Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
A peninsula in the north-east part of Iceland. The IBA extends from Presthólahraun, south of the town of Kópasker along the coast to Sveinungsvík, south-east of the town of Raufarhöfn. Habitats include an extensive and species-rich intertidal zone, coastal brackish lakes, cliffs, marshes, freshwater lakes, extensive heathland, and eroded gravel areas. Land-uses include eider husbandry (Somateria mollissima), grazing and fishing.

Key biodiversity
The area is relatively rich in breeding species of waterfowl, raptors and waders. Calidris maritima occurs at one of its highest breeding densities in Iceland, as does Lagopus mutus. The area is also important for staging waders and for moulting Anser anser. There are four seabird-nesting cliffs in the area (Snartastadanúpur, Raudinúpur, Ormarslónshöfdi and Súlur), of which Raudinúpur is the largest, and breeding species include Rissa tridactyla (c.15,000 pairs).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Predation by introduced American mink Mustela vison is a threat. The area is on the list of sites of conservation interest in the Nature Conservation Register.

Protected areas
National None International None

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Melrakkasletta. Downloaded from on 09/08/2022.