Species Champions: Manx shearwater


A relative of albatrosses and petrels, Manx shearwaters spend most of their lives out at sea, where they feed mainly on small fish and plankton caught in surface water. They return to land to breed only under cover of darkness.

Scotland is home to a third of the world population in the summer, the great majority of which are on Rum and Canna with other large colonies on St Kilda and the Treshnish Islands.

They are international travelers, and depart Scotland to winter in the waters off Brazil. Every summer they return to the same colony, where they nest in burrows, which makes them particularly susceptible to predation.

Action Needed

  1. Support protection of colonies against rats and other ground predators.
  2. Support protection of assemblages at sea from pressures such as light pollution and fish farms.
  3. Support measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  4.  Ensure the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy is fully implemented.


Invasive non-native species, such as rats

Climate change, which is affecting their food supply

Light pollution and other pressures on assemblages at sea

MSP Species Champion

Alasdair Allan

Member for: Na h-Eileanan an lar

Party: Scottish National Party

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