Gravel Ridge Island ASSI

Protected area type: Areas of Special Scientific Interest
Feature type: 
  • Species
  • Fermanagh
Council: Fermanagh and Omagh
Guidance and literature: Gravel Ridge Island ASSI

Gravel Ridge Island has been declared an ASSI because it supports a number of nationally important breeding seabird populations of sandwich terns and black-headed gulls. Areas holding important colonies of breeding seabirds are scarce in Northern Ireland.

The site is a small low lying gravel island, in the upper reaches of Lower Lough Erne, County Fermanagh, some 2km south of Boa Island. Bird habitat is almost exclusively vegetated gravel which is invaded in late spring and summer by a growth of taller plants such as Indian balsam. 
False-oat dominated grassland also occurs with ash and willow species scrub in the middle and eastern side of the island.

Gravel Ridge Island holds on average 68 pairs of Sandwich Tern (2004 to 2008 mean) which represents 1.8% of the all-Ireland breeding population and 3.4% of the Northern Ireland population. 
The island also supports on average 853 pairs of Black-headed Gull (2004 to 2008 mean) which represents 7.3% of the all-Ireland breeding population and 10.1% of the Northern Ireland population.

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