email a friend
printable version
Location United Kingdom, Northern Ireland
Central coordinates 5o 34.99' West  54o 28.90' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 15,504 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description A shallow sea lough with an indented shoreline and a wide variety of marine and intertidal habitats. The west shore has numerous islands typical of flooded drumlin topography. This is Northern Ireland's most important coastal site for wintering wildfowl, and is also of importance for breeding terns.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brent Goose Branta bernicla passage  2001-2006  17,972 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Brent Goose Branta bernicla winter  2001-2006  11,257 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus winter  2001-2006  208 individuals  good  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna winter  2001-2006  4,119 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria passage  1990-1995  3,210 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria winter  1990-1995  5,850 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus passage  1990-1995  3,070 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  1990-1995  2,470 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica passage  1990-1995  370 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica winter  1990-1995  770 individuals  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  1990-1995  1,910 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Red Knot Calidris canutus winter  1990-1995  6,500 individuals  good  B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus breeding  2002  1 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  2000  894 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  2006  1,137 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2000  554 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  2006  962 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea breeding  2000  54 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea breeding  2006  663 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1990-1995  56,793 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Dorn National Nature Reserve 783 protected area contained by site 783  
North Strangford Lough National Nature Reserve 1,038 protected area contained by site 1,038  
Strangford Loch Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 15,581 is identical to site 15,504  
Strangford Lough Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty 0 protected area overlaps with site 14,535  
Strangford Lough Birds Directive 15,580 is identical to site 15,504  
Strangford Lough Marine Nature Reserve 16,489 protected area contains site 15,504  
Strangford Lough (Part 1) Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) 1,549 protected area contained by site 1,549  
Strangford Lough (Part 2) Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) 699 protected area contained by site 699  
Strangford Lough (Part 3) Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) 0 protected area contained by site 2,002  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Mud flats and sand flats; Salt marshes  -
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  -
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

Land use

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

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Strangford Lough and islands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/09/2014

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