Bannow Bay

Site description (2000 baseline):

Site location and context
An extensive, sheltered sea bay and estuary, situated in County Wexford, 20 km east of Waterford city. At low tide over 75% of the bay is exposed mud and sand with some saltmarsh. The Ownduff and Corock rivers discharge into the head of the bay which is constricted at its mouth by sandbars and a dune system on either side. There is intertidal shellfish cultivation.

Key biodiversity
This wetland supports a wide range of wintering waterfowl. Several additional species occur in numbers of national importance including Tadorna tadorna (491 birds, 1996), Pluvialis apricaria (7,480 birds, 1995), Pluvialis squatarola (280 birds, 1996), Vanellus vanellus (3,450 birds, 1995) and Tringa totanus (485 birds, 1996).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Intertidal shellfish cultivation is a possible threat to habitat quality, while wildfowling causes disturbance to birds. Habitat quality is reduced by the spread of non-native cord-grass Spartina. In 1997 unauthorized mechanical cockle-harvesting caused damage to the intertidal mudflats.

Protected areas
National High International HighIBA overlaps with Wildfowl Sanctuary (Bannow Bay; area not known). 958 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Bannow Bay, 958 ha). 900 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Bannow Bay, 900 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Bannow Bay. Downloaded from on 27/02/2024.