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Location United Kingdom, South West,Wales
Central coordinates 2o 40.66' West  51o 35.41' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 25,141 ha
Altitude 0 - 78m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description The estuary is fed by five major rivers (the Severn, Wye, Usk, Parrett and Avon) in addition to other lesser rivers. Classically funnel-shaped, the estuary has the second widest tidal range in the world and is characterized by strong currents, mobile sediments and high turbidity. Large expanses of cord-grass Spartina occur. The site supports internationally important numbers of wintering and passage wildfowl and waders, in addition to important breeding bird populations.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta winter  2001-2006  905 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus winter  2001-2006  220 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna winter  2001-2006  3,483 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  2001-2006  4,124 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula winter  2001-2006  684 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2001-2006  1,900 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2001-2006  2,354 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata passage  2001-2006  2,389 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  2001-2006  2,521 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Dunlin Calidris alpina passage  2001-2006  6,292 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  2001-2006  22,374 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus breeding  1999-2002  3,801 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B3, C3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  2001-2006  36,013 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  70,201 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bridgwater Bay National Nature Reserve 128 protected area contained by site 2,502  
Bridgwater Bay Site of Special Scientific Interest 5,822 protected area contained by site 6,258  
Severn Estuary Birds Directive 24,663 protected area contained by site 24,663  
Severn Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) 16,739 protected area contained by site 16,739  
Severn Estuary Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 24,701 protected area contained by site 24,701  
Upper Severn Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest 1,460 protected area contained by site 1,458  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mixed woodland  -
Shrubland Heathland; Scrub  -
Grassland Humid grasslands; Steppes and dry calcareous grassland  -
Wetlands (inland) Mud flats and sand flats; Rivers and streams; Salt marshes; Shingle or stony beaches; Standing brackish and salt water; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation  -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -
Introduced vegetation   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
water management -
tourism/recreation -
nature conservation and research -
fisheries/aquaculture -
urban/industrial/transport -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Severn Estuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/10/2014

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