The Annotated Ramsar List: The Netherlands

12/02/2013

The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance

NETHERLANDS / PAYS-BAS / PAISES BAJOS

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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for The Netherlands on 23 September 1980. The Netherlands presently has 53 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 832,048 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Alde Feanen. 07/01/93; Friesland; 2,500 ha; 53º08’N 005º55’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Monument, Reservation, Nature Reserve. Peatland surrounded by wet meadows and grassland, including lakes, reedbeds, woodland, and scattered human habitation. An important area for breeding, staging, molting and wintering waterbirds. The site supports nationally rare and threatened species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and butterflies and notable plants typical of nutrient-poor grasslands. It is the last known locality in the Netherlands for the otter Lutra lutra, thought to have become extinct in 1988. Human activities include livestock rearing, fishing, hunting and recreation. Ramsar site no. 578. Most recent RIS information: ?.

Bargerveen. 07/01/93; Drenthe; 2,100 ha; 52º41’N 007º02’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Monument, Nature Reserve. Peatlands that include one of the last remaining raised bogs in the Netherlands. An important area for at least 25 species of breeding birds and various species of wintering geese. The site provides habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna typical of peat bogs, and in some cases, rare in the Netherlands. Human activities include livestock grazing and agriculture. Up to 1992 the site had been used for peat cutting. Public access is limited. Ramsar site no. 581. Most recent RIS information: ?.

Boschplaat. 23/05/80; Friesland; 4,400 ha; 53º26’N 005º30’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive, Council of Europe Diploma; Natural Monument, Nature Reserve. A complex of saltmarshes, dune systems, saline grassland, freshwater marsh, and woodland. An important area for numerous species of breeding, staging and wintering waterbirds and, in autumn, for over 30,000 waders and ducks. The area is of considerable botanical importance. A biological research station and a visitors’ center are located on the island. Ramsar site no. 195. Most recent RIS information: 1993.

Broekvelden / Vettenbroek. 29/08/00. Zuid-Holland. 700 ha. 52º03'N 004º47'E. SPA. A complex of shallow slightly brackish lakes, criss-crossed by land strips, peatlands, reed fringes, wet meadows and improved grasslands located near the famous city of Gouda, where the Dutch Gouda cheese comes from. The current landscape has been formed by land reclamation and peat extraction activities. The wetland has been declared a Ramsar site mainly for its importance for waterbirds - first it is a place for significant congregations (average peak 22,559 for 1991/92-1996/97) and, second, it hosts nearly 2% of the biogeographic populations of the Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii and the Wigeon Anas penelope. The main human uses include boating, commercial fisheries, farming, and tourism. The site is threatened by non-industrial pollution and expansion of agricultural lands. Ramsar site no. 1240. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

De Biesbosch (southern part). 23/05/80; Noord-Brabant; 1,700 ha; 51º45’N 004º48’E. National Park, Nature Reserve. At the confluence of two rivers, the site was a tidal estuary until the 1970 construction of a dam reduced the tidal amplitude from 2m to 0.2m. The site consists of a mosaic of creeks, reservoirs, mudflats, marshland, reedbeds and Salix scrub. The area is important for breeding waterbirds and is used by numerous species of wintering and staging birds. Public access, boating, fishing and bird hunting are strictly controlled. Ramsar site no. 197. Most recent RIS information: 1993.

De Deelen. 07/01/93; Friesland; 520 ha; 53º02’N 005º55’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Nature Reserve. The site includes peatland, wet meadows, reedbeds, lakes, woodland, and scattered human habitation. An important area for breeding, staging and wintering waterbirds. Numerous nesting species occur, and outside the breeding season swans, geese and ducks are notable. The wet meadows are important habitat for certain staging species. The site supports nationally rare and threatened species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and butterflies, as well as notable plants typical of nutrient-poor grasslands. Human activities include livestock rearing, fishing, hunting and recreation. Ramsar site no. 579. Most recent RIS information: ?.

De Wieden. 29/08/00. Overijssel. 9,400 ha. 52º42'N 006º03'E. SPA. A habitat-diverse site comprising shallow small and bigger freshwater lakes and numerous canals established by peat extraction activities mainly in 18th and 19th centuries, reedbeds, fens, wooded peatlands and non-wooded ones, and wet meadows. It is adjacent to the Ramsar site Weerribben. The site has been chosen for Ramsar status for being a particularly representative example of a partially forested lowland peatland with lakes and canals resulted from peat extraction - the most extensive lowland peatland in northwestern Europe. It is also a habitat for several rare and endangered species and communities - 15 plant communities, 7 plant species, 14 mosses species, 6 species of mushrooms, 8 species of freshwater snails and the same number of insects, as well as 7 species of breeding birds. The site is also a refuge for more than 1% of the biogeographic populations of five waterbird species. It acts as a water storage reservoir from drains of the surrounding polders and provides water for irrigation. Among the main human uses are tourism (with a visitors' centre), angling, boating, commercial fisheries, farming, and reed harvest. The site is seriously threatened by drainage due to groundwater abstraction and intensive farming in the surrounding polders, as well as by non-industrial pollution. Ramsar site no. 1241. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Deurnese Peelgebieden. 07/01/93; Noord-Brabant; 1,450 ha; 51º25’N 005º52’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive, Natural Monument, Nature Reserve. A former raised bog, with marshland, open water, channels, heathlands, and forests dominated by Betula, Quercus and Pinus. The site is important for numerous species of breeding and wintering waterbirds and supports notable plants and lichens. Public access is restricted. Ramsar site no. 580. Most recent RIS information: ?.

