Database release:

For Special Protection Areas (SPA),
Proposed Sites for Community Importance (pSCI),
Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and
for Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)



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1.1 Type


1.2 Site code


1.3 Site name

The Raven SPA

1.4 First Compilation date


1.5 Update date


1.6 Respondent:

Name/Organisation:National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

1.7 Site indication and designation / classification dates

Date site classified as SPA:1990-03
National legal reference of SPA designation No data


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2.1 Site-centre location [decimal degrees]:


2.2 Area [ha]


2.3 Marine area [%]


2.4 Sitelength [km]:


2.5 Administrative region code and name

NUTS level 2 code Region Name
IE02Southern and Eastern

2.6 Biogeographical Region(s)

Atlantic (0.00 %)


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3.2 Species referred to in Article 4 of Directive 2009/147/EC and listed in Annex II of Directive 92/43/EEC and site evaluation for them

Species Population in the site Site assessment
G Code Scientific Name S NP T Size Unit Cat. D.qual. A|B|C|D A|B|C
      MinMax  Pop.Con.Iso.Glo.
BA050Anas penelope    67  67     
BA053Anas platyrhynchos    75  75     
BA395Anser albifrons flavirostris    10022  10022     
BA144Calidris alba    81  81     
BA149Calidris alpina    552  552     
BA143Calidris canutus    131  131     
BA137Charadrius hiaticula    12  12     
BA003Gavia immer    24  24     
BA001Gavia stellata    77  77     
BA130Haematopus ostralegus    93  93     
BA182Larus canus    157  157     
BA179Larus ridibundus    386  386     
BA157Limosa lapponica    112  112     
BA065Melanitta nigra    3234  3234     
BA069Mergus serrator    84  84     
BA160Numenius arquata    93  93     
BA017Phalacrocorax carbo    218  218     
BA140Pluvialis apricaria    569  569     
BA141Pluvialis squatarola    448  448     
BA007Podiceps auritus       
BA005Podiceps cristatus    10  10     
BA195Sterna albifrons    10  30     
BA048Tadorna tadorna    16  16     
BA142Vanellus vanellus    115  115     
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, I = Invertebrates, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Type: p = permanent, r = reproducing, c = concentration, w = wintering (for plant and non-migratory species use permanent)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the Standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting (see reference portal)
  • Abundance categories (Cat.): C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present - to fill if data are deficient (DD) or in addition to population size information
  • Data quality: G = 'Good' (e.g. based on surveys); M = 'Moderate' (e.g. based on partial data with some extrapolation); P = 'Poor' (e.g. rough estimation); VP = 'Very poor' (use this category only, if not even a rough estimation of the population size can be made, in this case the fields for population size can remain empty, but the field "Abundance categories" has to be filled in)

3.3 Other important species of flora and fauna (optional)


Population in the site


Group CODE Scientific Name S NP Size Unit Cat. Species Annex Other categories
     MinMax C|R|V|PIVVABCD
Asparagus officinalis ssp. prostratus                     
Bufo calamita                     
Bufo calamita                     
Centaurium pulchellum                     
Ceuthorrhynchus hirtulus                     
Epitryptus cowini                     
Nebria complanata                     
Pherbellia knutsoni                     
Pristonychus terricola                     
Pseudorchestoidea brito                     
Pyrola rotundifolia ssp. maritima                     
  • Group: A = Amphibians, B = Birds, F = Fish, Fu = Fungi, I = Invertebrates, L = Lichens, M = Mammals, P = Plants, R = Reptiles
  • CODE: for Birds, Annex IV and V species the code as provided in the reference portal should be used in addition to the scientific name
  • S: in case that the data on species are sensitive and therefore have to be blocked for any public access enter: yes
  • NP: in case that a species is no longer present in the site enter: x (optional)
  • Unit: i = individuals, p = pairs or other units according to the standard list of population units and codes in accordance with Article 12 and 17 reporting, (see reference portal)
  • Cat.: Abundance categories: C = common, R = rare, V = very rare, P = present
  • Motivation categories: IV, V: Annex Species (Habitats Directive), A: National Red List data; B: Endemics; C: International Conventions; D: other reasons


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4.1 General site character

Habitat class % Cover

Total Habitat Cover


Other Site Characteristics

Situated on the north side of Wexford Harbour, the site incorporates the dynamic sand system of the Raven Point and the coastal fringe running north to Blackwater Head (a distance of over 10 km). It also includes the adjacent shallow marine waters to a distance of approximately 2 km. The Raven is an important example of an extremely dynamic coastal sand system. It contains one of the few afforested sand dune systems in Ireland though the commercial plantings have compromised the structure of the natural dune vegetation. Outside the planted areas, there are good examples of a range of sand dune types, including embryo dunes, mobile marram dunes, fixed dunes and humid dune slacks. The site contains intertidal sand flats and some salt marsh. Sand bars and banks are a feature of the site though the configuration of these change regularly.

