|Location||Estonia, Saare County|
|Central coordinates||21o 54.00' East 58o 15.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, B1i, C2, C6|
|Year of IBA assessment||2003|
Ornithological information The most important staging area for migrating Branta leucopsis in Estonia.
Site description A complex of shallow (<4 m) sea bays and small islets on the west coast of Saaremaa island, with vast coastal meadows, reedbeds, saltmarshes and shallow lakes. The main economic activities are fishing, and grazing of sheep and cattle.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis||passage||1991-1999||4,300-9,000 individuals||unknown||A4i, B1i, C2||Least Concern|
|Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta||breeding||2001||6-30 breeding pairs||unknown||C6||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Karala-Pilguse - EE0040414||Birds Directive||2,644||protected area contained by site||2,644|
|Vilsandi National Park||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||24,100||protected area overlaps with site||66|
|Vilsandi rahvuspark||National Park||23,760||protected area overlaps with site||66|
|West Estonian Archipelago||UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve||1,560,000||protected area contains site||2,687|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Forest||Mixed woodland; Native coniferous woodland||9%|
|Wetlands (inland)||Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation||14%|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||Arable land||2%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||95%|
Management considerations Major threats are posed by unsustainable hunting, tourism, overgrowth of coastal meadows with reed Phragmites as a result of undergrazing, and intensive fishing. A core area of the West Estonian Archipelago Biosphere Reserve is planned within the IBA. Naistekivimaa islet (part of the IBA) overlaps with Vilsandi National Park. Research involves monitoring of migrating waterbirds.
Protection status National Low International High50 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Vilsandi, 16,657 ha). 3,114 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (West Estonian Archipelago, 1,560,000 ha).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Karala-Pilguse. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/06/2013
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