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Encyclopedia > Skomer

Skomer is a 2.92 km² island off the coast of south-west Wales, - one of a chain lying within a kilometre of the Pembrokeshire coast. It was last permanently inhabited (all year round) in 1958, and is known for its stone circle, standing stone and remains of prehistoric houses, as well as for its abundant wildlife. Skomer is a National Nature Reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Protection Area. Much of Skomer has also been designated an Ancient Monument. It is surrounded by a Marine Nature Reserve. It is managed by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. This article is about the country. ... Pembrokeshire (Welsh: ) is a county in the southwest of Wales in the United Kingdom. ... Jan. ... Swinside stone circle, in the Lake District, England. ... Standing stones, orthostats, liths or more commonly, megaliths because of their large and cumbersome size, are solitary stones set vertically in the ground. ... National Nature Reserve is a United Kingdom government conservation designation for a nature reserve of national significance. ... A Site of Special Scientific Interest or SSSI is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom. ... A Special Protection Area or SPA is a designation under the European Commission Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds (79/409/EEC). ... An ancient monument is an early historical structure or monument (e. ... Marine Nature Reserve (MNR) is a British conservation designation officially awarded by the government to a marine reserve of national significance. ... The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales is one of 47 Wildlife Trusts across the UK. It is the fourth largest in area, covering from Cardiff and Caerphilly in the east to Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire in the west, and includes four of the west Wales islands amongst its 90...

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Wildlife

Skomer is best known for its large breeding seabird population, including Manx Shearwaters, Guillemots, Razorbills, Great Cormorants, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Atlantic Puffins, European Storm-petrels, Common Shags, Eurasian Oystercatchers and gulls, as well as birds of prey including Short-eared Owls, Common Kestrels and Peregrine Falcons. The island is also home to Grey Seals, Common Toads, Slow-worms, a breeding population of Glow-worms and a variety of wildflowers. Harbour Porpoises occur in the surrounding waters. The Sooty Tern is highly aerial and marine and will spend years flying at sea without returning to land. ... Binomial name Puffinus puffinus (Brünnich, 1764) Synonyms Procellaria puffinus Brünnich, 1764 The Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) is a medium-sized shearwater in the seabird family Procellariidae. ... The Guillemots are seabirds in the auk family. ... Binomial name Alca torda Linnaeus, 1758 The Razorbill, Alca torda, is a large alcid, 38-43 cm in length, with a 60-69 cm wingspan. ... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 The Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), known in Australia as the Black Cormorant, is a widespread member of the cormorant family of seabirds. ... Species Rissa tridactyla Rissa brevirostris The Kittiwakes (genus Rissa) are two closely related seabird species in the gull family Laridae. ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) The Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) is a seabird in the auk family. ... Binomial name Hydrobates pelagicus (Linnaeus, 1758) The European Storm-petrel or Storm Petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus) is a small bird of the storm-petrel family, Hydrobatidae, part of the seabird order Procellariiformes. ... Binomial name Phalacrocorax aristotelis (Linnaeus, 1758) The Common Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) is a species of cormorant. ... Binomial name Haematopus ostralegus (Linnaeus, 1758) Eurasian Oystercatcher range. ... “Seagull” redirects here. ... Orders Accipitriformes     Cathartidae     Pandionidae     Accipitridae     Sagittariidae Falconiformes     Falconidae A bird of prey or raptor is a bird that hunts its food, especially one that preys on mammals or other birds. ... Binomial name Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan, 1763) The Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) is a species of typical owl (family Strigidae). ... Binomial name Falco tinnunculus Linnaeus, 1758 The Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is a bird of prey belonging to the falcon family Falconidae. ... Binomial name Tunstall, 1771 Global range (shaded green, dark dots on islands) The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), occasionally known in North America as the Duck Hawk, is a medium-sized falcon about the size of a large crow: 380–530 millimetres (15–21 in) long. ... Binomial name (Fabricius, 1791) Grey Seal range (in blue) The Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus) is found on both shores of the North Atlantic Ocean. ... Binomial name Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758) The Common toad or European toad Bufo bufo is widespread throughout Europe, with the exception of Ireland and some Mediterranean islands. ... Binomial Name Anguis fragilis Linnaeus, 1758 The Slow Worm (or Slowworm, also known as Blindworm or Blind Worm)(Anguis fragilsi) is a limbless reptile. ... Genera Curtos Cyphonocerus Drilaster Ellychnia Hotaria Lampyris Lucidina Luciola - (Japanese fireflies) Photinus - (common eastern firefly) Photuris Pristolycus Pyractomena Pyrocoelia Stenocladius Fireflies (family Lampyridae), also known as lightning bugs, are nocturnal, luminous beetles. ... Categories: Stub | Flowers ... Binomial name Phocoena phocoena Linnaeus, 1758 Harbour Porpoise range The Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is one of six species of porpoise, and so one of about eighty cetacean species. ...


Atlantic Puffin

Atlantic puffin.
Atlantic puffin.

