Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
A complex of shallow sea (<2 m) and small islets, with vast reedbeds and coastal meadows on the south-western coast of Estonia. The main economic activities are fishing (intensive), grazing and hunting.

Key biodiversity
The area is an important staging site (in spring) for migrating Cygnus columbianus and Branta leucopsis. The avifauna is diverse, with 185 species recorded, of which 65 have been recorded breeding. Breeding species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Crex crex (min. 5 pairs). Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Limosa limosa (min. 10 pairs).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main threats are caused by human disturbance of birds, tourism, unsustainable hunting, fishing, and overgrowth of coastal meadows with reed Phragmites due to undergrazing. Häädemeeste coastal meadow is a potential Ramsar Site. Research involves monitoring of birds.

Protected areas
National Partial International None2,000 ha of IBA covered by Protected Landscape (Rannametsa-Soometsa, 8,085 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Luitemaa. Downloaded from on 26/11/2022.