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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 2o 30.75' West  56o 42.70' North
IBA criteria A4iii, B1i, B2, C3, C4
Area 981 ha
Altitude 0 - 76m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description The Montrose basin is about 3 km across, almost circular in shape, and forms the estuary of the South Esk River. Duns Dish, a lowland loch about 4 km north-west of Montrose basin, is also included within the IBA. The site supports large numbers of wintering wildfowl and waders, and for breeding and summer moulting assemblages of Somateria mollissima.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Common Redshank Tringa totanus passage  2001-2006  2,323 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2001-2006  1,727 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus winter  2001-2006  4,038 individuals  good  B1i, B2, C3  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  24,011 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

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

Agriculture and aquaculture marine and freshwater aquaculture - industrial aquaculture happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Energy production and mining renewable energy likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - small dams happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Anser brachyrhynchus Pink-footed Goose 26000 1826 individuals 8 very unfavourable
Cygnus cygnus Whooper Swan 105 46 individuals 44 unfavourable
Tringa totanus Common Redshank 2320 2323 individuals 100 favourable
Tringa totanus Common Redshank 2450 1727 individuals 71 near favourable
Calidris canutus Red Knot 3120 4038 individuals 100 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 49354 24011 individuals 49 unfavourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Montrose Basin Site of Special Scientific Interest 955 protected area contained by site 955  
Montrose Basin Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 985 is identical to site 981  
Montrose Basin (SWT) Reserve 1,017 protected area overlaps with site 940  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Mud flats and sand flats; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters  -

Land use

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Montrose Basin. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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