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Location Norway, Buskerud,Hordaland,Telemark
Central coordinates 7o 37.00' East  60o 12.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, B1i, B2, B3
Area 390,530 ha
Altitude 1,000 - 1,500m
Year of IBA assessment 2014

Norsk Ornitologisk Forening

Site description The largest boreal montane plateau in Europe, dominated by undulating terrain with several large lakes. This is a major sheep-grazing area, and there is also tourism and hunting (of reindeer Rangifer tarandus and grouse Lagopus).

Key Biodiversity Other breeding species include Gavia arctica, Aquila chrysaetos, Calidris temminckii, Stercorarius longicaudus (the southernmost regular breeding area in Europe), Lagopus lagopus, Lagopus mutus, Plectrophenax nivalis and Calcarius lapponicus. Hardangervidda was also, until recently, a traditional breeding area for Nyctea scandiaca, with up to at least 12-13 pairs in years of high rodent abundance. The last confirmed breeding record was in 1974, and the species appears to have stopped breeding in this area, for unknown reasons (although any records since 1974 may have been kept secret). One hypothesis is that increased tourism and disturbance may have driven the species away, another is that changes in rodent abundance (especially lemmings Lemmus) may have altered the food conditions for the owls in an unfavorable way.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca breeding  2005-2014  5-20 breeding pairs  medium  A1  Vulnerable 
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra breeding  2005-2014  < 50 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Greater Scaup Aythya marila breeding  2013  present  A3  Least Concern 
Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis breeding  2013  present  A3  Vulnerable 
Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus resident  2004-2013  15-25 breeding pairs  good  A3, B2  Least Concern 
Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus breeding  2013  common  A3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria breeding  2014  abundant  A3, B3  Least Concern 
Great Snipe Gallinago media breeding  2004-2013  100-200 breeding pairs  medium  A1, B1i, B2  Near Threatened 
Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii breeding  2004-2013  70-130 nests  good  A3, B1i  Least Concern 
Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima breeding  2005-2014  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina breeding  2005-2014  common  A3  Least Concern 
Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus breeding  2013  present  A3  Least Concern 
Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus breeding  2013  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lapland Longspur Calcarius lapponicus breeding  2014  common  A3  Least Concern 
Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis breeding  2014  frequent  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bjoreidalen Nature Reserve 436 protected area contained by site 0  
Bjortjønn Wildlife Conservation Area 1,632 protected area contained by site 0  
Hardangervidda National Park 344,476 protected area contained by site 342,200  
Møsvasstangen Protected Landscape 1,441 protected area contained by site 0  
Møsvatn Austfjell Protected Landscape 29,547 protected area contained by site 0  
Møsvatn Austfjell - Hondle Protected Landscape 433 protected area contained by site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Scrub  -
Grassland Alpine, subalpine and boreal grassland  -
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  -
Rocky areas Inland cliffs  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
hunting -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -
agriculture -

Protection status National Partial International None342,200 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Hardangervidda, 342,200 ha).

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

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