Drontermeer. 29/08/00. Overijssel, Gelderland, Flevoland. 600 ha. 52º30'N 005º51'E. Nature Conservation Act, SPA. A shallow (1.25m average) freshwater lake bounded on west by the dyke of the Oostelijk Flevoland polder (reclaimed in 1957) and on the east by the mainland. It is adjacent to lakes Ketelmeer and Vossemeer on the north and to Lake Veluwemeer on the south (separated by sluices). It qualifies as a Ramsar site for its importance for the Bewick's Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii - up to 2.1% of the W Siberian / NW European biogeographic population winters there. The lake acts as a drain for the adjoining polder and like most of the other lakes around has unnatural high summer and low winter water levels. The chief human uses are boating, commercial fisheries, shipping traffic, and sand extraction. Serious threats are posed by non-industrial pollution with nutrients increasing eutrophication, and by extraction activities. Some measures are planned to extend the water fringe reedbeds in favour of breeding birds. Ramsar site no. 1242. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Engbertsdijksvenen. 02/06/89; Overijssel; 975 ha; 52º29’N 006º40’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Monument, Nature Reserve. One of the largest remaining raised bogs in the Netherlands, with wet and dry heathland, Molinia grassland, and Betula scrub. An important area for various species of breeding waterbirds, notably one of the largest colonies of Riparia riparia (50 pairs) in the Netherlands, as well as wintering and staging ducks. The site supports numerous species of notable plants. Human activities have included extensive peat cutting. There are no public facilities. Ramsar site no. 428. Most recent RIS information: 1992.

Fluessen / Vogelhoek / Morra. 29/08/00. Friesland. 2,100 ha. 52º56'N 005º32'E. SPA. The site comprises an extensive rather deep (maximum depth 18 m) freshwater lake, adjoining marshes and surrounding wet meadows. There is sparse water fringe emergent aquatic vegetation, but none submerged. It has been declared a Ramsar site for its importance for the Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis - up to 3.4% of the biogeographic population gathers there in winter time. The lake acts as a temporary reservoir for drained water from the surrounding polders before discharge into the Wadden Sea. Among the main human uses are boating, commercial fisheries, and tourism. Ramsar site no. 1243. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Grevelingen. 29/08/00. Zuid-Holland, Zeeland. 13,900 ha. 51°45'N 004°00'E. Special Protection Area, EC Birds Directive. A former estuary of the rivers Rhine and Meuse, and intertidal area, 18 km in length, which was cut off from the North Sea in 1971. Presently it is a stagnant saline lake, mostly bordered by dykes, with some islets, sand dunes and wet meadows. Abandoning the original plans to turn it into a freshwater lake, since 1985 marine water is regularly let in during winter in order to keep lake's saline character. The site is particularly important for waterbirds - large congregations with mean peak 52,420 birds (1991-97) and nine species of breeding and wintering birds are present with more than 1% of their biogeographical populations. Drained water from one of the surrounding polders is pumped into the lake. The main human uses are commercial fisheries, water management, boating, tourism and leisure activities. The site is potentially threatened by encroaching industrialization and urbanization (mainly wind turbines), non-industrial pollution discharge, and expanding recreational activities. More than half of the site is owned by the State Forestry Service (Staatbosbeheer) which provides management in accordance with a management plan. Ramsar site no. 1272. Most recent RIS information: 2003.

Griend. 23/05/80. Friesland; 23 ha; 53º15’N 005º15’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Monument, Nature Reserve. An island of sand beaches, saltmarshes and mudflats. 16ha of the island are permanently above sea level, with the highest point 1m above high tide. Extensive mudflats surround the island at low tide. An important breeding, wintering and staging area for various waterbirds. Mussel (Mytilus edulis) and cockle (Cardium sp.) exploitation in the surrounding waters may be affecting the food source of certain sea birds. Ramsar site no. 196. Most recent RIS information: 1992.

