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Inishtrahull Island - a Special Area of Conservation - is important as it is the most northerly seabird colony in Ireland. The island is a wildlife paradise off the coast of Malin Head where the history and the stories of endurance of the human communities that inhabited the island up to the early 20th century intertwine with its beautiful landscape and the lively sounds of its current inhabitants: eiders, fulmars, skuas, black guillemots, lesser black-backed gulls, oyster-catchers...they are all part of the island's wildlife population, which often includes groups of basking grey seals. On a clear day, even minke whales can be spotted feeding off the coast.


Inishtrahull Island supports nationally important populations of Phalacrocorax aristotelis (European shag) and Larus canus (common gulls), and regionally important populations of Fulmarus glacilis (fulmar), Larus marinus (great black-backed gull) and Cepphus grylle (black guillemot). Rissa tridactyla (black-legged kittiwake) has recently started to nest. Terns (Sterna hirundo, S. paradisaea) formerly bred but not on a regular basis or in significant numbers since the 1970s. The site has the largest population of breeding Somateria mollisima (common eider >200 pairs in 1991 and >100 pairs in 2008) in Ireland. The island is used on occasions by wintering barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis), sometimes in numbers of national importance. Cliffs support the rare Ligusticum scoticum (known as Scots lovage), a Red Data Book species. The quality of the habitat is considered good with probably no significant damaging activities occurring. 

Landscapes and wildlife of Inishtrahull Island

Learn more about Inishtrahull Island's marine wildlife

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