|Central coordinates||7o 24.00' West 53o 34.00' North|
|IBA criteria||B1i, C3|
|Year of IBA assessment||2000|
Site description Lough Owel is a large calcareous lake located north-west of Mullingar in County Westmeath. It is relatively shallow with a rocky, marl-covered bottom, and a rocky shoreline with patchy vegetation. Marsh and fen areas are present in the south-western and northern corners of the lake, and the surrounding farmland is used by geese Anser. Fishing, especially for trout, is popular at this site.
Key Biodiversity Anser albifrons flavirostris occurs in numbers of international importance; the birds also use Lough Ennell (site 140), Lough Iron-Glen Lough (site 135), Lough Derravaragh (site 138) and Garriskil bog (site 136). Other waterfowl species which winter in numbers of national importance are Anas clypeata (268 birds, 1996), Aythya fuligula (500 birds, 1995), Aythya ferina (500 birds, 1995), Bucephala clangula (195 birds, 1995) and Fulica atra (2,500 birds, 1996).
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons||winter||1996||408 individuals||good||B1i, C3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Lough Owel||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||1,032||protected area contained by site||1,032|
|Lough Owel - IE0000688||Habitats Directive||1,123||protected area contains site||1,032|
|Lough Owel SPA - IE0004047||Birds Directive||1,119||protected area contains site||1,032|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Wetlands (inland)||Fens, transition mires and springs; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation||100%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Protection status National None International High1,032 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Lough Owel, 1,032 ha). 1,032 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Lough Owel, 1,032 ha).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lough Owel. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/02/2015
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