Moray and Nairn Coast SPA

Status: Designated

Description

Site overview

This site is located on the south coast of the Moray Firth in north-east Scotland. The site comprises the intertidal flats, saltmarsh and sand dunes. It is of outstanding nature conservation and scientific importance for coastal and river habitats and supports a range of wetland birds throughout the year. In summer, it is also home to nesting ospreys. In winter large numbers of Iceland/Greenland pink-footed geese and Icelandic greylag geese nest here. 

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 February 1997

Surface Area

23.27 km2 (8.98 mi.2)

Perimeter

93.00 km (57.79 mi.)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Common redshank (Tringa totanus)

    As this bird’s name suggests, its’ most distinctive features are its’ bright orange-red legs.

  • Pink-footed goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)

    A medium-sized goose that winters in the UK. Numbers are increasing in England, probably because of better protection at winter roosts.

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

Did you know?…

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

An area over 9 times the size of Wales is now in marine protected areas in the UK, but less than 1% is considered by MCS scientists to be well managed

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

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