Exe Estuary

IBA Criteria

Year of most recent IBA criteria assessment: 2007

Populations of IBA trigger species
Species Current IUCN Red List Category Season Year(s) of estimate Population estimate IBA Criteria Triggered
Horned Grebe Podiceps auritus VU winter 2001-2006 6 individuals C6
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta LC winter 2001-2006 360-423 individuals B2, C6
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica NT winter 2001-2006 370 individuals C6
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa NT winter 2000-2006 970 individuals B1i, C3
A4iii Species group - waterbirds n/a winter 2001-2006 20,341 individuals A4iii, C4

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 medium very unfavourable medium
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
Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive and other problematic species and genes problematic native species/diseases - unspecified species happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - abstraction of ground water (agricultural use) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Condition of key/trigger populations (state)
Scientific Common TargetPop ActualPop Units Remaining Result
Podiceps auritus Horned Grebe 20 6 individuals 30 very unfavourable
Recurvirostra avosetta Pied Avocet 360 423 individuals 100 favourable
Limosa lapponica Bar-tailed Godwit 430 370 individuals 87 near favourable
Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit 585 970 individuals 100 favourable
Calidris alpina Dunlin 6150 4548 individuals 74 near favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 23216 20341 individuals 88 near 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 management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive Some limited conservation initiatives are in place medium
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)
Exe Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest (GB) 2,190 protected area contains site 2,136
Exe Estuary Special Protection Area (Birds Directive) 149 protected area contains site 2,346
Exe Estuary Ramsar Site, Wetland of International Importance 2,346 protected area contained by site 2,346
Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site 2,550 protected area is adjacent to site 0
Dawlish Warren Site of Special Scientific Interest (GB) 182 protected area contained by site 239
Dawlish Warren National Nature Reserve 154 protected area contained by site 162


IUCN Habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Humid grasslands -
Wetlands (inland) Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters, Mud flats and sand flats, Salt marshes, Sand dunes and beaches, Rivers and streams, Water fringe vegetation -
For further information about the habitat classification please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
tourism/recreation -
For further information about the land use classification please click here.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Exe Estuary. Downloaded from on 25/05/2019.