SPA description
(information as published 2001)

Cromarty Firth

image: SPA location map 

 

Cromarty Firth is located in north-eastern Scotland and is one of the major firths on the east shore of the Moray Firth. It contains a range of high-quality coastal habitats including extensive intertidal mud-flats and shingle bordered locally by areas of saltmarsh, as well as reedbeds around Dingwall. The rich invertebrate fauna of the intertidal flats, with beds of eelgrass Zostera spp., glasswort Salicornia spp., and Enteromorpha algae, all provide important food sources for large numbers of wintering and migrating waterbirds (swans, geese, ducks and waders). With adjacent estuarine areas elsewhere in the Moray Firth, it is the most northerly major wintering area for wildfowl and waders in Europe. The Firth is also of importance as a feeding area for locally breeding Osprey Pandion haliaetus as well as for breeding terns.

Cromarty Firth SPA forms an integral ecological component of Moray Basin Firths and Bays. 
 

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:
 
During the breeding season;
 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo, 294 pairs representing at least 2.4% of the breeding population in Great Britain (5 year mean, 1989-1993)
 
Osprey Pandion haliaetus, 1 pairs representing at least 1.0% of the breeding population in Great Britain (Early 1990s)
 
Over winter;
 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, 1,420 individuals representing at least 2.7% of the wintering population in Great Britain (winter peak mean)
 
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus, 55 individuals representing at least 1.0% of the wintering population in Great Britain (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;
 
Greylag Goose Anser anser, 1,777 individuals representing at least 1.8% of the wintering Iceland/UK/Ireland population (winter peak mean)
 
 
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 34,847 individual waterfowl (5 year peak mean 1991/2 - 1995/6) including: Redshank Tringa totanus, Curlew Numenius arquata, Dunlin Calidris alpina alpina, Knot Calidris canutus, Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus, Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator, Scaup Aythya marila, Pintail Anas acuta, Wigeon Anas penelope, Greylag Goose Anser anser, Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica, Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus .

 


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.