A small, shallow bay on the western edge of Virolahti Bay in the Gulf of Finland. Large parts of the area have silted up due to heavy nutrient input from drainage and sewage disposal. Reedbeds (Phragmites) dominate the vegetation on the bay, and the shores are bordered both by large marshes of sedges and grasses, and by belts of bushes and deciduous forests.
The most important staging area in the country for Cygnus columbianus. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaeetus albicilla (1-5 individuals, passage), Aquila clanga (2-5 individuals, passage), Crex crex (1-5 pairs, breeding), Gallinago media (passage).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Several human activities threaten the area including hunting in autumn, tourism, fish-farming off Virolahti Bay, continued sewage disposal and overgrowth of the wetland. Birdwatching towers are situated on the shores of the bay. The area is a candidate SAC.
National None International High195 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Kirkon-Vilkkiläntura).
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kirkon-Vilkkiläntura Bay. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 18/01/2022.