email a friend
printable version
Location United Kingdom, South East
Central coordinates 0o 32.00' East  51o 28.00' North
IBA criteria A4iii, B1i, B2, C3, C4, C6
Area 9,357 ha
Altitude 0 - 15m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description These marshes extend for about 15 km along the coast on the south side of the Thames, and include areas of the inner Thames up to the Thames barrier. Habitat-types include extensive grazing-marshes, saltmarshes, mudflats and pits. Reed Phragmites and duckweed Lemna dominate the freshwater dykes, with Ceratophyllum in the more brackish dykes. Waders and wildfowl breed on the grazing-marshes, which also attract wintering raptors. The IBA attracts a wide range of wintering and passage estuarine and wetland birds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Gadwall Mareca strepera winter  2001-2006  357 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta passage  2001-2006  649 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  2001-2006  628 individuals  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  1995  33 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula passage  2001-2006  737 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus winter  2001-2006  1,720 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa passage  2001-2006  3,299 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  2001-2006  1,247 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata passage  2001-2006  1,412 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  2001-2006  1,495 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Dunlin Calidris alpina passage  2001-2006  5,541 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  2001-2006  15,181 individuals  good  B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  2001-2006  24,702 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  2001-2006  47,805 individuals  good  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

2007 medium favourable low
Population
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Energy production and mining renewable energy likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Pollution garbage and solid waste likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors shipping lanes likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low

Mareca strepera Gadwall 130 357 individuals 100 favourable
Recurvirostra avosetta Pied Avocet 205 628 individuals 100 favourable
Charadrius hiaticula Common Ringed Plover 585 737 individuals 100 favourable
Tringa totanus Common Redshank 1890 1720 individuals 92 favourable
Tringa totanus Common Redshank 1680 1285 individuals 77 not assessed
Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit 515 3299 individuals 100 favourable
Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit 255 1247 individuals 100 favourable
Numenius arquata Eurasian Curlew 1160 1412 individuals 100 favourable
Numenius arquata Eurasian Curlew 1110 1495 individuals 100 favourable
Calidris alpina Dunlin 12900 15181 individuals 100 favourable
Calidris alpina Dunlin 5650 5541 individuals 99 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 36027 47805 individuals 100 favourable

Most of site (50-90%) covered (including the most critical parts for important bird species)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Inner Thames Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest 486 protected area contained by site 487  
South Thames Estuary and Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest 5,289 protected area contained by site 5,355  
Thames Estuary and Marshes Birds Directive 4,839 protected area contained by site 4,839  
Thames Estuary and Marshes Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 5,589 protected area contained by site 5,589  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Mixed woodland  -
Shrubland Scrub  -
Grassland Humid grasslands  -
Wetlands (inland) Coastal lagoons; Mud flats and sand flats; Rivers and streams; Salt marshes; Standing freshwater; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research -
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: Thames Estuary and Marshes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/11/2014

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