email a friend
printable version
Location Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway), Svalbard
Central coordinates 12o 1.52' East  79o 34.51' North
IBA criteria A1, A4ii, A4iii, B1i, B1ii, B2, B3
Area 988,030 ha
Altitude 0 - 1,400m
Year of IBA assessment 2014

Site description Bird data are available for the following localities within this huge IBA: Guissezholmen Bird Sanctuary (includes islets near Kapp Guissez; 79°05'N 11°30'E); Casimir-Perierkammen (sea cliffs facing Krossfjorden; 79°08'N 11°52'E); Kongshamaren (headland with cliffs in Kongsfjorden; 79°13'N 11°50'E); Nilsfjellet (sea cliffs facing Krossfjorden; 79°16'N 11°33'E); Knoffberget (sea cliffs on north-west coast of Spitsbergen; 79°22'N 10°52'E); Moseøya Bird Sanctuary (79°40'N 11°00'E); Skorpa Bird Sanctuary (79°40'N 11°00'E); south-west Amsterdamøya (sea cliffs; 79°45'N 10°45'E); north Hakluythovden, Amsterdamøya (sea cliffs; 79°47'N 10°48'E); Klovningen (small island with sea cliffs at north end of Spitsbergen; 79°53'N 11°30'E); Flathuken (sea cliffs facing Raudfjorden; 79°51'N 11°50'E); Hornbækfjellet (sea cliffs facing Raudfjorden; 79°49'N 11°50'E); Austplana (sea cliffs facing Raudfjorden; 79°47'N 11°53'E); Liefdefjorden (fjord with numerous small islands; 79°40'N 13°00'E); Moffen Nature Reserve (island with lake, off north coast of Spitsbergen; 80°05'N 12°45'E); Nissenfjella (sea cliffs on north-west coast of Spitsbergen; 79°24'N 10°51'E).

Key Biodiversity There are two breeding concentrations of Branta leucopsis, while the number of breeding Branta bernicla at Moffen island probably exceeds 1% of the Svalbard population. There are also some large seabird colonies, the most numerous species being Rissa tridactyla (10,700 pairs) and Uria lomvia (67,700-71,700 breeding birds). The number of Sterna paradisaea is also notable (1,500 pairs). Moffen Nature Reserve is the only known breeding site for Larus sabini in Svalbard (up to five pairs).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brent Goose Branta bernicla breeding  1990-2007  108 mature individuals  unknown  B1i, B3  Least Concern 
Common Eider Somateria mollissima breeding  1982-2010  5,100 mature individuals  unknown  B1i, B3  Near Threatened 
Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis breeding  2005-2014  unknown  A1  Vulnerable 
Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla breeding  1973-2011  45,600 mature individuals  unknown  B1i  Least Concern 
Little Auk Alle alle breeding  1978-2011  260,900 mature individuals  unknown  A4ii, B1ii  Least Concern 
Thick-billed Murre Uria lomvia breeding  1973-2011  101,300 mature individuals  unknown  B1ii, B2  Least Concern 
Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle breeding  1973-2011  1,272 mature individuals  unknown  B1ii, B2  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - seabirds breeding  1973-2011  413,500 mature individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Guissezholmen Seabird Reserve 42 protected area contained by site 42  
Moffen Nature Reserve 771 protected area contained by site 881  
Moseøya Seabird Reserve 142 protected area contained by site 142  
Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park 987,057 protected area contained by site 987,057  
Skorpa Seabird Reserve 111 protected area contained by site 111  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Tundra  -
Wetlands (inland) Standing freshwater  -
Sea Open Sea; Sea inlets and coastal features  -
Coastline Rock stacks and islets; Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 100%

Protection status National High International None328,300 ha of IBA covered by National Park (Nordvest-Spitsbergen, 356,000 ha). 41 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Guissezholmen [Bird Sanctuary], 41 ha). 1,600 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Moffen, 1,600 ha). 142 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Moseøya [Bird Sanctuary], 142 ha). 111 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Skorpa [Bird Sanctuary], 111 ha).

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Northwest Spitsbergen National Park. Downloaded from on 26/11/2015

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