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Location Norway, Buskerud,Hordaland,Telemark
Central coordinates 7o 37.00' East  60o 12.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B2, B3
Area 427,200 ha
Altitude 1,000 - 1,500m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

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
Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus breeding  1999  20 breeding pairs  poor  B2  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria breeding  1999  5,000 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Dotterel Eudromias morinellus breeding  1999  2,500 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Great Snipe Gallinago media breeding  1989  70-100 breeding pairs  A1, B2  Near Threatened 

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 (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hardangervidda. Downloaded from on 27/04/2015

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