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Location Latvia, Talsi district,Tukums district
Central coordinates 23o 11.00' East  57o 14.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, C4
Area 120,000 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Latvijas Ornitologijas Biedriba

Site description A stretch of coastal waters within the Gulf of Riga, from Cape Kolka to the village of Lapmezciems, and extending offshore to 30 m depth. Bottom sediments are sandy with many shellfish, especially bivalves Macoma, while in deeper waters (>40 m depth) beyond the IBA the seabed has more gravel and mud. The site includes the sand beach (dominated by shingle and cobbles in places) and coastal meadows, although the latter constitute probably less than 5% of the total area.

Key Biodiversity The Gulf of Riga is internationally important for several waterbirds in winter, and for moulting Bucephala clangula after the breeding season. This part of the gulf holds 20,000 or more waterbirds on a regular basis.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Melanitta fusca winter  1992-1999  14,000-80,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Not Recognised 
Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis winter  1992-1999  71,000-142,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Vulnerable 
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula non-breeding  1991-1999  6,550-13,425 individuals  good  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator winter  1990  1,890 individuals  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Red-necked Grebe Podiceps grisegena winter  550 individuals  B1i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1992  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Sand dunes & beaches  -
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -

Protection status National None International None

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Gulf of Riga, west coast. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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