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Location United Kingdom, North,North West
Central coordinates 2o 58.69' West  54o 6.24' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 36,859 ha
Altitude 0 - 30m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description The IBA covers Morecambe Bay and the Lune estuary, with the Leven, Kent, Keer, Lune and Wyre river channels draining through intertidal flats of sand and silt. The whole system is dynamic, with shifting channels formed by the cycle of erosion and accretion. The site also includes important saltmarshes. This area is of outstanding importance for wintering and passage wildfowl and waders, and for breeding wildfowl, gulls and terns.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta passage  2001-2006  3,431 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Northern Pintail Anas acuta winter  2001-2006  3,256 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus passage  2001-2006  2,679 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus winter  2001-2006  5,133 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna passage  2001-2006  7,187 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna winter  2001-2006  6,766 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Haematopus ostralegus passage  2001-2006  58,719 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Haematopus ostralegus winter  2001-2006  50,370 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria winter  2001-2006  6,014 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula passage  2001-2006  757 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus passage  2001-2006  8,050 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2001-2006  6,727 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica winter  2001-2006  3,965 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata passage  2001-2006  14,343 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  2001-2006  9,986 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Near Threatened 
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres passage  2001-2006  776 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres winter  2001-2006  717 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus passage  2001-2006  16,491 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus winter  2001-2006  51,352 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina passage  2001-2006  10,490 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  2001-2006  20,780 individuals  good  B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Larus argentatus breeding  1999-2000  10,163 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus breeding  1999-2000  19,526 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  1999-2000  31,349 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  2001-2006  170,965 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  225,163 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

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

Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors shipping lanes likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low

Anas acuta Northern Pintail 2930 3256 individuals 100 favourable
Anser brachyrhynchus Pink-footed Goose 2040 5133 individuals 100 favourable
Tadorna tadorna Common Shelduck 5800 6766 individuals 100 favourable
Haematopus ostralegus 61000 58719 individuals 97 favourable
Haematopus ostralegus 52000 50370 individuals 97 favourable
Pluvialis apricaria Eurasian Golden Plover 3700 6014 individuals 100 favourable
Pluvialis squatarola Grey Plover 1780 1031 individuals 58 unfavourable
Pluvialis squatarola Grey Plover 1820 911 individuals 51 unfavourable
Charadrius hiaticula Common Ringed Plover 1720 757 individuals 45 unfavourable
Tringa totanus Common Redshank 8300 8050 individuals 97 favourable
Tringa totanus Common Redshank 6600 6727 individuals 100 favourable
Limosa lapponica Bar-tailed Godwit 2490 3965 individuals 100 favourable
Limosa lapponica Bar-tailed Godwit 840 314 individuals 38 very unfavourable
Numenius arquata Eurasian Curlew 17400 14343 individuals 83 near favourable
Numenius arquata Eurasian Curlew 13500 9986 individuals 74 near favourable
Arenaria interpres Ruddy Turnstone 1950 776 individuals 40 unfavourable
Arenaria interpres Ruddy Turnstone 1750 717 individuals 41 unfavourable
Calidris canutus Red Knot 12400 16491 individuals 100 favourable
Calidris canutus Red Knot 29600 51352 individuals 100 favourable
Calidris alba Sanderling 1970 538 individuals 28 very unfavourable
Calidris alpina Dunlin 60500 20780 individuals 35 very unfavourable
Calidris alpina Dunlin 26800 10490 individuals 40 unfavourable
Larus argentatus 11000 10163 breeding pairs 93 favourable
Larus fuscus Lesser Black-backed Gull 17000 19526 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Thalasseus sandvicensis Sandwich Tern 380 0 breeding pairs 0 very unfavourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 149126 170965 individuals 100 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 222752 225163 individuals 100 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 28567 31349 breeding pairs 100 favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  Unknown  Not assessed  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 7,500 protected area overlaps with site 3,903  
Lune Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest 7,633 protected area overlaps with site 7,596  
Morecambe Bay Birds Directive 37,405 is identical to site 36,859  
Morecambe Bay Site of Special Scientific Interest 25,665 protected area contained by site 25,975  
Morecambe Bay Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 37,405 is identical to site 36,859  
South Walney and Piel Channel Flats Site of Special Scientific Interest 2,330 protected area overlaps with site 2,185  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Mud flats and sand flats; Salt marshes; Sand dunes and beaches; Shingle or stony beaches; Standing brackish and salt water; Standing freshwater; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation  100%

Land use

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Morecambe Bay. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/12/2014

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