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Location United Kingdom, Northern Ireland
Central coordinates 5o 44.14' West  54o 48.40' North
IBA criteria B1i, B2, C3, C6
Area 394 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description A sea lough containing mudflats, mussel-beds and a small area of saltings. The IBA includes the small, vegetated Swan Island, and the man-made `Blue Circle' Island. The mudflats are important for wintering Branta bernicla hrota from the Canadian/Greenland breeding population, while Swan/Blue Circle Islands support an important mixed tern colony.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brent Goose Branta bernicla winter  2001-2006  216 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  2000  348 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  2006  465 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii breeding  2000  4 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii breeding  2006  4 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2000  521 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2006  743 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2007 high near favourable medium
Population
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Branta bernicla Brent Goose 220 216 individuals 99 favourable
Thalasseus sandvicensis Sandwich Tern 235 465 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Sterna dougallii Roseate Tern 7 5 breeding pairs 72 near favourable
Sterna hirundo Common Tern 220 743 breeding pairs 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90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Larne Lough Area of Special Scientific Interest 396 is identical to site 394  
Larne Lough Birds Directive 398 is identical to site 394  
Larne Lough Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 396 is identical to site 394  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Mud flats and sand flats; Salt marshes  -
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  -
Coastline Rock stacks and islets  -

Land use

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Larne Lough. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/11/2014

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