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Location United Kingdom, South West
Central coordinates 2o 50.43' West  51o 11.88' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C3, C4, C6
Area 7,061 ha
Altitude 3 - 14m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description The Levels and Moors have formed in the valleys of five rivers, which drain a large part of north Somerset. The whole area is low-lying, and the naturally poor drainage has encouraged peat build-up. Habitat-types include wet grassland, fen and raised bog. The IBA is important for breeding and wintering wildfowl and other wetland birds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta winter  2001-2006  697 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus winter  2001-2006  66 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Gadwall Mareca strepera breeding  2006  43 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  2001-2006  26,242 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata winter  2001-2006  1,247 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  2001-2006  19,216 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria winter  2001-2006  5,638 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  100,432 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Catcott, Edington and Chilton Moors Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) 1,083 protected area contained by site 1,083  
Curry and Hay Moors Site of Special Scientific Interest 475 protected area contained by site 473  
Ham Wall RSPB Reserve 669 protected area contained by site 669  
King's Sedgemoor Site of Special Scientific Interest 831 protected area contained by site 828  
Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve 117 protected area contained by site 389  
Shapwick Heath Site of Special Scientific Interest 397 protected area contained by site 394  
Somerset Levels and Moors Birds Directive 6,388 protected area contained by site 6,388  
Somerset Levels and Moors Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 6,388 protected area contained by site 6,388  
Tealham and Tadham Moors Site of Special Scientific Interest 917 protected area contained by site 914  
West Sedgemoor RSPB Reserve 2,103 protected area overlaps with site 1,022  
West Sedgemoor Site of Special Scientific Interest 1,021 protected area contained by site 1,019  
Westhay Moor Site of Special Scientific Interest 522 protected area contained by site 518  
Wet Moor Site of Special Scientific Interest 498 protected area contained by site 496  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Mixed woodland  -
Shrubland Heathland; Scrub  -
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Raised bogs; Rivers and streams; Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
water management -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Somerset Levels and Moors. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/08/2014

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