SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Lough Foyle 

image: SPA location map 

 

Lough Foyle lies on the north-west coast of Northern Ireland and straddles the international border with the Irish Republic. The site comprises a large, shallow sea lough that includes the estuaries of the rivers Foyle, Faughan and Roe. The site contains extensive intertidal mud-flats and sand-flats (with Mussel Mytilus edulis beds), saltmarsh and associated brackish ditches. The diversity of coastal habitats has resulted in the lough being of major importance for a diverse assemblage of waterbirds both during the spring and autumn migration periods, and in winter. These include swans, geese, ducks and waders. The lough is especially notable in supporting a high proportion of the international population of Canada/Ireland Light-bellied Brent Goose Banta bernicla hrota.

 


Qualifying species

For individual species accounts visit the Species Accounts section


This site qualifies under Article 4.1 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following species listed on Annex I of the Directive:
 
Over winter;
 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, 1,896 individuals representing 10.8% of the wintering population in Ireland (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii, 78 individuals representing 3.1% of the wintering population in Ireland (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, 4,891 individuals representing 2.4% of the wintering population in Ireland (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, 890 individuals representing 8.9% of the wintering population in Ireland (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 

 

 

This site also qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by supporting populations of European importance of the following migratory species:
 
Over winter;
 
Light-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla hrota, 3,730 individuals representing 18.6% of the wintering Canada/Ireland population (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6)
 

 

Assemblage qualification: A wetland of international importance.
 
The area qualifies under Article 4.2 of the Directive (79/409/EEC) by regularly supporting at least 20,000 waterfowl
 
Over winter, the area regularly supports 37,310 individual waterfowl (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6) including: Teal Anas crecca, Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria, Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, Light-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla hrota, Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus, Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Greylag Goose Anser anser, Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii, Wigeon Anas penelope, Redshank Tringa totanus, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, Eider Somateria mollissima, Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator, Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus, Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, Knot Calidris canutus, Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina, Curlew Numenius arquata, Shelduck Tadorna tadorna.

 


Note:

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.
 
Note that sites selected for waterbird species on the basis of their occurrence in the breeding, passage or winter periods also provide legal protection for these species when they occur at other times of the year.