Abernethy Forest

IBA Criteria

Year of most recent IBA criteria assessment: 2000

Populations of IBA trigger species
Species Current IUCN Red List Category Season Year(s) of estimate Population estimate IBA Criteria Triggered
Western Capercaillie Tetrao urogallus LC resident 1996 45 breeding pairs C6
Black Grouse Lyrurus tetrix LC resident 1996 140 breeding pairs B2
Greylag Goose Anser anser LC winter 1995 1,300 individuals B1i, C3
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola LC breeding 1994 3 breeding pairs C6
Osprey Pandion haliaetus LC breeding 1994 2 breeding pairs B2, C6
Scottish Crossbill Loxia scotica LC resident 1994 abundant A1, B2, C1, C6

Note: This table presents the IBA criteria triggered and the species that triggered then at the time of assessment, the current IUCN Red List category may vary from that which was in place at that time.

For more information about the IBA assessment process and criteria please click here

IBA Monitoring

Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2007 very high very unfavourable high
Was the whole site covered? Yes State assessed by Population
Accuracy of information good

Threats to the site (pressure)
Threat Level 1 Threat Level 2 Timing Scope Severity Result
Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Invasive and other problematic species and genes problematic native species/diseases - named species happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - suppression in fire frequency/intensity happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Condition of key/trigger populations (state)
Scientific Common TargetPop ActualPop Units Remaining Result
Tetrao urogallus Western Capercaillie 45 100 males 100 favourable
Lyrurus tetrix Black Grouse 140 75 males 54 unfavourable
Anser anser Greylag Goose 1300 650 individuals 50 unfavourable
Tringa glareola Wood Sandpiper 3 1 breeding pairs 34 very unfavourable
Pandion haliaetus Osprey 2 2 breeding pairs 100 favourable

Conservation actions taken at site (response)
Conservation Designation Management Planning Conservation Action Result
Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species The conservation measures needed for the site are being comprehensively and effectively implemented high
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

IBA Protection

Protection status:

Protected Area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)
Cairngorms National Park 452,810 protected area contains site 5,769
Cairngorms Site of Community Importance (Habitats Directive) 57,692 protected area overlaps with site 5,769
Abernethy Forest RSPB Reserve 13,646 protected area overlaps with site 4,795
Abernethy Forest National Nature Reserve 2,296 protected area contained by site 2,296
Abernethy Forest Special Protection Area (Birds Directive) 5,784 is identical to site 5,769
Abernethy Forest Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 5,793 protected area overlaps with site 5,769


IUCN Habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland, Native coniferous woodland -
Shrubland Heathland -
Wetlands (inland) Standing freshwater, Rivers and streams, Fens, transition mires and springs -
For further information about the habitat classification please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry -
hunting -
nature conservation and research -
For further information about the land use classification please click here.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Abernethy Forest. Downloaded from on 17/01/2021.