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Location United Kingdom, Northern Ireland
Central coordinates 5o 50.11' West  54o 40.07' North
IBA criteria A4iii, B1i, C3, C4
Area 6,029 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description A sea lough with an area of tidal mudflats reduced in size by development. The outer shores are mainly rocky with a few sandy bays. The IBA is important for wintering waders and wildfowl, with man-made lagoons in the Inner Harbour holding the main wader roost.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Common Redshank Tringa totanus passage  2001-2006  1,835 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2001-2006  1,655 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  2001-2006  20,090 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  34,814 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Belfast Lough Birds Directive 432 protected area contained by site 432  
Belfast Lough Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 432 protected area contained by site 432  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Coastal lagoons; Mud flats and sand flats; Sand dunes and beaches  -
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -
water management -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Belfast Lough. Downloaded from on 02/10/2014

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