The jagged slopes of Skellig Michael, an island 7 miles off the coast of Ireland, might be abuzz with all sorts of imagined creatures as a filming location for Star Wars Episode VII -- but concerns over the island's rare, real-life inhabitants have some conservationists feeling a bit on the dark side.
Aside from being a stunning geological marvel, Skellig Michael is also a stunning ecological one as well. The island is listed as a Unesco site and a globally important habitat, a sanctuary for several protected bird species, including storm petrels, razorbills, gannets, and a large colony of puffins. So naturally, after the site was chosen to be backdrop for the upcoming Star Wars film, bird experts weren't thrilled.
Filming on the island had been approved by the Irish Film Board, but the conservation group Birdwatch Ireland says that it was given the greenlight before they had a chance to measure the possible impact.