Boreray Sheep have a close geographical and social link with Soay Sheep
but the two breeds are genetically different. Boreray Sheep are the
descendants of the domestic sheep which were kept by the St. Kildans.
When the inhabitants evacuated Hirta, (the main island of St. Kilda), in
1930, all their domestic stock was evacuated with them. Any stock left
on the island was killed. But a replacement flock of domestic sheep had
been kept on the island of Boreray. These sheep were left there after
the evacuation and have lived feral on the island since 1930. In recent
years a small group was taken off the island and the descendants of that
small group are now registered with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
Boreray sheep are classified as "critically endangered" on the RBST
Survival Watch list.
The sheep are a unique breed, being descendants of the now extinct
Scottish Tan Face with some infusion of Hebridean Blackface. They are a
small short-tailed breed which naturally sheds its fleece under normal
breeding conditions. Most animals are a creamy white colour with various
black, tan or speckled markings on the face and legs and sometimes also
on the body and shoulders. A few dark animals occur.