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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 3o 22.37' West  56o 11.63' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C3, C4
Area 1,841 ha
Altitude 113 - 335m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description Loch Leven lies midway between the estuaries of the Forth and Tay rivers, and is the largest nutrient-rich loch in Britain, supporting a range of aquatic plants. The IBA also covers adjacent damp, unimproved pasture. This site is of major importance for both breeding and wintering wildfowl and waterfowl.

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  5,311 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Gadwall Mareca strepera passage  2001-2006  509 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Gadwall Mareca strepera breeding  1992  70 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca passage  2001-2006  5,282 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  2001-2006  24,935 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Loch Leven Birds Directive 1,612 protected area contained by site 1,612  
Loch Leven National Nature Reserve 1,823 protected area contained by site 1,597  
Loch Leven Site of Special Scientific Interest 1,613 protected area contained by site 1,613  
Loch Leven Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 1,612 protected area contained by site 1,612  
Vane Farm RSPB Reserve 224 protected area overlaps with site 187  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Humid grasslands  -
Wetlands (inland) Standing freshwater  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture minor
fisheries/aquaculture major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Loch Leven. Downloaded from on 19/09/2014

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