UK057
Ribble and Alt Estuaries


IBA Justification

The site was identified as important in 2007 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 2001-2006 341 individuals B1i, B3, C2, C6
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus LC winter 2001-2006 24-224 individuals A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus LC passage 2001-2006 9,165 individuals A4i, B1i, C3
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus LC winter 2001-2006 10,248 individuals A4i, B1i, C3
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna LC winter 2001-2006 3,423 individuals B1i, C3
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope LC passage 2001-2006 34,259 individuals A4i, B1i, C3
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope LC winter 2001-2006 77,540 individuals A4i, B1i, C3
Northern Pintail Anas acuta LC winter 2001-2006 2,245 individuals B1i, C3
Common Teal Anas crecca LC passage 2001-2006 4,057 individuals B1i, C3
Common Teal Anas crecca LC winter 2001-2006 7,064 individuals B1i, C3
Haematopus ostralegus NR passage 2001-2006 17,566 individuals A4i, B1i, C3
Haematopus ostralegus NR winter 2001-2006 18,518 individuals A4i, B1i, C3
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola LC passage 2001-2006 3,884 individuals A4i, B1i, C3
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola LC winter 2001-2006 5,007 individuals A4i, B1i, C3
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria LC winter 2001-2006 2,971 individuals C6
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria LC winter 2001-2006 3,457 individuals C6
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula LC passage 2001-2006 1,306 individuals B1i, C3
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata NT passage 2001-2006 2,357 individuals B2
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata NT winter 2001-2006 2,197 individuals B2
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica NT passage 2001-2006 9,195 individuals A4i, B1i, C2, C6
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica NT winter 2001-2006 14,625 individuals A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa NT passage 2001-2006 3,280 individuals B1i, C3
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa NT winter 2001-2006 1,694 individuals B1i, C3
Red Knot Calidris canutus NT passage 2001-2006 39,864 individuals A4i, B1i, C3
Red Knot Calidris canutus NT winter 2001-2006 50,639 individuals A4i, B1i, B2, C3
Sanderling Calidris alba LC passage 2001-2006 5,142 individuals A4i, B1i, C3
Sanderling Calidris alba LC winter 2001-2006 2,961 individuals A4i, B1i, C3
Dunlin Calidris alpina LC passage 2001-2006 25,469 individuals A4i, B1i, C3
Dunlin Calidris alpina LC winter 2001-2006 21,642 individuals B1i, B2, C3
Common Redshank Tringa totanus LC passage 2001-2006 2,982 individuals B1i, C3
Common Redshank Tringa totanus LC winter 2001-2006 3,440 individuals A4i, B1i, C3
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus LC breeding 1998 4,108 breeding pairs A4i, B1i, B3, C3
Common Tern Sterna hirundo LC breeding 2000 98 breeding pairs C6
Common Tern Sterna hirundo LC breeding 2003 111 breeding pairs C6
A4iii Species group - waterbirds n/a breeding 1998-1999 19,378 breeding pairs A4iii, C4
A4iii Species group - waterbirds n/a passage 2001-2006 167,614 individuals A4iii, C4
A4iii Species group - waterbirds n/a winter 2001-2006 262,917 individuals A4iii, C4

The current IUCN Red List category may differ from that which was valid at the time of IBA criteria assessment (2007).


IBA Conservation

IBA conservation assessment
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2007 very unfavourable low low
Was the whole site assessed? State assessed by Accuracy of information
yes population good

