Scotland is home to an astonishing number and variety of seabirds. Every year, more than 5 million seabirds breed in Scotland. Due to the diverse rocky coastline and sheltered isles, Scotland supports internationally important populations of wintering waders, such as the oystercatcher, knot, and bar-tailed godwit. The Treshnish islands, Orkney and major estuaries like the Firth of Forth are some of the main hubs for seabird populations.

Unfortunately, pressures including lack of food, invasive predators and avian flu have had a negative impact on sebirds in Scotland. On NatureScot’s Forvie National Nature Reserve, 641 sandwich terns (42% of the local population), 118 common tern (50% of the population), and 735 Arctic terns (54% of the population were lost this last summer and a minimum of 871 kittiwakes were confirmed dead on the Isle of May.

To tackle some of these challenges, SMEEF has created the ‘Seabird Resilience’ theme. This theme will support work on improving seabird populations and protect and improve their habitats.

Our Seabird theme is currently closed. For updates, please register for our newsletter by emailing

We use third-party cookies to personalise content and analyse site traffic.

Learn more