Lough Owel

Country/territory: Ireland

IBA Criteria met: B1i, C3 (2000)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 1,032 ha

BirdWatch Ireland

Site description
Lough Owel is a large calcareous lake located north-west of Mullingar in County Westmeath. It is relatively shallow with a rocky, marl-covered bottom, and a rocky shoreline with patchy vegetation. Marsh and fen areas are present in the south-western and northern corners of the lake, and the surrounding farmland is used by geese Anser. Fishing, especially for trout, is popular at this site.

Key biodiversity
Anser albifrons flavirostris occurs in numbers of international importance; the birds also use Lough Ennell (site 140), Lough Iron-Glen Lough (site 135), Lough Derravaragh (site 138) and Garriskil bog (site 136). Other waterfowl species which winter in numbers of national importance are Anas clypeata (268 birds, 1996), Aythya fuligula (500 birds, 1995), Aythya ferina (500 birds, 1995), Bucephala clangula (195 birds, 1995) and Fulica atra (2,500 birds, 1996).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lough Owel. Downloaded from on 01/12/2021.