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Location Iceland, Nordur-Fingeyjarsýsla
Central coordinates 16o 15.00' West  66o 29.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B3
Area 24,600 ha
Altitude 0 - 60m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Fuglavernd - BirdLife Iceland (Partner Designate)

Site description A peninsula in the north-east part of Iceland. The IBA extends from Presthólahraun, south of the town of Kópasker along the coast to Sveinungsvík, south-east of the town of Raufarhöfn. Habitats include an extensive and species-rich intertidal zone, coastal brackish lakes, cliffs, marshes, freshwater lakes, extensive heathland, and eroded gravel areas. Land-uses include eider husbandry (Somateria mollissima), grazing and fishing.

Key Biodiversity The area is relatively rich in breeding species of waterfowl, raptors and waders. Calidris maritima occurs at one of its highest breeding densities in Iceland, as does Lagopus mutus. The area is also important for staging waders and for moulting Anser anser. There are four seabird-nesting cliffs in the area (Snartastadanúpur, Raudinúpur, Ormarslónshöfdi and Súlur), of which Raudinúpur is the largest, and breeding species include Rissa tridactyla (c.15,000 pairs).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greylag Goose Anser anser non-breeding  1,000 individuals  B1i  Least Concern 
Common Eider Somateria mollissima resident  11,000 breeding pairs  B1i  Near Threatened 
Common Loon Gavia immer breeding  15-20 breeding pairs  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres passage  1990  2,220 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus passage  1990  7,280 individuals  medium  B1i  Near Threatened 
Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima resident  abundant  B3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Heathland  30%
Grassland Alpine, subalpine and boreal grassland; Mesophile grasslands  5%
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Rivers and streams; Standing brackish and salt water; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  30%
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  30%
Coastline Sea cliffs and rocky shores  5%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -

Protection status National None International None

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Melrakkaslétta. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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