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Location France, Aquitaine
Central coordinates 1o 42.00' West  43o 24.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C2, C3, C4
Area 9,300 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Ligue Pour La Protection des Oiseaux

Site description An estuary, bay and open sea, with mudflats, sandy beaches, cliffs and rocky islets.

Key Biodiversity This is an important site for wintering and passage waterbirds and passage auks (Alcidae). The site holds 20,000 or more waterbirds on passage and in winter, on a regular basis (including Phalacrocorax carbo 4,000 (passage); Anser anser 10,000 (passage); Vanellus vanellus 6,000 (winter)). Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Tetrax tetrax (passage).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greylag Goose Anser anser passage  1991  5,000-10,000 individuals  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo passage  1991  4,000 individuals  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Crane Grus grus passage  1991  2,000-5,000 individuals  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  1991  500-3,000 individuals  B2  Near Threatened 
Larus cachinnans winter  1991  10,000 individuals  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  1991  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
FRN028 Hunting Reserve 9,300 protected area contained by site 9,300  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing brackish and salt water; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters  -
Sea Open Sea; Sea inlets and coastal features  -
Coastline Mud flats & sand flats; Salt marshes; Sand dunes & beaches; Sea cliffs and rocky shores; Shingle & stony beaches  -
Rocky areas Inland cliffs  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -

Protection status National High International None9,300 ha of IBA covered by Hunting Reserve (9,300 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Estuaire de la Bidassoa et Baie de Fontarabie. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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