Groote Peel. 23/05/80. Noord-Brabant; 1,348 ha; 051°20’N 005°49’E. Added to the Montreux Record 4 July 1990, removed from the Record 16 June 1993. Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC), National Park. The boundary of the Ramsar Site has been adjusted to the Natura 2000 site, resulting in the addition of an area of 22 ha. The Site supports rich vegetation in a landscape characterized by marshland raised bog, pools, channels, heathland and pine plantations with artificially maintained water levels. It is an important breeding area for waterbirds, and particularly known as the most important resting place in the Netherlands of migrating common cranes. Groote Peel plays an important role in groundwater replenishment and carbon sequestration. As well as water management, the land is used for farming, forestry and tourism. The management measures implemented during the last ten years have restored the water levels, resulting in a substantial regeneration of peat moss species. There is a visitors’ centre, and boardwalks have been constructed to make the Site more accessible. Ramsar Site no. 192. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Haringvliet. 29/08/00; Zuid-Holland; 10,880 ha; 051°46’N 004°15’E. Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). The Ramsar Site boundary has been aligned to the Natura 2000 site, adding 152 ha to its area. Formerly (together with Hollands Diep and De Biesbosch) one of the estuaries of the Rhine/Maas system, it  was separated from the sea in 1970 and is now a 27-kilometre stagnant freshwater lake bordered by reedbeds, seasonally flooded agricultural land, sandbanks and mudflats. The water level is artificially regulated and varies according to the supply from the Rhine. The Site regularly supports more than 20,000 wintering waterbirds and nationally endangered and vulnerable species such as avocet, Eurasian spoonbill, Kentish plover and Sandwich tern. It also plays an important role as spawning, nursery and feeding ground for many fish, and supports nationally endangered molluscs such as the dun sentinel and German hairy snail. The main human activities within the site are commercial fishing, farming and agriculture, shipping, reed cutting, water management and hydro-electric power generation, recreation and tourism, research and conservation. There is a visitors’ centre at Tiengemeten Island. Potential threats to the Site’s ecological character are industrialization, urbanization, bottom sediment pollution, wind turbines and eutrophication. Ramsar Site no. 1244. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Hollands Diep. 29/08/00; Zuid-Holland; 4,139 ha; 051°42’N 004°30’E; Natura 2000 (SAC, SPA). The Ramsar Site boundary has been aligned to the Natura 2000 site, resulting in an overall increase of 89 ha. The Site, a former estuary in the Meuse-Rhine delta, is now a freshwater lake after its separation from the North Sea in 1970 by the Haringvliet dam. Hollands Diep is an especially important area for breeding waterbirds such as the Eurasian spoonbill and barnacle goose, and a valuable spawning, nursery and feeding ground for threatened fish species such as barbel and other migratory fish including sea lamprey and salmon. The Site plays an important role in flood regulation and sediment trapping. The lake and the adjacent land are used for forestry, farming, commercial fishing, shipping, water management, conservation and research. Factors adversely affecting the Site’s ecological character include industrialization (in particular the construction of wind turbines), urbanization, eutrophication and water pollution. A management plan for the Site is currently being prepared. Ramsar Site no. 1273. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

IJmeer. 29/08/00. Flevoland, Noord-Holland. 7,400 ha. 51º21'N 005º04'E. SPA. A stagnant freshwater lake (average depth 3.9m) that together with Lake Markermeer has been separated from Lake IJsselmeer by the closing the Houtribdijk dyke in 1975. In the east it is bordered by polders Oostelijk and Zuidelijk Flevoland. No other wetland types are represented, as the banks are basalt dykes. Declared a Ramsar site for hosting large concentrations of waterbirds (average peak 155,007 for 1991/92-1996/97) and providing refuge to more than 1% of the biogeographic populations of the Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula and the Pochard Aythya ferina. The lake acts as a drain for the surrounding polders, with waters discharged into the North Sea through the North Sea Channel. Main human uses comprise boating (ca. 1,700 boat docking places), commercial fisheries, shipping traffic, sand extraction, and tourism. The site is threatened by non-industrial pollution, reclamation plans, intensive commercial fisheries, industrialization and urbanization, especially construction of wind mills. Ramsar site no. 1245. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

