SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Canna and Sanday

image: SPA location map 


Canna and Sanday are two adjacent basaltic islands in the Small Isles, north-west of Rum in the Lochaber district of the Scottish Highlands. Canna is ringed with steep cliffs and is capped by a ridge of wet heath and maritime blanket bog. Sanday and low-lying parts of Canna support coastal grassland and maritime heath. The islands are particularly important for their breeding seabird colonies (including gulls, auks and Shag Phalacrocorax a. aristotelis). The seabirds feed outside the SPA in the nearby waters, as well as more distantly. 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section


  Assemblage qualification: A seabird assemblage of international importance


The area qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by regularly supporting at least 20,000 seabirds
During the breeding season, the area regularly supports 21,000 individual seabirds including: Puffin Fratercula arctica, Guillemot Uria aalge, Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, Herring Gull Larus argentatus, Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis.



Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.
Note that sites selected for waterbird species on the basis of their occurrence in the breeding, passage or winter periods also provide legal protection for these species when they occur at other times of the year.