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Location Ireland, East,North East
Central coordinates 6o 15.00' West  53o 43.00' North
IBA criteria B1i, B2, C3, C6
Area 404 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

BirdWatch Ireland

Site description A rather narrow estuary, which widens at its mouth and comprises intertidal mudflat and saltmarsh habitats. It is situated on the east coast, at the border between Counties Louth and Meath and is the port for the town of Drogheda. The estuary has been modified by the construction of training walls on either side, to facilitate deep water access to the port.

Key Biodiversity An important site for wintering waterfowl; additional species that winter in numbers of national importance include Pluvialis apricaria (6,000 birds, 1995), Pluvialis squatarola (255 birds, 1996), Vanellus vanellus (7,500 birds, 1996), Calidris alba (163 birds, 1996), Limosa limosa (287 birds, 1996) and Arenaria interpres (444 birds, 1995).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brent Goose Branta bernicla winter  1996  210 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus winter  1996  1,777 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1995  14 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2013 very high not assessed low

Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - unspecified species past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors shipping lanes past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration low

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  No management planning has taken place  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Boyne Estuary Wildfowl Sanctuary 0 unknown 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Mud flats & sand flats; Salt marshes; Sand dunes & beaches; Tidal rivers & enclosed tidal waters  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture 80%
hunting 100%
urban/industrial/transport 20%

Protection status National High International HighIBA overlaps with Wildfowl Sanctuary (Boyne Estuary; area not known). 404 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Boyne Estuary, 404 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Boyne estuary. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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