Wildlife groups are concerned the filming of Star Wars: Episode Vii on the remote island of Skellig Michael could interfere with the breeding season of local birds.

The cast and crew of the latest sci-fi instalment, directed by J.J. Abrams, are filming on the unpopulated island, which is located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of County Kerry, Ireland.

Skellig Michael, a World Heritage Site, is home to colonies of puffins, guillemots and peregrine falcons, which all breed in July.

Dr. Steve Newton from Birdwatch Ireland tells Radio Kerry, "It would have been preferable if filming took place out of the breeding season, in September, when I believe it was originally scheduled... It seems a little inappropriate to do it during July."

Irish Film Board officials say the shooting schedule "has been designed specifically to avoid disturbance of breeding birds" and experts at the National Parks and Wildlife Service (Npws) "approved the proposal on that basis".