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Location United Kingdom, East Midlands,Yorkshire and Humberside
Central coordinates 0o 0.30' West  53o 38.10' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 16,496 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description The site covers the Humber estuary, and coastline to the north and south of the Humber mouth. It includes an elongated shingle-spit capped by sand-dunes (Spurn Point), extensive intertidal habitats (especially mudflats), saline lagoons and reedbeds (Phragmites). The IBA is important for breeding raptors and waders, and wintering/passage wildfowl and waders.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus passage  2001-2006  2,263 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus winter  2001-2006  3,381 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna passage  2001-2006  5,219 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna winter  2001-2006  3,804 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris breeding  2007  9 males only  good  C6  Least Concern 
Western Marsh-harrier Circus aeruginosus breeding  2007  7 females only  good  C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta passage  2001-2006  306 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  2007  195 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria passage  2001-2006  29,458 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria winter  2001-2006  40,991 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola passage  2001-2006  1,857 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula passage  2001-2006  929 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus passage  2001-2006  6,227 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2001-2006  4,272 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  2001-2006  1,113 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa passage  2001-2006  523 individuals  good  C6  Near Threatened 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica passage  2001-2006  1,177 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica winter  2001-2006  3,169 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata passage  2001-2006  2,682 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  2001-2006  3,523 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Red Knot Calidris canutus passage  2001-2006  19,302 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus winter  2001-2006  35,181 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina passage  2001-2006  22,308 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  2001-2006  23,367 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Ruff Calidris pugnax passage  2001-2006  92 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Ruff Calidris pugnax winter  2001-2006  16 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  2000  63 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  2006  63 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus breeding  1995  5 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  2001-2006  93,705 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  150,177 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Humber Estuary Birds Directive 15,008 protected area contained by site 15,008  
Humber Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) 37,054 protected area overlaps with site 15,471  
Humber Estuary Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 37,988 protected area contained by site 15,203  
Saltfleetby - Theddlethorpe Dunes Site of Special Scientific Interest 972 protected area contained by site 973  
Spurn Heritage Coast 1,838 protected area overlaps with site 1,071  
Tetney Marshes RSPB Reserve 875 protected area contained by site 875  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Scrub  -
Wetlands (inland) Coastal lagoons; Fens, transition mires and springs; Mud flats and sand flats; Rivers and streams; Salt marshes; Sand dunes and beaches; Shingle or stony beaches; Standing freshwater; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
hunting -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Humber Estuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/07/2014

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