IJsselmeer. 29/08/00; Friesland, Flevoland, Noord-Holland; 113,341 ha; 052°45’N 005°27’E; Natura 2000 (SPA,SAC). The boundaries of the Ramsar Site have been aligned to the Natura 2000 site, resulting in an increase of over 5,000 hectares. IJsselmeer was cut off from the Wadden Sea by Afsluitdijk causeway in 1932, and about 45% of the territory was reclaimed as polders. Presently it is a vast shallow freshwater lake, the largest freshwater basin in the country. The Site regularly supports more than 20,000 wintering waterbirds as well as endangered bird species such as ruff, bittern, avocet and spotted crake. IJsselmeer plays a crucial role in regulation of hydrology in the northern Netherlands – it acts as a drain for the surrounding land and water is discharged into the Wadden Sea through Afsluitdijk or into the North Sea via Markermeer and the North Sea Channel. Human activities include tourism, commercial fisheries, shipping traffic and sand extraction. The site is threatened by artificial water level management, intensive commercial fishing, industrialization, urbanization and the construction of wind farms. Ramsar Site no. 1246. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Ketelmeer and Vossemeer. 29/08/00. Overijssel, Flevoland. 3,900 ha. 52°36'N 005°45'E. SPA, partially Nature Conservation Act. A freshwater lake bounded from the north by the dyke of the Noordoostpolder (reclaimed in 1942), from the south by the dyke of Oostelijk Flevoland polder (reclaimed in 1957), from the east by the delta of the River Ijssel, and from the west by the Lake IJsselmeer. Ketelmeer is connected with Drontermeer via Lake Vossemeer. It is a vegetation-less wetland due to the fact that its banks are basalt dykes, with only some fringe reedbeds in the delta of the River IJssel. It has been declared a Ramsar site for its importance for waterbirds - first, it is a place for large congregation of up to 33,246 birds (data 1991-97) and second, three species (Great Cormorant, Bewick's Swan, and Tufted Duck) are regularly present in winter with more than 1% of their relevant biogeographical populations. Main human uses are boating, commercial fisheries, shipping traffic, water management and sand extraction. Serious threats are posed by non-industrial pollution, with nutrients increasing eutrophication, and human-invading activities. It is envisaged to increase by 800 ha the surface of marshland in the delta of the River IJssel through a nature development project. Management of the site is covered by the general management plan for national waters. Ramsar site no. 1274. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Krammer-Volkerak. 04/09/95; Zeeland, Noord-Brabant, Zuid-Holland; 6,450 ha; 51º38’N 004º17’E. Nature Reserve. A former tidal zone closed off from the East Scheldt in 1987, rendering the area a freshwater lake without tidal action. These environment al changes have led to adaptations and changes in biotic communities that are still taking place. Freshwater species are replacing salt tolerant vegetation, wading birds, marine fish and crustaceans. The site includes large stretches of exposed land and shallow water, scrub, woodland, mudflats and saltmarshes. The site provides important places for numerous species of internationally important numbers of waterbirds to rest, molt, feed and breed. Human activities include shipping, recreational boating and fishing, and commercial fisheries. Ramsar site no. 747. Most recent RIS information: ?.

Lauwersmeer. 29/08/00. Groningen, Friesland. 5,800 ha. 53º22'N 006º13'E. Nature Conservation Act, SPA. A dammed estuary, formerly part of the Wadden Sea but closed off in 1969, now a shallow freshwater lake (average depth 2.1m) though retaining the estuarine geomorphology. Besides the lake part, there are also permanent freshwater marshes, wet grasslands and arable lands. It has been designated as a Ramsar site for hosting over 1% of the biogeographic populations of 8 waterbird species. The lake has a crucial role in regulation of hydrology in the northern region of the country - surplus water from the provinces of Groningen and Friesland is discharged into the Wadden Sea via Lauwersmeer. When sea levels are high, surplus water is temporarily stored in the lake, thus causing significant fluctuation of lake water levels. Water quality is poor, especially in summer, due to inflow of drained water from a large area of farmlands and the river Rhine. The primary human uses include tourism, commercial fisheries, shipping traffic, boating, and farming. The site is threatened by non-industrial pollution, gas exploration, and excessive reed harvesting. A natural park covering the entire site is under establishment. Ramsar site no. 1247. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Leekstermeergebied. 29/08/00. Groningen, Drenthe. 1,450 ha. 53º11'N 006º26'E. SPA. A freshwater lake, south of the city of Groningen, surrounded by reedbeds, peatbogs and pastures, with some small marshes and wet grasslands around the average-one-meter-deep lake. The site qualified for Ramsar status due to its importance for waterbirds - it is a place for large congregations of birds (average peak 33,500 birds for 1993/94-1997/98) and it provides refuge to about 4% of the biogeographic population of the White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons - roosting in the lake and feeding in the surrounding grasslands. The lake serves as a drain for the surrounding polders and it provides water for irrigation. However, water level is maintained and stable. The main human uses include commercial fisheries, boating, and tourism. The site is threatened by non-industrial pollution, drainage and unnatural water level management. Ramsar site no. 1248. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Markermeer. 29/08/00. Flevoland, Noord-Holland. 61,000 ha. 52º32'N 005º15'E. SPA. A stagnant freshwater lake separated from the adjacent north IJsselmeer in 1975 by closing the Houtribdijk dyke, and connected to IJmeer from the south. Markermeer has an average depth of 3.9m, but in areas of sand extraction could reach up to 30m. The water level is controlled and in summer it is kept higher for irrigation purposes. The site is particularly important for waterbirds - large congregations with mean peak 155,007 birds (1991/92-1996/97) and nine species of birds are present with more than 1% of their biogeographic populations. The lake acts as drainage for the surrounding polders. Main human uses - commercial fisheries, shipping traffic, boating (ca. 3,400 boat docking places), extraction, tourism. It is threatened by encroaching industrialization and urbanization, pollution and expanding extraction activities. Ramsar site no. 1249. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Naardermeer. 23/05/80; Noord Holland; 1,151 ha; 052°18'N 005°07'E. Natura 2000 (SAC, SPA). The Ramsar Site boundary has been adjusted to the Natura 2000 site, resulting in the addition of 452 ha to its area. The Site is a complex of shallow freshwater lakes, pools and canals, fens, reedbeds and swamp-forests surrounded by wet meadows and marshland. The area is important for endangered waterbirds such as purple heron and black tern. In addition, the site supports vulnerable populations of fish, mollusks and dragonflies. The land is used for water management and recreation, while the surrounding area is densely populated and dedicated to agriculture. The main threats to the ecological character are related to drainage, groundwater extraction, pollution and disturbance caused by tourism pressure and a railway. Around the lake there is a 17 km path which leads to birdwatching shelters and a visitor centre. Ramsar Site no. 194. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Oostelijke Vechtplassen. 29/08/00. Utrecht, Noord-Holland. 4,500 ha. 52°13'N 005°05'E. SPA, partially Nature Conservation Act. An extensive area of shallow lakes and canals resulting from peat extraction, fenland, reedbeds, swampy woodland and wet meadows. The site is largely influenced by seepage, though water shortages occur in summer in part of the site, when polluted waters of the River Vecht are let in in compensation. Turbidity is high and submerged vegetation is almost totally lacking. It has been declared a Ramsar site for preserving a particularly good example of a wetland type and for providing refuge to large number of rare and endangered species of mushrooms, mosses, plants, mollusks, insects, fishes, birds and mammals. Main human uses include boating, commercial fisheries, water management, tourism and leisure activities, and farming. The site is threatened by drainage of farmlands, non-industrial pollution discharge, reed harvest activities, and pleasure navigation. More than half of the sites is owned by conservation organizations (Natuurmonumenten and Staatbosbeheer) and management is provided by Natuurmonumenten in accordance with a management plan. Ramsar site no. 1275. Most recent RIS information: 2003.

