SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Caithness and Sutherland Peatlands

image: SPA location map 

 

The Caithness & Sutherland Peatlands are located across the northernmost parts of mainland Scotland. The SPA contains a large proportion of these peatlands, which form one of the largest and most intact areas of blanket bog in the world. The peatlands include an exceptionally wide range of vegetation and surface pattern types (pool systems), some of which are unknown elsewhere. This range of structurally diverse peatland and freshwater habitats supports a wide variety of breeding birds including internationally important populations of raptors, wildfowl and waders.

 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section


This site qualifies under Article 4.1 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex I of the Directive:
 
During the breeding season;
 
Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica, 26 pairs representing at least 16.3% of the breeding population in Great Britain (11 year mean, 1986-1996)
 
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos, 5 pairs representing at least 1.3% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count, as at 1992)
 
Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, 1,064 pairs representing at least 4.7% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count, as at mid-1990s)
 
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus, 14 pairs representing at least 2.8% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5 year mean, 1993-1997)
 
Merlin Falco columbarius, 54 pairs representing at least 4.2% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count, as at early 1990s)
 
Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata, 89 pairs representing at least 9.5% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Two year mean, 1993-1994)
 
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus, 30 pairs representing at least 3.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Count, as at mid-1990s)
 
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola, 5 pairs representing up to 50.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Two year mean, 1994-1995)
 
 
This site also qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:
 
During the breeding season;
 
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra, 27 pairs representing <0.1% of the breeding Western Siberia/Western & Northern Europe/Northwestern Africa population (1996)
 
Dunlin Calidris alpina schinzii, 1,860 pairs representing at least 16.9% of the breeding Baltic/UK/Ireland population (Count, as at 1994)
 
Greenshank Tringa nebularia, 256 pairs representing at least 0.4% of the breeding Europe/Western Africa population (1994/95)
 
Wigeon Anas penelope, 43 pairs representing <0.1% of the breeding Western Siberia/Northwestern/Northeastern Europe population (1994)

 


Note:

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.