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Location United Kingdom, East Anglia
Central coordinates 1o 20.65' East  52o 2.54' North
IBA criteria A4iii, B2, C4, C6
Area 977 ha
Altitude 0 - 15m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description A narrow estuary extending south-eastwards from the town of Woodbridge for a distance of over 12 km, reaching the sea just to the north of the town of Felixstowe. Extensive intertidal mudflats support an important invertebrate communityand wintering wildfowl and waders.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Western Marsh-harrier Circus aeruginosus breeding  1990  4 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta passage  2001-2006  91 individuals  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  2001-2006  255 individuals  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  20,543 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Deben Estuary Birds Directive 979 is identical to site 977  
Deben Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest 981 is identical to site 977  
Deben Estuary Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 979 is identical to site 977  
Suffolk Coast Heritage Coast 0 protected area overlaps with site 388  
Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 40,300 protected area contains site 977  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Scrub  -
Wetlands (inland) Mud flats and sand flats; Salt marshes; Sand dunes and beaches; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Deben Estuary. Downloaded from on 31/10/2014

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