CROMARTY FIRTH CONSERVATION SITES
Cromarty Firth Ramsar Site and Special Protection Area
The site is a large, narrow mouthed estuary which supports the largest intertidal flats in the Moray Basin. The site extends eastwards for approximately 30km from the islands at the mouth of the River Conon to the town of Cromarty. The boundary of the site follows those of the Cromarty Firth SSSI and the estuarine section of Lower River Conon SSSI.
The Cromarty Firth qualifies as a Ramsar site because;
" It has outstanding examples of wetland habitat. The site holds the largest mudflats in Highland and at the mouth of the River Conon there is a rare surviving example of a transition from woodland, through scrub and freshwater fen, to brackish and finally saltmarsh communities.
" It regularly supports over 20,000 waterfowl in winter, including internationally important populations of icelandic Greylag Goose and Bar-Tailed Godwit.
The Cromarty Firth qualifies as a Special Protection Area because:
" It provides foraging grounds for a nationally important number of breeding osprey that nest in surrounding woodland, and a nationally important population of Common Tern.
" It supports a nationally important wintering population of Whooper Swan, and internationally important wintering populations of Bar-Tailed Godwit and Icelandic Greylag Goose.
" It also supports in excess of 20,000 waterfowl in winter, including nationally important populations of Wigeon, Pintail, Scaup, Red-Breasted Merganser, Knot, Curlew and Redshank.