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Location Norway, Møre og Romsdal
Central coordinates 8o 0.00' East  63o 19.00' North
IBA criteria B1i, B2
Area 69,090 ha
Altitude 0 - 70m
Year of IBA assessment 2014

Norsk Ornitologisk Forening

Site description An archipelago of 5,847 islands, islets and skerries, with large expanses of intervening shallow sea. The main island, Smøla, is a mosaic of open mire and coastal heathland, with many small lakes, streams, ponds and pools, and is cultivated in places. Its coast is dissected by many inlets and bays. This is one of the largest marine wetlands in Norway, and some of the largest continuous mires in the country are also found here.

Key Biodiversity Smøla has one of the highest breeding densities (pairs per hectare of land) of Haliaeetus albicilla in the world. The sea areas are important for wintering divers Gavia, grebes Podiceps and various seaduck. Cygnus cygnus winter in notable numbers (up to 300 birds or more). The area has been an important moulting site for flocks of Anser anser, causing conflicts with the local farmers. The largest colony of Ardea cinerea ever found in Norway was located in the area during the 1970s (200-300 pairs). Some species normally found in the mountains of Norway, or along the coast further north, breed here, e.g. Pluvialis apricaria, Lagopus lagopus and Calcarius lapponicus. Breeding divers (Gavia stellata and, to a lesser extent, G. arctica) are also relatively common.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator winter  2004-2013  3,700 individuals  good  B1i  Least Concern 
Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus winter  2004-2013  50-100 individuals  medium  B1i, B2  Vulnerable 
White-tailed Sea-eagle Haliaeetus albicilla breeding  2014  50 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Heathland  -
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater  -
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  -
Coastline Rock stacks and islets  -
Artificial - terrestrial   -

Land use

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

Protection status National None International None

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Smøla archipelago. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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