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Location Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway), Svalbard
Central coordinates 12o 13.48' East  78o 56.04' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, B1i, B3
Area 11,470 ha
Altitude 0 - 200m
Year of IBA assessment 2014

Site description The site comprises about ten islands, most with grassy vegetation and some with small freshwater ponds. The fjord is surrounded by steep mountains and cliffs, glaciers and some tundra.

Key Biodiversity The islands and the mainland tundra are relatively species-rich and support at least nine of the 32 species that are restricted in Europe (when breeding) to the Arctic/tundra biome. The first and only instance of Pluvialis fulva breeding in the West Palearctic was recorded at Ny ålesund in 1997 (under consideration by the Norwegian Rarities Committee).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra breeding  2008-2012  1 breeding pairs  good  A3  Least Concern 
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus breeding  2005-2014  common  A3  Least Concern 
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis breeding  2005-2014  350 breeding pairs  medium  A3, B1i, B3  Least Concern 
Brent Goose Branta bernicla breeding  2005-2014  max 5 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Common Eider Somateria mollissima breeding  2005-2013  3,000-3,500 breeding pairs  good  A3, B1i, B3  Near Threatened 
King Eider Somateria spectabilis breeding  2005-2014  abundant  A3  Least Concern 
Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis breeding  2005-2014  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima breeding  2005-2014  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius breeding  2005-2014  max 5 breeding pairs  poor  A3  Least Concern 
Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus breeding  2005-2014  common  A3  Least Concern 
Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea non-breeding  2005-2014  max 10 individuals  medium  A3  Near Threatened 
Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus breeding  2005-2014  present  A3  Least Concern 
Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus breeding  2005-2014  2-5 breeding pairs  medium  A3  Least Concern 
Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis breeding  2005-2014  common  A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Blomstrandhamna Seabird Reserve 0 protected area contained by site 58  
Kongsfjorden Seabird Reserve 710 protected area contained by site 710  
Kongsfjorden Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 140 protected area contained by site 140  
Ossian Sars Nature Reserve 1,214 protected area contained by site 1,214  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Tundra  -
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  -
Coastline Rock stacks and islets  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 90%
tourism/recreation 10%

Protection status National High International High140 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Kongsfjorden [Bird Sanctuary], 140 ha). 140 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Kongsfjorden, 140 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Inner parts of Kongsfjorden. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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