Dornoch Firth and Loch Fleet SPA

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

This site is located in north-eastern Scotland and is one of the best examples in northwest Europe of a large complex estuary which has been relatively unaffected by industrial development.  Extensive sand-flats and mud-flats are backed by saltmarsh and sand dunes. The tidal flats support internationally important numbers of waterbirds on migration and in winter, such as the greylag goose, and is an important feeding area for 10 pairs of osprey. 

MPA Type

Special Protection Area

Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are strictly protected sites designated uner European legislation. They are established to protect rare and vulnerable birds and for regularly occurring migratory species.

Designation date

1 March 1997

Surface Area

78.60 km2 (30.35 mi.2)

Perimeter

137.13 km (85.21 mi.)

  • Eurasian wigeon (Anas penelope)

    Sites in the UK are an important wintering ground for these small ducks.

  • Greylag goose (Anser anser )

    The largest of the wild gesse in the UK, the greylag is the ancestor of most domestic geese. The native birds and wintering flocks found in Scotland retain the special appeal of truly wild geese.

  • Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica)

    A long-billed, long-legged wading bird that visits the UK in the winter.

  • Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

    The number of these spectacular fish-eating birds of prey was dramatically reduced due to illegal killing and there are now very low breeding numbers in the UK.

  • Waterfowl assemblage

    Important areas where a number of waterfowl species occur in significant numbers.

  • Tidal rivers, Estuaries, Mud flats, Sand flats, Lagoons (including saltwork basins)
  • Salt marshes, Salt pastures, Salt steppes

Did you know?…

Over 170 parliamentarians from across the political spectrum signed up to our Marine Charter calling for a network of ‘marine protected areas’ in UK Seas

Over 500,000 records on undersea habitats and species have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers providing significant evidence for inshore ‘marine protected areas’

Over half a million people have voiced their support for ‘marine protected area’ designation in the UK through our campaigns

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