|Central coordinates||11o 45.00' East 65o 49.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B1ii, B2, B3|
|Altitude||0 - 800m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2000|
Ornithological information Haliaeetus albicilla is common all year-round. Anser brachyrhynchus is numerous on passage in spring. A wide variety of waders often breed, and large numbers stage on the island shores in early autumn. Seaduck are the most common wintering waterbirds in the shallow areas west and north of the main island, and include Somateria spectabilis (c.500).
Site description Vega is an archipelago of several thousand small islands and islets. Some of the largest islands are partly cultivated and inhabited. The landscape is a mosaic of peatbogs and rocky areas, with scattered brackish tarns between Viksås and Holand, and near Valen, as well as some freshwater ponds. Intertidal areas are extensive, with seaweed beds, nutrient-rich mud, and rock, sand and gravel; the most important mudflats for birds are on the northern side of the main island.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Greylag Goose Anser anser||non-breeding||1989||4,000 individuals||-||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis||passage||1989||10,500 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Common Eider Somateria mollissima||winter||1986||15,000-31,000 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Common Eider Somateria mollissima||breeding||1986||5,000-6,000 breeding pairs||good||B1i||Least Concern|
|Common Eider Somateria mollissima||non-breeding||1986||4,500-5,000 individuals||good||B1i||Least Concern|
|Common Loon Gavia immer||winter||1986||200 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo||breeding||1989||3,500 breeding pairs||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis||breeding||1989||300 breeding pairs||-||B3||Least Concern|
|White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla||resident||1996||10 breeding pairs||medium||A1, B2||Least Concern|
|Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima||winter||1989||1,100 individuals||good||A4i, B1i||Least Concern|
|Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle||resident||1986||2,100 breeding pairs||-||B1ii, B2||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||winter||1986||-||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Kjellerhaugvatn||Nature Reserve||0||protected area contained by site||0|
|Sveavatn||Nature Reserve||0||protected area contained by site||0|
|Vikåsleirene||Nature Reserve||0||protected area contained by site||0|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Wetlands (inland)||Blanket bogs; Standing brackish and salt water||-|
|Sea||Open Sea; Sea inlets and coastal features||-|
|Coastline||Mud flats & sand flats; Rock stacks and islets||-|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||Arable land||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Management considerations The absence since 1980 of sheep-grazing and traditional land management on the outer islands, the preferred staging areas for Branta leucopsis, has reduced the availability of suitable plant food for the geese and has forced them to stage on the inner, inhabited islands. Here, through their grazing on crops, the geese are in conflict with farmers. Experiments to scare the geese from some agricultural areas have been carried out. The former staging areas are no longer suitable for Branta leucopsis due to domination of the sward by perennial herbs (Filipendula) and due to a large increase in the abundance of voles Microtus. Oil production in the Norwegian Sea outside Nordland County represents a potential threat to the many seabirds wintering in the waters around Vega. Part of the area is a proposed National Park.
Protection status National Partial International NonePart of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Kjellerhaugvatn; area unknown). Part of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Sveavatn; area unknown). Part of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Vikåsleirene; area unknown).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Vega archipelago. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/05/2013
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