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Location Denmark, Københavns Amtskommune
Central coordinates 12o 50.00' East  55o 40.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B3, C2, C3, C4
Area 7,240 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Dansk Ornitologisk Forening

Site description A large flat uncultivated island with saltmarshes surrounded by shallow sea with stony shoals, banks and mudflats; includes the largest area of saltmarsh in Denmark outside Jylland.

Key Biodiversity This is an important wintering site for Cygnus olor and breeding ground for gulls and terns. Several species listed on Annex I of the EC Birds Directive, breed at the site including Branta leucopsis, Recurvirostra avosetta, Philomachus pugnax, Sterna sandvicensis, S. hirundo, S. paradisaea and S. albifrons.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greylag Goose Anser anser non-breeding  1991  2,616 individuals  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis breeding  1998  25 breeding pairs  good  C2  Least Concern 
Mute Swan Cygnus olor non-breeding  1991  3,818 individuals  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  1993  201 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus breeding  1995  309 breeding pairs  B3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

2010 not assessed very unfavourable not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Anas crecca Common Teal 3866 3375 individuals 88 near favourable
Mergus serrator Red-breasted Merganser 950 428 individuals 46 unfavourable
Phalacrocorax carbo Great Cormorant 12590 10150 individuals 81 near favourable
Falco peregrinus 4 4 individuals 100 favourable
Falco columbarius Merlin 7 6 individuals 86 near favourable
Circus cyaneus 11 11 individuals 100 favourable
Circus aeruginosus Western Marsh-harrier 16 8 breeding pairs 50 unfavourable
Haliaeetus albicilla White-tailed Sea-eagle 12 12 individuals 100 favourable
Recurvirostra avosetta Pied Avocet 289 200 breeding pairs 70 near favourable
Pluvialis apricaria Eurasian Golden Plover 7600 7500 individuals 99 favourable
Tringa totanus Common Redshank 735 239 individuals 33 very unfavourable
Tringa glareola Wood Sandpiper 200 68 individuals 34 very unfavourable
Calidris alpina Dunlin 20 0 breeding pairs 0 very unfavourable
Calidris pugnax Ruff 70 5 breeding pairs 8 very unfavourable
Larus argentatus 8300 2000 individuals 25 very unfavourable
Larus ridibundus Black-headed Gull 2250 1100 individuals 49 unfavourable
Hydroprogne caspia Caspian Tern 1 1 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Sterna hirundo Common Tern 40 6 breeding pairs 15 very unfavourable
Sterna paradisaea Arctic Tern 264 140 breeding pairs 54 unfavourable
Sternula albifrons Little Tern 69 11 breeding pairs 16 very unfavourable
Asio flammeus Short-eared Owl 2 0 breeding pairs 0 very unfavourable
Lanius collurio Red-backed Shrike 56 15 individuals 27 very unfavourable

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Saltholm Major Conservation Area 1,600 protected area contained by site 1,600  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Humid grasslands  10%
Coastline Salt marshes  20%
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  75%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 25%
unknown 75%

Protection status National Partial International High7,240 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Saltholm, 7,240 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Saltholm. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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