
re-counted through the National Gannet Survey 1994 (Murray and Wanless 1997)
and 2004 (Murray et al. 2006), Seabird 2000 national survey (in Mitchell et al. 2004),
annually by Forth Seabird Group, East Scotland Tern Conservation Group and the
Isle of May National Nature Reserve (NNR) staff. SNH’s Site Condition Monitoring
programme also provided data (see Table 2).



                                           6
Table 2. Fluctuations in qualifying seabird numbers on the Forth Islands SPA.
Qualifying species relevant for the proposed marine extension are highlighted in
orange.

Qualifying             Numbers at     Seabird 2000 National                       Percentage
interest               classification (1998-2002)  Gannet Survey                  change
                                                   (2004) in                      between
                                                   Murray et al                   surveys
                                                   (2006)

Arctic tern            540 p              908 aos                                       68
Roseate tern           8p                 13 aos                                        63
Common tern            334 p              378 aos                                       13
Sandwich tern          440 p              300 aos                                       -32
Northern gannet        21,600 p                              48,065 aos                 123
European shag          2,400 p            1,060 aos*                                    -56
Lesser black-          1,500 p            2,779 aos                                     85
backed gull
Atlantic puffin        14,000 p           70,434 ob                                     403
Northern fulmar        798 p              801 p*                                        0.4
Common                 16,000 p           22,745 p*                                     42
guillemot
Razorbill              1,400 p            3,057 p*                                      118
Black-legged           8,400 p            5,264 aos*                                    37
kittiwake
Herring gull           6,600 p            5,441 aos                                     18
Great cormorant        200 p              190 aos                                        -5
Breeding seabird       90,000 i           313,101 i*                                    248
assemblage


i - individuals, p - pairs, aos - apparently occupied sites (equivalent to number of pairs),
ob – occupied burrows (equivalent to number of pairs).

*      Seabird 2000 data not held for Bass Rock so where species are present on Bass
       Rock figures are Seabird 2000 totals from other component islands plus 2002 Bass
       Rock data from a SNH Site Condition Monitoring form, 21st January 2004.


From the data presented above it is clear that fluctuations in breeding seabird
populations have occurred on Forth Islands SPA, and for certain species these
fluctuations are closely reflected in national trends. However, the assemblage of
seabirds is still internationally important and, in addition, numbers of Northern gannet
and Atlantic puffin remain above the 1% level of the biogeographic population and
those of razorbill and common guillemot remain over 1% of the GB population and
over 10% of the minimum qualifying assemblage of 20,000 individuals (i.e. there are
over 2,000 individuals of each species). This confirms, therefore, that the importance
of the locality, as “a most suitable territory” in terms of the Birds Directive, remains.




                                                7
4.0 Case for the extension

Article 4 of the Birds Directive requires that “Member States shall classify in particular
the most suitable territories in number and size as special protection areas for the
conservation of these species1, taking into account their protection requirements in
the geographical sea and land area where this Directive applies” (79/409/EEC).
Although the UK SPA suite currently includes appropriate terrestrial representation
for seabird interests, the requirement now is to identify more fully most suitable
territories taking into account their protection at sea. Further information regarding
this requirement is available on the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)
website (http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-1414). The current proposal and reason for
this consultation is in relation to marine extensions to existing seabird colony SPAs.

Seabirds breeding in colonies on land use marine waters immediately adjacent to the
colony for a number of essential activities, such as preening, bathing, displaying, and
other maintenance behaviours (Tasker & Leaper 1993, Harding & Riley 2000, Reid &
Webb 2005). Targeted surveys (McSorley et al. 2003) demonstrate significant use
and clear ecological dependence by certain seabird species on these waters. Marine
extensions to existing seabird breeding colony SPAs would give protection to this
important habitat, support the seabird colonies, and ensure compliance with Article 4
of the Birds Directive. Forth Islands SPA is one of a number of proposed breeding
seabird colony SPAs identified in Scotland for a marine extension.

Given that the essential activities mentioned above are not site specific, JNCC has
endorsed generic guidance on how far extensions should be made into the marine
environment, depending on which breeding species are present (McSorley et al.
2003, Reid & Webb 2005, McSorley et al. 2008, McSorley et al. in prep). The
guidance includes the following recommendations:

    • colony SPAs for which Atlantic puffin, common guillemot, or razorbill are
      qualifying features be extended by 1 km;

    • colony SPAs for which Northern gannet or Northern fulmar are qualifying
      features be extended by 2 km;

    • colony SPAs for which Manx shearwater is a qualifying feature be extended by
      at least 4 km;

    • marine SPA extensions are not appropriate for the following qualifying
      features: great cormorant, skuas, gulls, black-throated diver, great crested
      grebe, Slavonian grebe, common scoter, red-necked phalarope; and

    • further work is still ongoing to determine if there is a case for any additional
      SPA protection for tern species, European shag and red-throated diver.