Oosterschelde & Markiezaatmeer. 03/04/87; Zeeland, Noord-Brabant; 38,000 ha; 51º30’N 004º10’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Monument, Nature Reserve. Extensive areas of tidal waters with saltmarshes, dyked marshland, mudflats supporting vast Zostera beds, deep and shallow water areas, and sand banks. The saltmarshes and dikes support a rich salt-tolerant flora. An important area for the wintering, staging and breeding of a large number of waterbirds. Human activities have included dyking and cultivation of saltmarsh areas and hydraulic engineering works separating the North Sea from the Oosterschelde. The site supports a shellfish industry. Ramsar site no. 354. Most recent RIS information: 1992.

Oostvaardersplassen. 02/06/89; Flevoland; 5,600 ha; 52º27’N 005º20’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Monument, Nature Reserve. Part of a reclaimed polder comprising a complex of large, shallow, freshwater lakes,reedbeds, Salix scrub, and wet meadows, all exhibiting different water regimes. The site is important for a wide variety of wintering, staging and breeding waterbirds, including 7,000 pairs of cormorantsPhalacrocorax carbo sinensis, important numbers of various species of geese and ducks, and the globally-threatened sea eagle Haliaetus albicilla. A visitors’ center is available and public access is restricted to observation hides. Large herbivorous mammals have been introduced as management tools. Ramsar site no. 427. Most recent RIS information: 1992.

