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Location Finland, Oulun lääni
Central coordinates 23o 36.00' East  64o 11.00' North
IBA criteria B1i, B2, B3, C3
Area 11,673 ha
Altitude 3 m
Year of IBA assessment 2000


Site description Lying in the north-east of the Gulf of Bothnia, this is one of the largest and most diverse archipelagos in the Bay of Bothnia. The area holds a remarkable diversity of habitats including the Siipojoki river delta, large forested islands, islands with meadows and beaches, and numerous outer rocky islands and islets. The area has remained largely undeveloped, and much of the shoreline is in a natural state.

Key Biodiversity An important breeding area for archipelagic avifauna.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator breeding  1992  101-500 breeding pairs  medium  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus breeding  1992  101-500 breeding pairs  poor  B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Mew Gull Larus canus breeding  1992  501-1,000 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus breeding  1997  160-170 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle breeding  1997  110 breeding pairs  medium  B2  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2010 medium favourable low
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - unspecified species happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - nutrient loads happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Mergus serrator Red-breasted Merganser 350 350 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Tringa totanus Common Redshank 100 95 breeding pairs 95 favourable
Larus canus Mew Gull 1000 2800 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Larus fuscus Lesser Black-backed Gull 160 200 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Cepphus grylle Black Guillemot 110 130 breeding pairs 100 favourable

Most of site (50-90%) covered (including the most critical parts for important bird species)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Very little or no conservation action taking place  low 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland  30%
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  30%
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  40%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry 10%
hunting 40%
tourism/recreation 60%

Protection status National None International Partial8,555 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Rahjan saaristo).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Rahja archipelago. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife