Lough Foyle

IBA Justification

The site was identified as important in 2009 because it was regularly supporting significant populations of the species listed below, meeting ('triggering') IBA criteria.

Populations meeting IBA criteria ('trigger species'):
Species Current IUCN Red List Category Season Year(s) Population estimate at site IBA criteria met
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus LC winter 2002-2006 680-3,284 individuals B1i, B3, C2, C6
Brent Goose Branta bernicla LC winter 2002-2006 1,357-3,968 individuals B1i, B2, C3
Greylag Goose Anser anser LC winter 2002-2006 518-1,291 individuals B1i, C3
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope LC winter 2002-2006 2,609-6,559 individuals B3
Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata LC winter 2002-2006 13-147 individuals C6
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria LC winter 2002-2006 3,320-9,534 individuals C6
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica NT winter 2002-2006 630-4,108 individuals B1i, C2, C6
A4iii Species group - waterbirds n/a winter 2002-2006 33,076-38,324 individuals A4iii, C4

The current IUCN Red List category may differ from that which was valid at the time of IBA criteria assessment (2009).

IBA Protection

Protected area (PA) PA designation PA area (ha) Relationship of PA with IBA Overlap of PA with IBA (ha)
Lough Foyle SPA Special Protection Area (Birds Directive) 588 protected area overlaps with site 350


Habitat (IUCN level 1) Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Marine Intertidal -
Grassland Mesophile grasslands -
Artificial/Terrestrial Highly improved re-seeded landscapes -
Marine Neritic -
For more information about the IUCN Habitat classification, please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
not utilised -

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Lough Foyle. Downloaded from on 01/03/2024.