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Location United Kingdom, Northern Ireland
Central coordinates 6o 8.36' West  54o 3.52' North
IBA criteria B1i, B2, C2, C3, C6
Area 1,349 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description A narrow sea lough with significant expanses of mudflat and saltmarsh, and several small rock and shingle islands. Mountains surround the lough. This is a cross-border site, the southern shore lying in County Louth in the Republic of Ireland (IBA 122). The stated area of 4,660 ha covers the entire site on both sides of the border, but other data given here (habitats, land-use, threats and birds) are specific to the UK side. The IBA is important for breeding terns and wintering waterbirds. Branta bernicla are from the Canadian/Greenland breeding population of the hrota subspecies.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brent Goose Branta bernicla winter  2002-2006  495 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Greater Scaup Aythya marila winter  2002-2006  255 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator winter  2002-2006  118 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus winter  2002-2006  190 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo winter  2002-2006  210 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2002-2006  1,278 individuals  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  2000  650 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  2006  826 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2000  509 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2006  398 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2007 medium unfavourable low
Population
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification marine and freshwater aquaculture - industrial aquaculture happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Energy production and mining renewable energy likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - type unknown/unrecorded likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Transportation and service corridors shipping lanes likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Branta bernicla Brent Goose 320 467 individuals 100 favourable
Aythya marila Greater Scaup 555 310 individuals 56 unfavourable
Thalasseus sandvicensis Sandwich Tern 270 825 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Sterna hirundo Common Tern 509 398 breeding pairs 79 near 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  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Carlingford Lough Area of Special Scientific Interest 1,100 protected area contained by site 1,105  
Carlingford Lough Birds Directive 827 protected area contained by site 827  
Carlingford Lough Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 827 protected area contained by site 827  
Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 0 protected area overlaps with site 976  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Mud flats and sand flats; Salt marshes  -
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  -
Coastline Rock stacks and islets  -

Land use

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Carlingford Lough. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/12/2014

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