A complex of shallow (<2 m) bays and relict lakes on the southern coast of Saaremaa island, with small islets, vast reedbeds, coastal meadows and saltmarshes. The main economic activities are fishing, sheep-grazing and forestry.
A diverse selection of migratory waterbirds use the site for staging and/or breeding, with important numbers of several species. Significant proportion (³1%) of national population breeding at site: Grus grus (10 pairs), Larus canus (min. 400 pairs), Larus marinus (20 pairs).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main threats are unsustainable hunting, intensive fishing, overgrowth of coastal meadows with reed Phragmites due to undergrazing, and tourism. The IBA is a planned core area of the West Estonian Archipelago Biosphere Reserve, and is also a potential Ramsar Site. Research involves monitoring of migrating waterbirds.
National None International High2,917 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (West Estonian Archipelago, 1,560,000 ha).
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Siiksaare-Oessaare bays. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 26/06/2022.