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Location United Kingdom, Scotland
Central coordinates 4o 4.98' West  55o 29.44' North
IBA criteria B2, C6
Area 26,224 ha
Altitude 198 - 593m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds



Site description The site includes the largest remaining continuous block of unforested moorland in south-west Scotland. The main habitats include heather and grass moorland and blanket bog.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Falco peregrinus breeding  1989  8 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 
Merlin Falco columbarius resident  1991-1995  10 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria resident  1989  180 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus resident  1995  10 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Agricultural expansion and intensification wood and pulp plantations (includes afforestation) - agro-industry plantations likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Energy production and mining mining and quarrying happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid 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
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species direct mortality of trigger species - persecution/control happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high

Circus cyaneus 29 2 breeding pairs 7 very unfavourable

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90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  medium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)  
Muirkirk and North Lowther Uplands Birds Directive 26,331 is identical to site 26,224  
Muirkirk Uplands Site of Special Scientific Interest 18,660 protected area contained by site 18,320  
North Lowther Uplands Site of Special Scientific Interest 7,833 protected area contained by site 7,833  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Heathland  -
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland) Blanket bogs; Rivers and streams  -
Artificial - terrestrial Forestry plantations  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
urban/industrial/transport -
forestry -

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Muirkirk and North Lowther Uplands. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/11/2014

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