Country/territory: Iceland

IBA criteria met: A4i, B1i, B2 (2000)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 13,300 ha

Fuglavernd - BirdLife Iceland

Site description (baseline)
The area covers the shore and islands from álftanes to Akrar, c.15 km west of Borgarnes town. Habitats comprise extensive intertidal flats (including eel-grass Zostera beds), coastal saltmarshes and numerous islands, lagoons, freshwater marshes and standing pools of brackish and salt water. Land-uses are mainly grazing, eider husbandry (Somateria mollissima) and egg-collecting (`Other' land-use).

Key biodiversity
A rich area for coastal waterbirds. Mýrar is one of the main breeding areas in Iceland for Gavia stellata; also common as breeders are Sterna paradisaea (a few thousand pairs) and Fratercula arctica (the islands of Geldingaey and Lambeyjar hold one of the five largest colonies in Iceland). Calidris alba occurs in notable numbers (1,000) on passage.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Alftanes-Akrar. Downloaded from on 06/06/2023.