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Location Lithuania, Klaipeda
Central coordinates 21o 2.00' East  55o 30.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4ii, A4iii, B1i, B1ii, B2, C2, C3
Area 60,606 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Lietuvos Ornitologu Draugija (Affiliate)

Site description An offshore area (extending up to 40 km in length) in the Baltic Sea near the Kuronian spit.

Key Biodiversity In winter the area supports 6-10% of the western Palearctic population of Melanitta fusca (at densities of up to 1,000 birds/km2as well as large numbers of other seaduck, e.g. Clangula hyemalis (up to 10,000 birds). The site holds more than 20,000 waterbirds on a regular basis.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Melanitta fusca winter  1999  80,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2  Not Recognised 
Melanitta fusca winter  1988  25,000-70,000 individuals  C3  Not Recognised 
Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis winter  1999  68,000 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i  Vulnerable 
Goosander Mergus merganser 1988  1,500-3,000 individuals  C3  Least Concern 
Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata winter  1999  800-1,200 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata winter  1988  1,500 individuals  C2  Least Concern 
Razorbill Alca torda winter  1995  1,300 individuals  medium  A4ii, B1ii  Near Threatened 
Razorbill Alca torda winter  1988  1,000 individuals  C3  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1999  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2013 high very unfavourable low

Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution industrial & military effluents - type unknown/unrecorded likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Melanitta fusca 50000 15000 individuals 30 very unfavourable
Gavia stellata Red-throated Loon 1000 100 individuals 10 very unfavourable

Some of site covered (10-49%)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kursiu Nerija National Park 26,394 protected area overlaps with site 12,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Sea Open Sea  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture major
tourism/recreation 10%
urban/industrial/transport -

Protection status National High International None20,000 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Kuršiø Nerijos, 26,394 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Marine waters along the Curonian Spit. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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