Suur Väin strait

Country/territory: Estonia

IBA Criteria met: A4i, A4iii, B1i (2000)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 16,010 ha

Protection status:

Eesti Ornitiliigiaühing (EOÜ)

Site description
A shallow (<19 m) sea strait between Muhu island and the western Estonian mainland, with a complex coast of shallow (<2 m) bays, relict lakes, meadows and reedbeds. The main economic activity is intensive fishing, and there is a busy sea-route between Muhu island and the mainland.

Key biodiversity
Suur Väin strait is important for migrating wildfowl and divers Gavia, with large numbers staging and huge numbers passing straight through (e.g. 62,600 Gavia stellata/G. arctica in spring 1990s; number of staging birds unknown). The site holds 20,000 or more waterbirds on a regular basis.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Suur Väin strait. Downloaded from on 15/07/2020.