Great Bird Reserves: Skomer Island

Published on 04 May 2017 in Main articles

By David Saunders and Stephen Sutcliffe

Abstract The National Nature Reserve of Skomer Island, off the Pembrokeshire coast, has some of the finest seabird colonies in Britain, including the largest colony of Manx Shearwaters Puffinus puffinus in the world, although most visitors come to see Puffins Fratercula arctica at what is the best site for this species in southern Britain. The monitoring of Skomer’s breeding seabird populations over more than 60 years has made a major contribution to our knowledge of North Atlantic seabirds. In addition, the island has a long history of academic research on seabirds, notably long-term studies of the Common Guillemot Uria aalge and more recently a focus on tracking studies to examine at-sea behaviour. The variety of breeding landbirds is impressive, while the island has had its share of scarce and rare visitors.

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Visitors arriving on Somer, aboard the Dale Princess, June 2015. Jason Moss