Matsalu Bay

IBA Criteria

Year of most recent IBA criteria assessment: 2000

Populations of IBA trigger species
Species Current IUCN Red List Category Season Year(s) of estimate Population estimate IBA Criteria Triggered
Mute Swan Cygnus olor LC passage 1999 500-2,000 individuals B1i
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus LC passage 1999 500-5,700 individuals A4i, B1i
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus LC passage 1999 3,000-13,500 individuals A4i, B1i
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis LC passage 1999 20,000-32,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis LC breeding 1996 20 breeding pairs B3
Greylag Goose Anser anser LC passage 1999 5,000-11,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Greylag Goose Anser anser LC breeding 1996 1-420 breeding pairs B1i
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons LC passage 1999 1,000-3,300 individuals B1i
Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis VU passage 1996 250,000-1,600,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Common Scoter Melanitta nigra LC passage 1996 200,000 individuals A4i, B1i
White-winged Scoter Melanitta deglandi LC passage 1996 350,000-400,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula LC passage 1999 10,000-30,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula LC non-breeding 1999 11,500 individuals A4i, B1i
Smew Mergellus albellus LC passage 1999 300-1,000 individuals B1i
Goosander Mergus merganser LC passage 1995 1-5,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Common Pochard Aythya ferina VU non-breeding 1999 3,000-32,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula LC passage 1998 10,000-35,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Greater Scaup Aythya marila LC passage 1999 10,000-40,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Garganey Spatula querquedula LC breeding 1999 250-300 breeding pairs B2
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata LC passage 1999 1,000 individuals B1i
Gadwall Mareca strepera LC passage 1999 1-370 individuals B1i
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope LC passage 1999 18,000-36,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Northern Pintail Anas acuta LC passage 1999 800-10,000 individuals B1i
Common Teal Anas crecca LC passage 1998 1,000-4,000 individuals B1i
Corncrake Crex crex LC breeding 1999 260-320 breeding pairs A1, A4i, B1i
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana LC breeding 1999 85 breeding pairs B3
Common Coot Fulica atra LC passage 1999 10,000-20,000 individuals B1i
Common Crane Grus grus LC passage 1996 15,000-20,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris LC breeding 1996 20 breeding pairs B2
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo LC breeding 1999 1-3,000 breeding pairs A4i, B1i
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo LC passage 2000 10,000-15,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola LC passage 1999 1-2,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula LC passage 1996 3,000 individuals A4i, B1i
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa NT breeding 1996 1-150 breeding pairs B2
Dunlin Calidris alpina LC breeding 1999 100 breeding pairs B2
Great Snipe Gallinago media NT breeding 1999 35-50 breeding pairs A1
Common Redshank Tringa totanus LC breeding 1999 1-650 breeding pairs B2
Common Redshank Tringa totanus LC passage 1999 2,000 individuals B1i
Mew Gull Larus canus LC breeding 1999 600-650 breeding pairs B2
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus LC breeding 1999 400-450 breeding pairs B3
Little Tern Sternula albifrons LC breeding 1999 60-100 breeding pairs B2
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia LC breeding 1999 140 breeding pairs B2
A4iii Species group - waterbirds n/a non-breeding 1999 14,000-44,000 individuals A4iii
A4iii Species group - waterbirds n/a passage 1999 370,000-1,900,000 individuals A4iii

Note: This table presents the IBA criteria triggered and the species that triggered then at the time of assessment, the current IUCN Red List category may vary from that which was in place at that time.

For more information about the IBA assessment process and criteria please click here

IBA Protection

Protected Area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)
Matsalu rahvuspark Rahvuspark 48,860 protected area contained by site 48,600
Matsalu Nature Reserve Ramsar Site, Wetland of International Importance 48,610 protected area contained by site 48,640


IUCN Habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mixed woodland -
Grassland Humid grasslands -
Wetlands (inland) Water fringe vegetation -
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features -
Artificial/Terrestrial Highly improved re-seeded landscapes, Arable land -
Marine Neritic -
For further information about the habitat classification please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
forestry -
nature conservation and research -
For further information about the land use classification please click here.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Matsalu Bay. Downloaded from on 22/03/2023.