State (condition of the trigger species' populations)
Scientific name Common name Reference population Actual population Units % of population remaining Result
Cygnus cygnus Whooper Swan 94 341 individuals 100 favourable
Cygnus columbianus Tundra Swan 180 224 individuals 100 favourable
Anser brachyrhynchus Pink-footed Goose 17900 10248 individuals 58 unfavourable
Tadorna tadorna Common Shelduck 3530 3423 individuals 97 favourable
Mareca penelope Eurasian Wigeon 78000 77540 individuals 100 favourable
Anas acuta Northern Pintail 1880 2245 individuals 100 favourable
Anas crecca 7050 7064 individuals 100 favourable
Haematopus ostralegus Eurasian Oystercatcher 13000 17566 individuals 100 favourable
Haematopus ostralegus Eurasian Oystercatcher 16700 18518 individuals 100 favourable
Pluvialis squatarola Grey Plover 7550 3884 individuals 52 unfavourable
Pluvialis squatarola Grey Plover 5400 5007 individuals 93 favourable
Pluvialis apricaria Eurasian Golden Plover 4470 3457 individuals 78 near favourable
Pluvialis apricaria Eurasian Golden Plover 2340 2971 individuals 100 favourable
Charadrius hiaticula Common Ringed Plover 1230 1306 individuals 100 favourable
Numenius arquata Eurasian Curlew 2170 2357 individuals 100 favourable
Numenius arquata Eurasian Curlew 1840 2197 individuals 100 favourable
Limosa lapponica Bar-tailed Godwit 15500 14625 individuals 95 favourable
Limosa lapponica Bar-tailed Godwit 13500 9195 individuals 69 unfavourable
Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit 2600 3280 individuals 100 favourable
Limosa limosa Black-tailed Godwit 820 1694 individuals 100 favourable
Arenaria interpres Ruddy Turnstone 830 277 individuals 34 very unfavourable
Calidris canutus Red Knot 64000 39864 individuals 63 unfavourable
Calidris canutus Red Knot 56000 50639 individuals 91 favourable
Calidris alba Sanderling 6800 5142 individuals 76 near favourable
Calidris alba Sanderling 3150 2961 individuals 94 favourable
Calidris alpina Dunlin 33400 25469 individuals 77 near favourable
Calidris alpina Dunlin 37000 21642 individuals 59 unfavourable
Tringa totanus Common Redshank 3480 2982 individuals 86 near favourable
Tringa totanus Common Redshank 3040 3440 individuals 100 favourable
Larus fuscus Lesser Black-backed Gull 1780 4108 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Sterna hirundo Common Tern 230 111 breeding pairs 49 unfavourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 159438 167614 individuals 100 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 281231 262917 individuals 94 favourable
Species group - waterbirds A4iii 11335 19378 breeding pairs 100 favourable

Pressure (threats to the trigger species and/or their habitats)
Threat level 1 Threat level 2 Timing Scope Severity Result
Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Energy production and mining mining and quarrying likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low

Response (conservation actions taken for the trigger species and/or their habitats)
Protected-area designation Management planning Other conservation action Result
Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive Very little or no conservation action taking place low
For more information about IBA conservation status, please click here

IBA Protection

Protected area (PA) PA designation PA area (ha) Relationship of PA with IBA Overlap of PA with IBA (ha)
Sefton Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 4,637 protected area overlaps with site 2,863
Sefton Coast Site of Community Importance (Habitats Directive) 4,592 protected area overlaps with site 0
Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve 4,591 protected area overlaps with site 4,581
Ribble Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 9,354 protected area overlaps with site 9,328
Ribble and Alt Estuaries Special Protection Area (Birds Directive) 12,450 is identical to site 12,408
Ribble and Alt Estuaries Marine Protected Area (OSPAR) 0 protected area overlaps with site 0
Ribble & Alt Estuaries Ramsar Site, Wetland of International Importance 13,464 protected area overlaps with site 12,408
Ravenmeols Hills Local Nature Reserve 74 protected area overlaps with site 0
Mersey Narrows Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 116 protected area is adjacent to site 0
Marshside Nature Reserve 110 protected area contained by site 0
Lytham St, Anne's Dunes Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 25 protected area overlaps with site 0
Lytham Coastal Changes Site of Special Scientific Interest (UK) 25 protected area is adjacent to site 0
Liverpool Bay / Bae Lerpwl Special Protection Area (Birds Directive) 252,758 protected area is adjacent to site 0
Liverpool Bay / Bae Lerpwl Marine Protected Area (OSPAR) 0 protected area is adjacent to site 0
Hesketh Out Marsh Nature Reserve 237 protected area overlaps with site 0
Formby Nature Reserve 337 protected area overlaps with site 0
Cabin Hill National Nature Reserve 28 protected area overlaps with site 0
Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve 492 protected area overlaps with site 0
Ainsdale and Birkdale Hills Local Nature Reserve 296 protected area overlaps with site 0

Habitats

Habitat (IUCN level 1) Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Marine Coastal/Supratidal -
Marine Intertidal -
Grassland -
Marine Neritic -
For more information about the IUCN Habitat classification, please click here.

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Ribble and Alt Estuaries. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/ribble-and-alt-estuaries-iba-united-kingdom on 04/03/2024.