4.2 Quality and importance

The Raven has important bird interests, being part of the Wexford Slobs and Harbour complex. Of critical significance is that it forms the principal night roost for the internationally important Wexford Harbour population of Anser albifrons flavirostris. The shallow waters provide optimum conditions for divers, grebes and seaduck, with nationally important populations of Melanitta nigra (supports 27% of national total), Gavia stellata (one of the top sites in the country), Gavia immer, Mergus serrator and Phalacrocorax carbo. It is one of the most regular sites in the country for Podiceps auritus. It also provides an important roost site, and to a lesser extent feeding area, for a range of other waterfowl species, with nationally important numbers of Pluvialis squatarola and Calidris alba. The Raven is a traditional breeding site for Sterna albifrons, with numbers of national importance in most years. Three Red Data Book plant species are known from the site, as well as a number of important insect species. Bufo calamita, a Red Data Book species, has been successfully introduced into the site. Part of the site is managed as a Nature Reserve.

4.3 Threats, pressures and activities with impacts on the site

The most important impacts and activities with high effect on the site

Negative Impacts
RankThreats and pressures [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]
Positive Impacts
RankActivities, management [code]Pollution (optional) [code]inside/outside [i|o|b]

Rank: H = high, M = medium, L = low
Pollution: N = Nitrogen input, P = Phosphor/Phosphate input, A = Acid input/acidification,
T = toxic inorganic chemicals, O = toxic organic chemicals, X = Mixed pollutions
i = inside, o = outside, b = both

4.5 Documentation

An Foras Forbartha (1977). A Study of the Raven, Co. Wexford. An Foras Forbartha / Forest and Wildlife Service, Dublin. Colhoun, K. (2001). I-WeBS Report 1998-99. BirdWatch Ireland, Dublin. Curtis, T.G.F. and Sheehy Skeffington, M.J. (1998). The salt marshes of Ireland: an inventory and account of their geographical variation. Biology and Environment, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 98B: 87-104. Falvey, J.P., Costello, M.J. and Dempsey, S. (1997). Survey of Intertidal Biotopes in Estuaries in Ireland. Unpublished report to the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Dublin. Fox, A.D., Norriss, D.W., Stroud, D.A. and Wilson, H.J. (1994). Greenland White-fronted Geese in Ireland and Britain 1982/83 - 1993/94. Greenland White-fronted Goose Study research report no. 8. Greenland White-fronted Goose Study, Wales and National Parks and Wildlife Service, Dublin. Hannon, C. (1997). The 1995 All-Ireland Tern Survey. BirdWatch Ireland Conservation Report No. 97/1. Hunt, J., Derwin, J., Coveney, J. and Newton, S. (2000). Republic of Ireland. Pp. 365-416 in Heath, M.F. and Evans, M.I. (eds). Important Bird Areas in Europe: Priority Sites for Conservation 1: Northern Europe. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No. 8). Irish Wetland Birds Survey (I-WeBS) Database, 1994/95-2000/01. BirdWatch Ireland, Dublin. Merne, O.J. (1989). Important bird areas in the Republic of Ireland. In: Grimmett, R.F.A. and Jones, T.A. (eds). Important Bird Areas in Europe. ICBP Technical Publication No. 9. Cambridge. Praeger, R.L. (1934). The Botanist in Ireland. Hodges, Figgis and Co., Dublin. Rowe, D. and Wilson, C.J. (eds) (1996). High Skies - Low Lands. An Anthology of the Wexford Slobs and Harbour. Duffry Press, Wexford. Sheppard, R. (1993). Ireland's Wetland Wealth. IWC, Dublin.


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5.1 Designation types at national and regional level:

Code Cover [%]

5.2 Relation of the described site with other sites:

Designated at national or regional level:

Type code Site name Type Cover [%]
The Raven Nature Reserve+22.00
IE01The Raven Nature Reserve+22.00

Designated at international level:

Type Site name Type Cover [%]
Other The Raven Nature Reserve+22.00
The Raven Nature Reserve+22.00


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6.2 Management Plan(s):

An actual management plan does exist:

No, but in preparation



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