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Location United Kingdom, South East
Central coordinates 1o 18.39' West  50o 48.73' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C3, C4, C6
Area 5,615 ha
Altitude 0 - 15m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description This site comprises the estuaries, saltmarshes and mudflats around Southampton Water and the western Solent, including habitats on both the mainland and the Isle of Wight. The mudflats support beds of algae and eel-grass Zostera. Shingle and both neutral and calcareous grassland vegetation communities exist within the IBA. It IBA is important for breeding terns, gulls and waterbirds and for wintering wildfowl and waders.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brent Goose Branta bernicla winter  2001-2006  6,678 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  2001-2006  4,898 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  2001-2006  1,158 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  2001-2006  1,373 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  2001-2006  8,825 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus breeding  2000  11 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  2006  224 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  2000  268 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2006  377 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2000  192 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea breeding  2000  22 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  2006  54 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  53,809 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

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

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - small dams likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications 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 small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Transportation and service corridors shipping lanes likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium

Branta bernicla Brent Goose 7700 6678 individuals 87 near favourable
Anas crecca Common Teal 3750 4898 individuals 100 favourable
Charadrius hiaticula Common Ringed Plover 615 393 individuals 64 unfavourable
Charadrius hiaticula Common Ringed Plover 575 312 individuals 55 unfavourable
Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit 985 1158 individuals 100 favourable
Numenius arquata Eurasian Curlew 1750 1373 individuals 79 near favourable
Calidris alpina Dunlin 12300 8825 individuals 72 near favourable
Thalasseus sandvicensis Sandwich Tern 300 224 breeding pairs 75 near favourable
Sterna hirundo Common Tern 450 377 breeding pairs 84 near favourable
Sterna paradisaea Arctic Tern 41 22 breeding pairs 54 unfavourable
Sternula albifrons Little Tern 41 54 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 15037 7447 breeding pairs 50 unfavourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 48965 53809 individuals 100 favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Brading Marshes to St. Helen's Ledges Site of Special Scientific Interest 489 protected area overlaps with site 443  
Hamstead Heritage Coast 1,841 protected area overlaps with site 498  
Hurst Castle and Lymington River Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest 1,077 protected area contained by site 1,110  
Hythe to Calshot Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest 592 protected area overlaps with site 580  
Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 18,900 protected area overlaps with site 807  
Keyhaven Marshes National Nature Reserve 314 protected area overlaps with site 302  
Lee-on-the Solent to Itchen Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest 586 protected area overlaps with site 535  
New Forest National Park 57,100 protected area overlaps with site 2,787  
Newtown Harbour Site of Special Scientific Interest 616 protected area overlaps with site 435  
North Solent National Nature Reserve 926 protected area overlaps with site 576  
North Solent Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) 1,189 protected area overlaps with site 850  
Ryde Sands and Wootton Creek Site of Special Scientific Interest 420 protected area overlaps with site 395  
Solent and Southampton Water Birds Directive 5,506 protected area contained by site 5,506  
Solent and Southampton Water Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 5,415 protected area contained by site 5,415  
South Hampshire Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 7,700 protected area overlaps with site 2,016  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Mixed woodland  -
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland) Coastal lagoons; Mud flats and sand flats; Rivers and streams; Salt marshes; Shingle or stony beaches; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation  -

Land use

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Solent Marshes and Southampton Water. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/12/2014

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