Protecting native species

Life Raft Objectives

Protecting native species

Project aims

The aim of the LIFE Raft project is to restore the seabird colonies on Rathlin Island and benefit the Rathlin Community.

The specific objectives are:


To Protect

To protect the internationally important assemblage of breeding seabirds of the Rathlin Island SPA, while also enabling wider species recovery, by removing invasive non-native rats and ferrets.


The project is expected to lead to a reversal of the declines that many seabird species have suffered on Rathlin in recent years, recolonisation of the island by seabirds that have gone extinct there, safeguarding of corncrake nesting attempts, and recovery of many other avian and non-avian species. The project also aims to build the resilience of the seabird assemblage to the impacts of oceanographic change and increasing human activity at sea;


Contribute to the recovery

To contribute to the recovery of the Rathlin economy following the Covid 19 pandemic, and in the longer term to its maintenance and growth through the employment of local people and the use of local services during the project period, and through the creation of wider economic opportunities, e.g. eco-tourism due to the recovery of the island’s wonderful widlife;


To Enable

To enable the Rathlin community and visitors to learn about and take pride in the natural heritage of the island and play an active role in conserving it. The project will empower community members to lead on the biosecurity measures that will be required to ensure the legacy of the project, and on ensuring that visitors comply with these measures;


contribute to wider learning

To contribute to wider learning in island restoration by sharing the lessons learned during the project. This will include liaising with relevant conservation leaders throughout Europe, creating a lasting dialogue among island restoration experts in Northern Ireland, other parts of the UK, the Republic of Ireland and the rest of the EU;


To Enhance understanding

To enhance the understanding of best practice for predator eradication on inhabited islands.

About the LIFE Raft project

Protecting native species, helping Rathlin community thrive