1
  Under Article 4.1 of the Birds Directive member states are required to classify SPAs for birds listed
under Annex 1 of that Directive and under Article 4.2 of the Birds Directive to classify SPAs for
regularly occurring migratory species.


                                                  8
Although the distance of the extension boundary from shore is determined on the
basis of a limited range of species, the extended site becomes an integrated whole
and therefore automatically represents the full feature list of the original terrestrial
site.


5.0 Extension details

Forth Islands SPA holds breeding populations of the following qualifying species that
require a marine extension to the SPA based on JNCC generic guidance: Northern
gannet, Northern fulmar, Atlantic puffin, razorbill, and common guillemot. Based on
the JNCC recommendation for Northern gannet and Northern fulmar, it is proposed
that the SPA boundary be extended 2 km from the MLWS into the marine
environment.

The proposed extension to the SPA does not overlap with any Site of Special
Scientific Interest (SSSI). It would, however, lie adjacent to the following SSSIs:
Inchmickery, Forth Islands, Bass Rock and the Isle of May. The proposed extension
around the Isle of May would overlap the Isle of May Special Area of Conservation
(SAC), the qualifying features of which are grey seals and reefs.

The precise location of the extension has been defined in relation to a number of
parameters. The parameters used when identifying a boundary for a marine
extension      can      be       found       through   the       following   link
http://www.snh.org.uk/about/directives/ab-dir15i.asp.

The proposed marine boundary is defined as a polygon (Appendix 2ii), with the
following polygon vertices defined by degrees and minutes of latitude and longitude:

Polygon vertices             Latitude                      Longitude

Inchmickery
1                            59°02’04” N                   03°14’21”’ W
2                            55°59’28” N                   03°14’21”’ W
3                            56°00’04” N                   03°18’26”’ W

Isle of May
1                            56°12’44” N                   02°36’06” W
2                            56°12’44” N                   02°30’44” W
3                            56°09’41” N                   02°30’44” W
4                            56°09’41” N                   02°36’06” W

Fidra, Lamb & Craigleith
1                            56°05’36” N                   02°49’26” W
2                            56°05’36” N                   02°41’07” W

Bass Rock
1                            56°05’50” N                   02°40’32” W
2                            56°05’50” N                   02°36’21” W
3                            56°03’28” N                   02°36’21” W


                                           9
The seabed, water column and surface are included in the proposed extension and
are listed under public ownership.

The area of the proposed extension to the SPA is 9,690.98 ha, giving a total surface
area of the extended SPA of 9,796.98 ha.


6.0 Conclusion

In conclusion it is therefore proposed that the Forth Islands SPA is extended by 2 km
into the marine environment to better protect the seabird interests of the existing
terrestrial SPA.




                                         10
7.0 References

References cited in the document can be found through the following link
http://www.snh.org.uk/about/directives/ab-dir15h.asp.




                                   11
8.0 Appendices

Appendix 1. Sources of bird information
The JNCC Seabird Colony Register provided most of the information on bird
numbers and distribution at the time of classification.

The table below gives the national and (where relevant) international population
estimates for the seabird species present in nationally and internationally important
numbers on Forth Islands SPA, used for site classification.


 Species                Pop type      Area         Size              Source

 Arctic tern               Br          GB           42,900p     Walsh et al. 1994

 Roseate tern              Br          GB                 64p   Stone et al. 1997

 Common tern               Br          GB           12,300p     Gibbons et al. 1993

 Sandwich tern             Br          GB           15,000p     Stroud et al. 1990

 Northern gannet           Br          GB          158,700p     Walsh et al. 1994
                           Br          NA          263,000p     Lloyd et al. 1991
 European shag             Br         GB            36,400p     Walsh et al. 1994
                           Br       Sub-spa        124,000p     Tasker & Leaper 1993
 Lesser black-             Br         GB            82,300p     Walsh et al. 1994
 backed gull               Br       Sub-spb        125,000p     Tasker & Leaper 1993
 Atlantic puffin           Br         GB            898,000i    Walsh et al. 1994
                           Br       Sub-spc       1,796,000i    Tasker & Leaper 1993
 Northern fulmar           Br          GB          539,500p Lloyd et al. 1991
 Common guillemot          Br          GB         1,047,000i    Walsh et al. 1994

 Razorbill                 Br          GB          147,000i     Walsh et al. 1994

 Black-legged              Br          GB          492,000p     Walsh et al. 1994
 kittiwake
 Herring gull              Br          GB          160,000p     Lloyd et al. 1991

 Great cormorant           Br          GB            7,000p     Lloyd et al. 1991


Key: Pop type, Br = breeding; Area, GB = Great Britain, NA = North Atlantic, sub-spa
= total population of the sub-species P. a. aristotelis, sub-spb = total population of the
sub-species L. f. graellsii, sub-spc = total population of the sub-species F. a. grabae
(Lloyd et al. (1991) for details); Size, i = individuals, p = pairs.


