The large estuary of the Tana river in the Tanafjord, with extensive areas of shallow water, intertidal sand and gravel-banks, and subarctic coastal meadows. The biggest banks and meadows are east of the main river course. Høyholmen is a grass-covered islet in the estuary. Leirpollen is a small cove to the east.
A very important site for seaduck outside the breeding season. Most males of the north-western European population of Mergus merganser gather to moult here, or move here after moulting at fjords in Finnmark, in August-September. Unfortunately no reliable counts of this species have been made since the late 1980s. The number may be much lower now, possibly below 10,000 individuals. Species of global conservation concern which do not meet IBA criteria: Haliaeetus albicilla (common non-breeder in spring and summer; max. 7 on passage). The delta is also a notable staging ground for migrating geese (especially Anser fabalis), ducks and waders; other notable species are Falco rusticolus (frequently seen in spring and summer) and Calidris maritima (up to 500 in winter).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Reasons for any possible decline in moulting Mergus merganser are not known, and a new census of the birds in the area is urgently needed. A planned harbour (for the mining industry) adjacent to the Nature Reserve may have a negative impact on birds and habitats in the area, but may also reduce the existing boat traffic at the site (which currently may cause disturbance to birds). The area is proposed as a Ramsar Site.
National High International None3,360 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Tanamunningen, 3,360 ha).
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tanamunningen. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 19/08/2022.