Kõrgessaare-Mudaste coast

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
A complex of shallow (<4 m) bays with small islets and shallow (<1 m) coastal, relict lakes in the north-western part of Hiiumaa island. There are reedbeds and vast coastal meadows. The main economic activities are intensive fishing, and grazing.

Key biodiversity
The coastal meadows and lakes comprise an important staging site for migrating Branta leucopsis, and support a good diversity of breeding waterbirds.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main threats are posed by human disturbance of birds, tourism, unsustainable hunting, fishing, overgrowth of coastal meadows with reed Phragmites due to undergrazing, and water pollution by fishery discards and by fuel-oil from boats. About 50% of the IBA is a planned core area of the West Estonian Archipelago Biosphere Reserve, and the IBA is also a potential Ramsar Site. Research involves monitoring of migrating waterbirds.

Protected areas
National None International High4,999 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (West Estonian Archipelago, 1,560,000 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kõrgessaare-Mudaste coast. Downloaded from on 26/01/2021.