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Location United Kingdom, North West,Wales
Central coordinates 3o 11.61' West  53o 19.70' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C3, C4, C6
Area 13,587 ha
Altitude 0 - 15m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description The Dee estuary lies between the Wirral peninsula and the north Wales coast and consists of a very large intertidal area, some 20 km long and up to 9 km wide. The site comprises extensive mudflats and saltmarshes, with sand-dune and maritime cliff-top communities also represented. The IBA is important for wintering and passage wildfowl and waders.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta passage  2001-2006  4,129 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Northern Pintail Anas acuta winter  2001-2006  5,495 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus winter  2001-2006  78 individuals  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna passage  2001-2006  11,669 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna winter  2001-2006  5,968 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Haematopus ostralegus passage  2001-2006  19,328 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Haematopus ostralegus winter  2001-2006  19,316 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus passage  2001-2006  8,815 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2001-2006  5,020 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa passage  2001-2006  4,390 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  2001-2006  4,559 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata passage  2001-2006  4,829 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  2001-2006  2,819 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Red Knot Calidris canutus winter  2001-2006  8,766 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  2001-2006  13,700 individuals  good  B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  1998-2003  516 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  1999-2004  547 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  2000  75 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1999-2004  84 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  2001-2006  75,331 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  86,342 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

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

Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Agricultural expansion and intensification marine and freshwater aquaculture - industrial aquaculture past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration low
Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration likely in long term (beyond 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Energy production and mining renewable energy likely in short term (within 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities likely in short term (within 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium

Anas acuta Northern Pintail 7200 5495 individuals 77 near favourable
Anas acuta Northern Pintail 7200 5495 individuals 77 near favourable
Cygnus columbianus Tundra Swan 54 78 individuals 100 favourable
Tadorna tadorna Common Shelduck 7000 5968 individuals 86 near favourable
Anas crecca Common Teal 5950 2722 individuals 46 unfavourable
Haematopus ostralegus 30200 19316 individuals 64 unfavourable
Haematopus ostralegus 28200 19328 individuals 69 unfavourable
Pluvialis squatarola Grey Plover 1940 593 individuals 31 very unfavourable
Charadrius hiaticula Common Ringed Plover 535 318 individuals 60 unfavourable
Tringa totanus Common Redshank 7250 5020 individuals 70 near favourable
Tringa totanus Common Redshank 8350 8815 individuals 100 favourable
Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit 1620 4390 individuals 100 favourable
Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit 1610 4559 individuals 100 favourable
Limosa lapponica Bar-tailed Godwit 935 169 individuals 19 very unfavourable
Numenius arquata Eurasian Curlew 3860 2819 individuals 74 near favourable
Numenius arquata Eurasian Curlew 4740 4829 individuals 100 favourable
Calidris canutus Red Knot 5900 2463 individuals 42 unfavourable
Calidris canutus Red Knot 19300 8766 individuals 46 unfavourable
Calidris alpina Dunlin 23800 13700 individuals 58 unfavourable
Sternula albifrons Little Tern 65 84 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 64507 75331 individuals 100 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 126157 86342 individuals 69 unfavourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Dee Estuary RSPB Reserve 5,493 protected area overlaps with site 5,347  
Dee Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) 13,135 protected area overlaps with site 13,099  
Dee Estuary Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 13,085 protected area contained by site 13,085  
The Dee Estuary Birds Directive 13,142 protected area contained by site 13,142  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Mud flats and sand flats; Salt marshes; Sand dunes and beaches; Shingle or stony beaches; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
hunting -
nature conservation and research -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dee Estuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/12/2014

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