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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 3o 18.30' West  59o 5.74' North
IBA criteria C7
Area 148 ha
Altitude 15 - 20m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description This site includes both the nutrient-enriched Loch of Isbister and basin mire separated from the loch by low ridges of glacial till. Open water transitional plant communities and bog habitats support a very rich assemblage of wetland plants. A reedbed (Phragmites) is also present. The IBA is important for both breeding and wintering wildfowl.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta breeding  2007  4 breeding pairs  good  C7  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - nutrient loads happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Anas acuta Northern Pintail 7 4 breeding pairs 58 unfavourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Not assessed  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Loch Of Banks Site of Special Scientific Interest 43 protected area contained by site 43  
Loch Of Isbister and The Loons Site of Special Scientific Interest 104 protected area contained by site 104  
The Loons and Loch of Banks RSPB Reserve 83 protected area overlaps with site 76  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture minor
nature conservation and research major

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Loch of Isbister. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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