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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 

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 30/10/2014

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