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Location France, Pays de la Loire
Central coordinates 1o 49.00' West  47o 16.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 21,400 ha
Altitude 0 - 6m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Ligue Pour La Protection des Oiseaux

Site description An estuary with mudflats, beaches and alluvial islands, marshes, wet meadows and woodland.

Key Biodiversity The site holds 20,000 or more waterbirds in winter, on a regular basis. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Gallinago media (passage).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta winter  1997  65-706 individuals  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata winter  1997  233-2,940 individuals  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  1997  4,300-13,049 individuals  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris breeding  1991  5-10 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Corncrake Crex crex breeding  1994  52-53 breeding pairs  A1, B2, C1, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana breeding  1991  10-15 breeding pairs  B3, C6  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus breeding  1996  18-19 breeding pairs  C6  Not Recognised 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  1997  850-2,590 individuals  A4i, B1i, B2, C2  Least Concern 
Black Tern Chlidonias niger breeding  1991  10-20 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica breeding  1991  50 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1997  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Estuaire de la Loire Hunting Reserve 3,400 protected area contained by site 3,400  
Ile de la Pierre rouge Hunting Reserve 120 protected area contained by site 120  
Massereau Hunting Reserve 393 protected area contained by site 393  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest; Broadleaved deciduous woodland  -
Grassland Humid grasslands  -
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing brackish and salt water; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation  -
Coastline Mud flats & sand flats; Rock stacks and islets; Salt marshes; Sand dunes & beaches  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  -

Land use

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

Protection status National Low International Partial3,913 ha of IBA covered by 3 Hunting Reserves (Massereau, 393 ha; Estuaire de la Loire, 3,400 ha; Ile de la Pierre rouge, 120 ha). 17,700 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Estuaire de la Loire, 17,700 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Estuaire de la Loire. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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