Oudegaasterbrekken. 29/08/00. Friesland. 850 ha. 52°59'N 005°31'E. SPA. A complex of freshwater lakes and small amount of surrounding seasonally flooded agricultural lands located southwest of the city of Sneek. With a maximum depth of 19m, the site is a eutrophic wetland affected by nutrient pollution, lacking submerged aquatic vegetation. The site has been awarded Ramsar status for being a significant area for concentrations of two goose species with more than 1% of their relevant biogeographical populations - the Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus (39%) and the Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis (3.8%). The site acts as a water storage reservoir from drains of the surrounding polders and provides water for irrigation. Among the main human uses are boating, commercial fisheries, and water management. Management plan elaborated in 1993. Ramsar site no. 1276. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Rottige Meenthe en Brandemeer. 29/08/00; Friesland; 1,369 ha; 52°51’N 05°53’E; Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). The boundary of the Ramsar Site has been aligned with the boundary of the Natura 2000 site, by adding the 234 ha Brandemeer Nature Reserve. The Site is an open landscape of seasonally flooded agricultural land with small ponds and canals made by peat excavations in the past. The area lies downstream of the small Linde and Tjonger rivers, and it is rich in wet grasslands and heath, peatland, reed marshes and bog woodland characterized by alder and birch trees. The Site is important for nationally endangered bird species such as the great bittern and great reed warbler, mammals such as the European otter, and fish. In addition, it supports vulnerable Sphagnum moss species and endangered vascular plants such as fen orchid. Land use within the Site includes recreation and tourism, road infrastructure, commercial fisheries, reed cutting, water management, conservation and research. Factors which might adversely affect it are tourism, drainage of surrounding farmlands and eutrophication. Ramsar Site no.1277. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Sneekermeer / Goengarijpsterpoelen / Terkaplesterpoelen and Akmarijp. 29/08/00. Friesland. 2,300 ha. 53º01'N 005º46'E. SPA. A complex of freshwater lakes, originated from peat extraction activities, and adjoining marshlands and wet meadows. It has been designated as a Ramsar site for its importance for waterbirds - it hosts more than 1% of the respective biogeographic populations of the Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis, the White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons, and the Wigeon Anas penelope. It serves as a drain for the surrounding polders and surplus water is discharged into the Wadden Sea. Part of the water is used for irrigation. Main human uses comprise boating (ca. 1,800 boat docking places), commercial fisheries, tourism, and farming. The most significant threat posed on the site is drainage. Ramsar site no. 1250. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Veerse Meer. 29/08/00. Zeeland. 2,575 ha. 51º32'N 003º44'E. SPA. Formerly part of the Oosterschelde estuary (closed in 1961), now a 20km-long stagnant brackish lake with sandbanks and small islands, surrounded by wet meadows, improved grasslands, arable lands and some wood plantations. Designated a Ramsar site for hosting significant concentrations of waterbirds (average peak 27,993 for 1991/92-1996/97) and providing refuge to more than 1% of the biogeographic populations of the Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis, the Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator, the Wigeon Anas penelope, and the Coot Fulica atra. The lake acts as a storage basin for surplus water pumped from the surrounding polders and subsequently discharged into the Oosterschelde connected with the North Sea. The water level is kept unnatural with high summer and low winter measures. Human uses comprise boating, commercial fisheries, tourism, and farming. The site is threatened by non-industrial pollution, causing eutrophication, and by insufficient water exchange with Oosterschelde. It is envisaged to build a sluice through the Zandkreekdam dyke, separating the lake from Oosterschelde, to attempt natural water management and improvement of water quality. Ramsar site no. 1251. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Veluwemeer. 29/08/00. Gelderland, Flevoland. 3,150 ha. 52o23'N 005o40'E. SPA. A shallow freshwater lake bounded by the dyke of Oostelijk Flevoland polder (reclaimed in 1957) from the northwest and by the mainland from the southeast, with extensive narrow reedbeds along the mainland bank. Adjacent to the lakes Drontermeer and Wolderwijd. It has been declared a Ramsar site for being a stronghold of several rare and endangered species - 5 plant species, 1 mushroom, 2 mosses species, 3 freshwater fishes, and 2 bird species. The wetland regularly hosts large concentrations of waterbirds - up to 26,795 (data of 1991-96) - and four waterbird species are present with more than 1% of their relevant biogeographical populations (Bewick's Swan, Pintail, Pochard, and Coot). Among the main human uses are boating, commercial fisheries, shipping traffic, water management, tourism and leisure activities, and sand extraction. Main threats to the site are posed by non-industrial pollution causing eutrophication, other human activities like recreation and extraction. Management is covered by the general management plan for national waters. It is envisaged to enlarge the surface of the reed water fringe vegetation for the sake of birds. Ramsar site no. 1278. Most recent RIS information: 2003.

Verdronken Land van Saeftinge.See Westerschelde en Verdronken Land van Saeftinge.

Voordelta. 29/08/00; Zeeland, Zuid-Holland; 92,271 ha; 051°43’N 003°35’E; Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). The Ramsar Site boundary has been aligned with the Natura 2000 site, resulting in an overall increase of 2,271 ha in its area. The Site is an extensive coastal wetland in the North Sea, characterized by shallow sandbanks, mudflats, salt meadows and embryonic dunes. Its high food productivity, caused by the increased nutrient supply from the rivers Rhine and Meuse, attracts an outstanding range of species that depend on it. Threatened birds such as the Sandwich tern, Eurasian spoonbill and avocet use the Site during migration and winter, as do more than 1% of the population of northern pintail and sanderling. The shallow mudflats are a very important spawning and nursery ground for migratory fish such as river lamprey and allis shad. Moreover, common seal and grey seal regularly use the Site. The main human uses include intensive aquaculture and shellfish fishing, angling, boating, recreation and tourism. All these uses put pressure on its ecological character, as do other potential threats such as the disturbance of birds by aircraft, non-industrial pollution, construction work on dykes and dams, extraction activities and reclamation projects. The management plan for the Natura 2000 site has been approved. Ramsar Site no. 1279. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Voornes Duin. 29/08/00. Zuid-Holland. 1,500 ha. 51°54'N 004°03'E. SPA. The least spoiled dune area of the Netherlands, located between Oostvoorne and Harlingvliet, just 20 km south of the capital The Hague. The area includes two lakes - Breedewater and Quackjeswater - and mesotrophic dune slacks surrounded by alder woodland and wet dune valleys. The wetland has been declared a Ramsar site first, because of the rare wetland habitats, and second because of its significance for rare and endangered species of mosses, mushrooms, aquatic and other plants, and animals. It also hosts more than 1% of the relevant biogeographic populations of the Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo and the Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia. The area is nearly entirely owned by conservation organizations (Natuurmonumenten and Zuidhollands Landschap). Main human uses include water management, tourism and leisure activities, boating. The site is threatened by industrialization (wind turbines) and excessive recreation activities. Management plan elaborated in 1992. Ramsar site no. 1280. Most recent RIS information: 2003.

