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Location Ireland, Midlands
Central coordinates 7o 24.00' West  53o 34.00' North
IBA criteria B1i, C3
Area 1,032 ha
Altitude 100 m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

BirdWatch Ireland



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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

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 areas

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  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture 100%

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 (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lough Owel. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 02/10/2014

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