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Home > NIEA > Protected Areas > Ramsar Sites > Larne Lough

Larne Lough Ramsar Site

Last updated: 28 April 2009

Area: 398 hectares

Grid Reference: J 450987

Date Designated: 04/03/97

picture of Larne LoughLarne Lough is situated on the Co. Antrim coast in the east of Northern Ireland. The Ramsar site boundary is entirely coincident with both that of the Larne Lough Area of Special Scientific Interest and the Larne Lough Special Protection AreaOpens in New window.

The site qualifies under Criterion 3c of the Ramsar ConventionOpens in New window by regularly supporting internationally important numbers of light-bellied Brent geese in winter. The site also qualifies under Criterion 2a by supporting an important assemblage of vulnerable and endangered Irish Red Data BookOpens in New window bird species.

picture of Brent geese feeding on mudflatsThe site regularly supports nationally important numbers of breeding populations of the Annex 1 species: roseate and common tern. The figure for roseate terns is also very close to the number required for international qualification.
Swan Island has, in the recent past, held internationally important numbers of breeding roseate terns although they now tend to favour nesting on the man made floating platformsOpens in New window provided nearby to encourage their breeding.