Waddeneilanden, Noordzeekustzone, Breebaart. 29/08/00. Noord-Holland, Friesland, Groningen. 135,000 ha. 53º26'N 005º47'E. Partly National Park, Nature Conservation Act, SPA. The site covers the sand dune area of the Wadden Sea islands Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog and the adjacent North Sea coastal zone. Besides the dunes and the marine areas (up to 3 nautical miles which is about 15m depth), there are also small patches of other wetland habitats like salt marshes, coastal freshwater lakes, and wet grasslands. It has been designated as a Ramsar site because of the very good examples of rare wetland habitats and refuge to several rare and endangered species: seven plant species and same number of mosses and mushrooms, eight breeding species of birds included in Annex I of the EU Bird Directive and one mammal species from Annex II of the EU Habitat Directive. The site also hosts large congregations of birds - mean peak 83,612 specimens (1991/92-1996/97), and 11 waterbird species are present with more than 1% of their biogeographic populations. The sand dunes act as a natural defense for the islands against the North Sea impact. The main human uses include commercial fisheries, shipping traffic, boating, extraction, tourism. Some of the islands are very popular destinations - Texel with c.650,000 and Schiermonnikoogn with c.300,000 tourists per year. A national park covering the sand dunes on the island of Texel is under establishment. Ramsar site no. 1252. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Waddenzee (Wadden Sea). 02/05/84; Groningen, Friesland, Noord Holland; 249,998 ha; 53º14’N 005º14’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Monument, National Park, Nature Reserve. A section of the Wadden Sea between the mainland and barrier islands, consisting of extensive tidal mudflats, saltmarshes, wet meadows, reclaimed polders, sand banks, and dune systems. The area is important for numerous species of breeding, wintering and staging waterbirds and supports several notable plant species. Tourism is an important activity in the area, and there are several field research stations and two seal nursery centers at the site. Ramsar site no. 289. Most recent RIS information: 1993.

Weerribben. 23/05/80; Overijssel; 3,400 ha; 52°46'N 005°56'E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; National Park, Nature Reserve. A low-lying peatland, with bogs, marshland, reedbeds, wet meadows, pools, channels, heathland, and woodland. An important area for numerous species of breeding birds, as well as notable species of plants and butterflies. Human activities include reed cutting, woodland coppicing, regulated hunting and recreation, livestock rearing, and water sports. Ramsar site no. 193. Most recent RIS information: 1993.

