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Location Latvia, Liepaja district,Liepaja municipality
Central coordinates 21o 3.00' East  56o 27.00' North
IBA criteria C1, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 4,818 ha
Altitude 0 - 2m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Latvijas Ornitologijas Biedriba

Site description A shallow eutrophic coastal lake with extensive areas of emergent vegetation (Phragmites, Typha, Scirpus, Sparganium), surrounded by seasonally flooded meadows and arable land. Polders and dams enclose most of the wetland area. The lake was included in the first European IBA inventory [3] and listed in all subsequent international and national site lists [4, 5, 1]. High protection level: there is a 93.1% overlap with Liepaja lake restricted nature reserve, a candidate SPA.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Mute Swan Cygnus olor winter  1994-2004  2,120-4,650 individuals  unknown  C3  Least Concern 
Ixobrychus minutus breeding  1994-2004  1-5 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Not Recognised 
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris breeding  1994-2004  15-30 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Western Marsh-harrier Circus aeruginosus breeding  1994-2004  20-40 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus breeding  1994-2004  5-10 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Corncrake Crex crex breeding  1994-2004  20-50 breeding pairs  unknown  C1  Least Concern 
Ruff Calidris pugnax breeding  1994-2004  5-25 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  1994-2004  100-150 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Least Concern 
Black Tern Chlidonias niger breeding  1994-2004  150-270 breeding pairs  unknown  C2, C6  Least Concern 
Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola breeding  1994-2004  2-5 breeding pairs  unknown  C6  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  20,000 individuals  C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Liepajas ezers Nature Reserve 4,544 protected area overlaps with site 4,486  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Scrub  2%
Grassland Mesophile grasslands  23%
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater  73%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Highly improved re-seeded landscapes; Other urban and industrial areas; Urban parks and gardens  1%
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland  1%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
hunting -
tourism/recreation -

Related state of the world's birds case studies

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Liepaja lake. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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