A complex of shallow (<4 m) bays and small islets on the south-east coast of Hiiumaa island. There are reedbeds, coastal meadows and saltmarshes. The main exploitative land-uses are fishing, tourism and non-intensive agriculture.
The area is an important staging site for migrating wildfowl, and supports a diverse avifauna, with 190 species recorded (110 of which have been recorded breeding). Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Limosa limosa (min. 10 pairs).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Major threats are posed by human disturbance of birds, tourism, unsustainable hunting, fishing, agricultural pollution, and overgrowth of coastal meadows with reed Phragmites as a result of undergrazing. The IBA is a planned core area of the West Estonian Archipelago Biosphere Reserve. Research involves monitoring of birds, seals (Phocidae) and plants.
National Partial International High2,662 ha of IBA covered by Protected Landscape (Hiiumaa Islets, 2,662 ha). 16,060 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Hiiumaa Islets and Käina Bay, 17,700 ha). 13,398 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (West Estonian Archipelago, 1,560,000 ha).
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hiiumaa islets. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 18/01/2022.