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Location Estonia, Pärnu County,Viljandi County
Central coordinates 25o 7.00' East  58o 27.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2, C6
Area 39,909 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2003

Eesti Ornitiliigiaühing (EOÜ)

Site description A large complex of raised bogs and extensive forests (including wet alluvial forests) in central Estonia, with fens, transition mires, and unregulated rivers with flood-plain and wooded meadows. The main land-uses are forestry, tourism, small-scale agriculture and berry-picking.

Key Biodiversity The mires and forests are important for several breeding species and an important staging area for migrating Cygnus columbianus and Grus grus.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus breeding  1998-1999  2-3 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus passage  1991-1999  500-2,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Black Stork Ciconia nigra breeding  1995-2001  4-5 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Lesser Spotted Eagle Clanga pomarina breeding  1998-2001  11 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus breeding  1986-2002  11-16 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos breeding  1996-2001  4-5 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Corncrake Crex crex breeding  1998-2002  70-125 breeding pairs  unknown  A1, C1  Least Concern 
Common Crane Grus grus passage  1996-2002  750-1,000 individuals  unknown  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria breeding  1986-1999  310-400 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Great Snipe Gallinago media breeding  2001-2002  12 males only  unknown  C6  Near Threatened 
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola breeding  1986-1999  1,986-1,999 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus breeding  2001  3-5 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus breeding  1998-1999  50 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica breeding  2001  2-4 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Soomaa National Park Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 37,169 protected area contained by site 39,639  
Soomaa rahvuspark National Park 39,639 protected area contained by site 39,639  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland; Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland  39%
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Raised bogs  32%
Shrubland   24%
Artificial - terrestrial   2%
Grassland   2%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry 20%
nature conservation and research 100%
tourism/recreation -
agriculture 4%

Protection status National High International High36,890 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Soomaa, 37,121 ha). 36,890 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Soomaa National Park, 37,121 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Soomaa. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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