There are over 10,000 breeding pairs of Puffins on Skomer and Skokholm Islands, making them one of the most important Puffin colonies in Britain. They arrive in mid April to nest in burrows, many of which have been dug by the island's large rabbit population. The last Puffins have left the island by the second or third week in July. By 2004, there were numerous Puffin burrows on the island and adults flying back with food run across the walkways oblivious to the tourists. They feed mainly on small fish and Sand Eels; often Puffins can be seen with up to a dozen small eels in their beaks. After a period of declining numbers between the 1950s and 1970s, the size of the colony is growing again at 1-2% a year (as of 2006). An Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica). ... An Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica). ... Skokholm is an uninhabited island off south west Pembrokeshire in Wales, lying south of Skomer. ... For other uses, see Rabbit (disambiguation). ... Sand Eel or Sandeel is the common name used for a considerable number of species of fish. ...


Manx Shearwater

With an estimated 128,000[citation needed] breeding pairs, Skomer and 'sister' island Skokholm, are the world's most important breeding site for these birds, the numbers comprising over half the world population of the species. They usually nest in rabbit burrows, a pair reportedly using the same burrow year after year.


Shearwaters are not easy to see as they come and go at dusk, but a CCTV camera in one of the burrows allows subterranean nesting activity to be seen on the screen in Lockley Lodge on the mainland at Martin's Haven. The remains of Shearwaters killed by the island's population of Greater Black-backed Gulls can also be seen. This article refers to a surveillance system. ... Binomial name Larus marinus (Linnaeus, 1758) The Great Black-backed Gull, Larus marinus, is a very large gull which breeds on the European and North American coasts and islands of the North Atlantic. ...


The Manx Shearwater has a remarkable life. After fledging the young birds migrate to the South Atlantic off the coast of Brazil. They remain there at sea for five years before returning to breed on their natal island. On their return they navigate back to within a few metres of the burrow in which they were born. As they are ungainly and vulnerable on the land, they leave their burrows at dawn for the fishing grounds some fifty kilometres out to sea, not returning until dusk. Thus they attempt to avoid the gulls to which they would fall easy prey. The Atlantic Ocean, not including Arctic and Antarctic regions. ...


Skomer Vole

Skomer has one unique mammal - the Skomer Vole (Clethrionomys glareolus skomerensis) - a distinct form of the Bank Vole. The lack of land-based predators on the island means the that the bracken habitat is an ideal place for the vole - with the population reaching around 20,000 during the summer months. Then the resident Short-eared Owls may be seen patrolling the areas close to the farmhouse in the centre of the island for voles to feed their young. Binomial name Clethrionomys glareolus Schreber, 1780 The bank vole Clethrionomys glareolus is a small vole with red-brown fur and some grey patches. ... Species Pteridium aquilinum Pteridium caudatum Pteridium esculentum Pteridium latiusculum and about 6-7 other species For the Irish television soap opera, see Bracken (TV). ...


Access

Boats sail to Skomer from Martin's Haven on the mainland, a 15-20 minute trip every day except Monday (Bank Holiday Mondays excepted) from April to October at 10am, 11am and 12 noon. Return is between 3pm and 4pm but the boatman will advise on the day. There are limits on the number of people allowed to visit the island (currently 250 per day), and long queues can develop early each morning. In 2005-06, there was a renovation project of the farm buildings which included the old barn for improved overnight visitor and research accommodation, the volunteers' quarters were rebuilt and the warden's house at North Haven was also rebuilt. Solar power provides hot water and a small amount of electricity for lighting. Self-catering visitor accommodation is now available April to October.


References

  • Buxton, John; & Lockley, R.M. (1950). Island of Skomer. Staples Press: London.

Ronald Mathias Lockley (November 8, 1903) - April 12, 2000 (aged 96)) was a Welsh naturalist and author who spent much of his later life in New Zealand. ...

External links

grid reference SM725093 The British national grid reference system is a system of geographic grid references commonly used in Great Britain, different from using latitude or longitude. ...


Coordinates: 51.73611° N 5.29628° W Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Skomer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (659 words)
Skomer is an island of Pembrokeshire in southwest Wales, UK.
Skomer is one of a chain of small islands within one kilometre from the Pembrokeshire coast in southwestern Wales.
Skomer has one unique mammal on the island - the Skomer Vole (Clethrionomys glareolus skomerensis) - a distinct form of the bank Vole.
Skomer Island: sanctuary for birds and wildlife off the Pembrokeshire Coast (1129 words)
Skomer is probably the most important breeding site of Manx Shearwaters in the world, with an estimated population of 165,000 pairs.
It was this period that links Skomer with Rosemoor, as for some time during the Napoleonic Wars the island (as that of Ramsey was then and for a long time afterwards as well) was leased by John Summers and his descendants, first of Moor, later of Rosemoor in the parish of Walwyn's Castle.
Another important man for Skomer (and one who, like the Summers in their time, made a nice living out of it) was Edward Robinson, who farmed the island from the late 1840's.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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