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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 3o 2.99' West  56o 26.85' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 6,892 ha
Altitude 0 - 15m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description This site includes the Inner Tay, with some of the largest reedbeds (Phragmites) in Britain, and the extensive intertidal mudflats on one side of the mouth of the river. The IBA is important for wintering and passage wildfowl and waders, and supports several breeding reedbed species.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greylag Goose Anser anser winter  2001-2006  1,093 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2001-2006  1,526 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica passage  2001-2006  1,429 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Near Threatened 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica winter  2001-2006  1,910 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  25,464 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

2007 low very unfavourable medium
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%) moderate to rapid deterioration low

Anser anser Greylag Goose 714 1093 individuals 100 favourable
Tringa totanus Common Redshank 2098 1526 individuals 73 near favourable
Limosa lapponica Bar-tailed Godwit 1248 1429 individuals 100 favourable
Limosa lapponica Bar-tailed Godwit 1991 1910 individuals 96 favourable
Sternula albifrons Little Tern 40 1 breeding pairs 3 very unfavourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 25571 25464 individuals 100 favourable

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90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  medium 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)  
Eden Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest 1,161 protected area contained by site 1,161  
Firth of Tay and Eden Estuary Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 6,923 is identical to site 6,892  
Inner Tay Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest 6,748 protected area contained by site 6,748  
Tayport - Tentsmuir Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest 1,202 protected area contained by site 1,202  
Tentsmuir Point National Nature Reserve 515 protected area contained by site 515  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 5%
nature conservation and research 20%
urban/industrial/transport 5%

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Firth of Tay and Eden Estuary. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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