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Location United Kingdom, South West
Central coordinates 2o 1.66' West  50o 41.99' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 2,308 ha
Altitude 0 - 21m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description A drowned valley that forms one of the largest natural harbours in the world, with the five islands representing high ground between the former river valleys. Habitat-types include mudflats, saltmarsh, reed Phragmites-swamp and heathland. The IBA is important for wintering wildfowl and waders, and for breeding gulls and terns.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta passage  2001-2006  729 individuals  good  B1i, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  2001-2006  1,452 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa passage  2001-2006  1,120 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  2001-2006  2,168 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  2001-2006  1,619 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  2001-2006  6,435 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus breeding  2000  5 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  2006  213 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2000  191 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2006  248 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus breeding  2004  81 males only  good  C6  Least Concern 
Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata breeding  2006  73 males only  good  C6  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  36,091 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

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

Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive and other problematic species and genes introduced genetic material happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive and other problematic species and genes problematic native species/diseases - named species happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - small dams happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Transportation and service corridors shipping lanes happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Recurvirostra avosetta Pied Avocet 125 729 individuals 100 favourable
Recurvirostra avosetta Pied Avocet 315 1452 individuals 100 favourable
Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit 810 1120 individuals 100 favourable
Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit 1490 2168 individuals 100 favourable
Numenius arquata Eurasian Curlew 1790 1619 individuals 91 favourable
Calidris alpina Dunlin 5500 6435 individuals 100 favourable
Larus melanocephalus Mediterranean Gull 6 5 breeding pairs 84 not assessed
Thalasseus sandvicensis Sandwich Tern 105 213 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Sterna hirundo Common Tern 150 248 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Caprimulgus europaeus European Nightjar 43 81 males only 100 favourable
Sylvia undata Dartford Warbler 71 73 males only 100 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 27027 36091 individuals 100 favourable

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  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  high 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Arne RSPB Reserve 539 protected area overlaps with site 127  
Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 112,900 protected area overlaps with site 1,789  
Poole Harbour Birds Directive 2,272 is identical to site 2,272  
Poole Harbour Site of Special Scientific Interest 2,269 protected area overlaps with site 1,952  
Poole Harbour Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 2,439 protected area contains site 2,308  
Purbeck Heritage Coast 16,512 protected area overlaps with site 1,791  
Wareham RSPB Reserve 340 protected area overlaps with site 124  
Wareham Meadows Site of Special Scientific Interest 211 protected area overlaps with site 167  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Mixed woodland  -
Shrubland Heathland  -
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Mud flats and sand flats; Rivers and streams; Salt marshes; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation  -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Poole Harbour. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/12/2014

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