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Location Iceland, Mýrasýsla,Vestur-Húnavatnssýsla
Central coordinates 20o 30.00' West  65o 0.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, B1i
Area 60,000 ha
Altitude 400 - 550m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Fuglavernd - BirdLife Iceland (Partner Designate)

Site description A vast wetland area in the highlands, c.30 km north and west of Langjökull glacier, with extensive flat, eroded areas of gravel. Ownership of the highlands has not been resolved, but farmers hold grazing and fishing rights.

Key Biodiversity One of the main breeding areas of Cygnus cygnus in Iceland (e.g. 286 moulting on two lakes in Arnarvatnsheidi in 1976).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus breeding  1976-1984  200 breeding pairs  poor  B1i  Least Concern 
Common Loon Gavia immer breeding  common  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Heathland  10%
Wetlands (inland) Blanket bogs; Fens, transition mires and springs; Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater  50%
Coastline   40%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
tourism/recreation -

Protection status National None International None

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Arnarvatnsheidi-Tvídægra. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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