                                             12
Appendix 2. Supporting documents for the consultation

i) Amended Citation

The citation for a site outlines the reasons for the site’s selection as a SPA. The
citation for Forth Islands SPA has been identified as requiring amendment following
the national SPA review (Stroud et al. 2001). The citation below is the fully updated
version and presents details of the proposed extension into the marine environment
and takes into account the 2001 SPA review by adding the herring gull and seabird
assemblage to the list of qualifying interests.




                                         13
                  EC Directive 79/409 on the Conservation of Wild Birds

  CITATION FOR PROPOSED EXTENSION TO SPECIAL PROTECTION AREA
                            (SPA)

                                  FORTH ISLANDS
                                     (UK9004171)
Site Description:
Forth Islands SPA consists of a series of islands supporting the main seabird
colonies in the Firth of Forth. The islands of Inchmickery, Isle of May, Fidra, The
Lamb, Craigleith and Bass Rock were classified on 25 April 1990. The extension to
the site, classified on the 13th February 2004 consists of the island of Long Craig,
which supports the largest colony of roseate tern in Scotland. It is the most northerly
of only six regular British colonies.

The boundary of the Special Protection Area overlaps with the boundaries of the
following SSSIs: Long Craig, Inchmickery, Forth Islands, Bass Rock and the Isle of
May, and the proposed extension extends approximately 2 km into the marine
environment to include the seabed, water column and surface.


Qualifying Interest (N.B. All figures relate to numbers at the time of classification
except where amended by the 2001 SPA Review):
Forth Islands SPA qualifies under Article 4.1 by regularly supporting populations of
European importance of the Annex 1 species Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea (mean
between 1992 and 1996 of 540 pairs, 1.2% of the GB population), roseate tern
Sterna dougallii (an average of 8 pairs, 1997 - 2001; 13% of GB population),
common tern Sterna hirundo (an average of 334 pairs, 1997-2001; 3% of GB
population) and Sandwich tern Sterna sandvicensis (an average of 440 pairs, 3% of
GB).

Forth Islands SPA further qualifies under Article 4.2 by regularly supporting
populations of European importance of the migratory species; Northern gannet
Morus bassanus (21,600 pairs, 8.2% of world biogeographic population), European
shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis (2,400 pairs, 1.9% of N Europe biogeographic
population), lesser black-backed gull Larus fuscus (1,500 pairs, 1.2% of total L.f.
graellsii biogeographic population) and Atlantic puffin Fratercula arctica (14,000
pairs, 1.5% of total F.a.grabae biogeographic population).

Forth Islands SPA also qualifies under Article 4.2 by regularly supporting in excess
of 20,000 individual seabirds. The site regularly supports 90,000 seabirds (three
year mean, 1986 – 1988) including nationally important populations of the following
species: razorbill Alca torda (1,400 pairs, 1.4% of GB population), common guillemot
Uria aalge (16,000 pairs, 2.2% of GB population), black-legged kittiwake Rissa
tridactyla (8,400 pairs, 1.7% of GB population), herring gull Larus argentatus (6,600
pairs, 4.1% of GB population), great cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (200 pairs, 2.8%
of GB population), Northern gannet (21,600 pairs), lesser black-backed gull (1,500
pairs), European shag (2,400 pairs), Atlantic puffin (14,000 pairs), Northern fulmar
(798 pairs), Arctic tern (540 pairs), common tern (334 pairs), roseate tern (8 pairs)
and Sandwich tern (440 pairs).



                                           14
Area: 9,796.98 ha
National Grid References: Long Craig NT125802, Inchmickery NT207805, Forth
Islands NT535868, Bass Rock NT602873, Isle of May NT655955
OS Sheet 1:50,000 - 59, 65, 66 & 67

Classified on 25th April 1990; extended 13th February 2004
This (amended) citation adopted on day month year




                                         15
ii) Map of proposed marine extension to Forth Islands SPA

A map of the Forth Islands SPA and the proposed marine extension can be found
through the following link http://www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/directives/b261286.pdf.

More detailed maps can be found through the following links:

http://www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/directives/b261288.pdf;
http://www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/directives/b261347.pdf; and
http://www.snh.org.uk/pdfs/directives/b261367.pdf.




                                         16

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:3
posted:2/12/2010
language:English
pages:16