Finding wildlife in the Outer Hebrides

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Year of Natural Scotland 2013
Year of Natural Scotland 2013

Celebrate Scotland's natural beauty throughout 2013

VisitScotland The Outer Hebrides Guide
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  • Ponies at Loch Druidibeg
    Ponies at Loch Druidibeg
  • A puffin perched on a cliff edge
    A puffin perched on a cliff edge
  • Seals in Loch Flodabay, Isle of Harris
    Seals in Loch Flodabay, Isle of Harris

Explore the rugged coastlines and beautiful machair lands of the unspoilt Outer Hebrides. The importance of conservation is emphasised through three National Nature Reserves across the region, so look out for wildlife, including seabirds, seals and sharks.

The Outer Hebrides is a fascinating, peaceful region with a wide variety of interesting and beautiful species and habitats in a compact area. The islands' environment is recognised internationally as being of global importance.

Thrilling encounters

There are thrilling wildlife encounters to be had in the Outer Hebrides which is one of the last real wildernesses full of rare and iconic species. The sheer cliffs and sea stacks at St Kilda attract more than a million sea birds, of which the region has the largest colony of gannets in the world. Around 370 different bird species have been recorded in the Outer Hebrides where visitors are sure to spot the amazing wildlife.

Incredible marine life

The peaceful uninhabited islands dotted around the Hebrides are undiscovered treasure troves of deserted white beaches and untouched beauty. Visiting the outer islands on a boat tour is a real adventure experience. See the beautiful landscapes as well as rare marine species such as humpback whales and basking sharks. With 40 percent of the world’s grey seal population, you may even spot them out on the hunt for fish.

Beautiful flora

As well as the vast array of animal life, the Outer Hebrides contain an amazing array of flora. There are more than a thousand types of wild flower to be found on the islands and during summer the machair is transformed into a carpet of clover, daisies and orchids.

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