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Lochs Kinord and Davan are situated adjacent to each other in an area of the River Dee catchment known as the Muir of Dinnet. The Muir of Dinnet (area 2287ha) is an SSSI and a Natural Nature Reserve designated because of its value as a habitat for flora and fauna, and important geomorphological features. The Muir forms the south-western corner of the Howe of Cromar, a wide saucer shaped plain at the foot of the Grampian Mountains. The landscape of the area was moulded by gravel and meltwater in the post-glacial era, and Lochs Kinord and Davan are kettleholes (ice depressions), surrounded by fluvio-glacial hummocks, ridges and hollows. Loch Kinord (area 79.0 ha) is oligotrophic whereas Loch Davan (31.1 ha) is mesotrophic with recent research suggesting a transition towards eutrophication. The difference in trophic status reflects the higher proportion of agricultural land use in the Davan catchment.
Loch Kinord possesses a rich aquatic flora, and a full range of hyrdoseral plant communities ranging from emergent fens dominated by sedges, to bog myrtle scrub, fen carr and birch woodland. It also has a rich invertebrate fauna and is an important site for aquatic beetles. About 80 species of birds breed within the SSSI and the lochs are important refuges for passage and wintering wildfowl, particularly greylag geese and wigeon. Since the early 1980's, introduced ospreys have colonised the area, and both lochs are important rearing and feeding grounds for young otters.