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Location Norway, Nordland
Central coordinates 11o 45.00' East  65o 49.00' North
IBA criteria B1i, B3
Area 30,500 ha
Altitude 0 - 800m
Year of IBA assessment 2014

Norsk Ornitologisk Forening

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.

Key Biodiversity 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).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis passage  2004-2013  600-1,400 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Common Eider Somateria mollissima breeding  2010-2014  2,700-3,500 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B3  Near Threatened 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo breeding  2005-2014  650-3,000 breeding pairs  medium  B1i  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Holandsosen Nature Reserve 250 protected area contained by site 0  
Hysvær/Søla Protected Landscape 9,317 protected area contained by site 0  
Kjellerhaugvatnet Nature Reserve 198 protected area contained by site 0  
Lånan, Flovær og Skjærvær Wildlife Conservation Area 71 protected area contained by site 0  
Lånan/Skjærvær Nature Reserve 11,292 protected area contained by site 0  
Muddværet Wildlife Conservation Area 959 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 - terrestrial Arable land  -

Land use

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

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 (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Vega archipelago. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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