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Location United Kingdom, North West
Central coordinates 3o 2.23' West  53o 39.71' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 12,408 ha
Altitude 0 - 15m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description Intertidal mudflats and saltmarsh extending from the Ribble estuary in the north to Crosby in the south, and includes the mouth of the River Alt. These estuaries are important for wintering and passage wildfowl and waders, and for breeding gulls.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta winter  2001-2006  2,245 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus passage  2001-2006  9,165 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus winter  2001-2006  10,248 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus winter  2001-2006  341 individuals  good  B1i, B3, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus winter  2001-2006  24-224 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna winter  2001-2006  3,423 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope passage  2001-2006  34,259 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  2001-2006  77,540 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca passage  2001-2006  4,057 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  2001-2006  7,064 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Haematopus ostralegus passage  2001-2006  17,566 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Haematopus ostralegus winter  2001-2006  18,518 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria winter  2001-2006  2,971 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria winter  2001-2006  3,457 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola passage  2001-2006  3,884 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola winter  2001-2006  5,007 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula passage  2001-2006  1,306 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus passage  2001-2006  2,982 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2001-2006  3,440 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa passage  2001-2006  3,280 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  2001-2006  1,694 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica passage  2001-2006  9,195 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica winter  2001-2006  14,625 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata passage  2001-2006  2,357 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  2001-2006  2,197 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Red Knot Calidris canutus passage  2001-2006  39,864 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus winter  2001-2006  50,639 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Sanderling Calidris alba passage  2001-2006  5,142 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Sanderling Calidris alba winter  2001-2006  2,961 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina passage  2001-2006  25,469 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  2001-2006  21,642 individuals  good  B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus breeding  1998  4,108 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B3, C3  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2000  98 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2003  111 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  1998-1999  19,378 breeding pairs  good  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  2001-2006  167,614 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  262,917 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Ribble and Alt Estuaries Birds Directive 12,412 is identical to site 12,408  
Ribble and Alt Estuary Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 13,464 protected area contains site 12,408  
Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve 4,588 protected area contained by site 4,581  
Ribble Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest 9,348 protected area contained by site 9,328  
Sefton Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest 4,634 protected area overlaps with site 2,863  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland) Mud flats and sand flats; Rivers and streams; Salt marshes; Sand dunes and beaches; Standing freshwater; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ribble and Alt Estuaries. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/09/2014

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