Lough Swilly including Blanket Nook and Inch Lake

IBA Criteria

Year of most recent IBA criteria assessment: 2009

Populations of IBA trigger species
Species Current IUCN Red List Category Season Year(s) of estimate Population estimate IBA Criteria Triggered
Mute Swan Cygnus olor LC winter 2002-2006 199-288 individuals B1i
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus LC winter 2004-2006 1,946-3,177 individuals A4i, B1i, B3, C2, C6
Brent Goose Branta bernicla LC winter 2002-2006 222-340 individuals B1i, C3
Greylag Goose Anser anser LC winter 2002-2006 1,056-2,743 individuals B1i, C3
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons LC winter 2002-2006 626-1,383 individuals B1i, C2, C6
Greater Scaup Aythya marila LC winter 2002-2006 32-70 individuals B2
Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata LC winter 2002-2006 7-50 individuals C6
Common Tern Sterna hirundo LC breeding 2001 89 breeding pairs C6
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis LC breeding 2001-2005 239 breeding pairs B2, C6
A4iii Species group - waterbirds n/a winter 2002-2006 23,960-31,867 individuals A4iii, C4

Note: This table presents the IBA criteria triggered and the species that triggered then at the time of assessment, the current IUCN Red List category may vary from that which was in place at that time.

For more information about the IBA assessment process and criteria please click here

IBA Protection

Protected Area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)
Lough Swilly SPA Special Protection Area (Birds Directive) 8,560 protected area overlaps with site 3,734
Lough Swilly SAC Site of Community Importance (Habitats Directive) 9,258 protected area overlaps with site 7,009
Lough Swilly Ramsar Site, Wetland of International Importance 0 protected area contained by site 0
Leannan River SAC Site of Community Importance (Habitats Directive) 1,726 protected area is adjacent to site 0
Blanket Nook Wildfowl Sanctuary 48 protected area overlaps with site 0


IUCN Habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Humid grasslands, Mesophile grasslands -
Coastline Tidal rivers & enclosed tidal waters, Mud flats & sand flats -
Artificial/Terrestrial Highly improved re-seeded landscapes, Arable land -
For further information about the habitat classification please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
hunting -
For further information about the land use classification please click here.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lough Swilly including Blanket Nook and Inch Lake. Downloaded from on 08/08/2022.