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Location United Kingdom, South East
Central coordinates 0o 49.80' East  50o 58.53' North
IBA criteria A4iii, B1i, B2, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 9,805 ha
Altitude 2 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description The IBA includes inland wetlands, grazing-marsh and arable land, and two shingle-beaches at Dungeness and Rye Harbour. The shingle-beach systems support very unusual vegetation-types. The IBA is important for breeding terns and breeding, passage and wintering wildfowl and waders.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus winter  2001-2006  165 individuals  good  B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata passage  2001-2006  457 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata winter  2001-2006  547 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Smew Mergellus albellus winter  2001-2006  32 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria winter  2001-2006  3,864 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Ruff Calidris pugnax winter  2001-2006  35 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  2006  500 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2006  170 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2000  118 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  33,589 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

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

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 dams & water management/use - small dams happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Transportation and service corridors flight paths likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low

Cygnus columbianus Tundra Swan 325 165 individuals 51 unfavourable
Spatula clypeata Northern Shoveler 515 547 individuals 100 favourable
Mergellus albellus Smew 38 32 individuals 85 near favourable
Pluvialis apricaria Eurasian Golden Plover 2850 3864 individuals 100 favourable
Calidris pugnax Ruff 47 35 individuals 75 near favourable
Thalasseus sandvicensis Sandwich Tern 100 500 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Sterna hirundo Common Tern 280 170 breeding pairs 61 unfavourable
Sternula albifrons Little Tern 41 21 breeding pairs 52 unfavourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 33194 33589 individuals 100 favourable

Some of site covered (10-49%)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay Site of Special Scientific Interest 9,137 protected area overlaps with site 4,469  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Humid grasslands  -
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Mud flats and sand flats; Rivers and streams; Salt marshes; Shingle or stony beaches; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Highly improved re-seeded landscapes  -

Land use

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Dungeness To Pett Levels. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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