Gulf of Riga, west coast

Country/territory: Latvia

IBA Criteria met: A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C3, C4 (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 120,000 ha

Latvijas Ornitologijas Biedriba

Site description
A stretch of coastal waters within the Gulf of Riga, from Cape Kolka to the village of Lapmezciems, and extending offshore to 30 m depth. Bottom sediments are sandy with many shellfish, especially bivalves Macoma, while in deeper waters (>40 m depth) beyond the IBA the seabed has more gravel and mud. The site includes the sand beach (dominated by shingle and cobbles in places) and coastal meadows, although the latter constitute probably less than 5% of the total area.

Key biodiversity
The Gulf of Riga is internationally important for several waterbirds in winter, and for moulting Bucephala clangula after the breeding season. This part of the gulf holds 20,000 or more waterbirds on a regular basis.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gulf of Riga, west coast. Downloaded from on 31/03/2023.