Westerschelde en Verdronken Land van Saeftinge. 04/09/95; Zeeland. 19,500 ha. 51º23'N 003º50'E. Nature Conservation Act, SPA. The Ramsar site "Verdronken Land van Saeftinge" has been extended from 3,500 ha to 19,500 ha and renamed in September 2002. The site represents the estuary of the River Schelde with many mudflats, sandbanks, and a raised saltmarsh, the only estuary in the southwestern part of the country that is still open to the sea, stretching 60 km from the border with Belgium to the North Sea. The site meets several Ramsar Criteria: the 3,500-ha saltmarsh Verdronken Land van Saeftinge is among the largest and most intact examples of Atlantic saltmarshes in Europe and a refuge for several rare and endangered communities and species - 6 plant communities, 2 red-listed moss species and 1 red-listed species of mushroom and vascular plant; it is an important moulting and pre-migratory fattening site for several wader species (e.g. Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus, Great Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, Curlew Numenius arquata, Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus, Turnstone Arenaria interpres) and a moulting site for the Shellduck Tadorna tadorna, as well as a place for large congregations of waterbirds (average peak 131,283 for 1991/92-1996/97) and hosting more than 1% of the respective biogeographic populations of 14 bird species. The east part of Westerschelde is one of the most polluted areas of the Netherlands, with pollutants either imported with Schelde waters from Belgium or originating from industrial zones near Vlissingen and Terneuzen. The main threats are posed by industrial pollution (discharges, polluted sediments), non-industrial pollution causing eutrophication, dredging and canalization, harbour extensions and wind mill constructions. Human uses comprise boating, commercial fisheries, tourism, shipping traffic, extraction activities, and diary farming. Ramsar site no. 748. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Wolderwijd en Nuldernauw. 29/08/00. Gelderland, Flevoland. 2,600 ha. 52°21'N 005°35'E. SPA. A freshwater lake bounded by the dykes of the polders Oosteijk and Zuidelijk Flevoland (reclaimed in 1957) from the north and west, and by the mainland from the southeast, adjacent to the lakes Veluwemeer and Nijkerkernauw. Average depth of Wolderwijd and Nuldernauw is 1.7m. They receive surplus water (either from streams or sluices) and seepage from the adjacent Veluwemeer. Low-phosphate water from the Flevoland polder is also let in in order to tackle eutrophication. The site has been awarded Ramsar status for supporting more than 1% of the relevant biogeographical populations of 2 waterbird species - Bewick's Swan Cygnus bewickii (1.6%) and Pochard Aythya ferina (2.1%). Main human uses include commercial fisheries, boating, shipping traffic, water management, and sand extraction. The site is threatened by non-industrial pollution discharge, extraction operations, and infrastructural projects (bridge, tunnel). Management is covered by the general management plan for national waters. It is envisaged to enlarge the surface of the reed water fringe vegetation for the sake of birds. Ramsar site no. 1281. Most recent RIS information: 2003.

Zoommeer. 29/08/00. Noord-Brabant, Zeeland. 1,175 ha. 51º30'N 004º12'E. Nature Conservation Act, SPA. A stagnant freshwater lake with some adjacent wet meadows. It is located east and west of the Schelde-Rhine connection (shipping lane) and forms a common hydrological unit with the Ramsar site Krammer-Volkerak. The wetland has been declared a Ramsar site for its importance for waterbirds - it hosts 1% or more of the respective biogeographic population of the Gadwall Anas strepera, the Shoveler Anas clypeta, and the Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta. The primary human uses are boating, commercial fisheries, shipping traffic, tourism, and dairy farming. Threats are posed by non-industrial pollution with nutrients increasing eutrophication and by intensive livestock grazing. A management plan for the Volkerak-Zoommeer hydrological entity is under elaboration. Ramsar site no. 1253. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Zuidlaardermeergebied. 29/08/00. Groningen, Drenthe. 2,100 ha. 53°08'N 006°41'E. SPA. A freshwater lake with reedbeds and extensive area of wet grasslands. Zuidlaardermeer is of natural origin, with average depth of 1m, and one of the largest lakes in the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe. The river Hunze flows through the lake. Until recently water from the Lake IJsselmeer has been let in to keep summer water levels high. The site has been awarded Ramsar status for supporting more than 1% of the biogeographical populations of 3 waterbird species - Bewick's Swan Cygnus bewickii (1.3%), White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons (2%), and Wigeon Anas penelope (1.1%). Main human uses include commercial fisheries, water management, boating, farming, tourism and leisure activities. The site is threatened by non-industrial pollution discharge, drainage, disturbance and persecution of birds. More than half of the site is owned by conservation organizations (Groningen Landschap and Staatbosbeheer) and management is provided by Groningen Landschap in accordance with a management plan. Ramsar site no. 1282. Most recent RIS information: 2003.

Zwanenwater. 15/06/88; Noord Holland; 600 ha; 52º49’N 004º42’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Nature Reserve. A coastal area dominated by a complex dune system of slacks and lakes, Salix scrub, freshwater marsh, and woodland. The area is important for several species of breeding waterbirds, staging Limosa limosa and the notable mammal Microtus oeconomus. Ramsar site no. 400. Most recent RIS information: 1992.

Zwarte Meer. 04/09/95; Overijssel, Flevoland; 2,050 ha; 52º38’N 005º59’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive. The site comprises a large shallow lake, with extensive reed marshes, floodplains, and a human-made island (Vogeleiland). A wintering and foraging site of international importance for waterbirds. Regularly hosts over 60 species of breeding birds, including Botaurus stellaris, Ardea purpurea, Circus aeruginosus, and 50,000 Anatidae. Species exceeding the 1% population threshold include Platalea leucorodia and Anser anser. The area supports unusual species of bats and fishes. Human activities include recreation and reed cutting. Ramsar site no. 749. Most recent RIS information: ?.

NETHERLANDS (Aruba) / PAYS-BAS (Aruba) / PAISES BAJOS (Aruba)

Het Spaans Lagoen. 23/05/80; Aruba; 70 ha; 12º30’N 070º00’W. Conservation Area. A narrow coastal inlet, fringed by tidal mudflats and mangrove swamps. An important feeding and breeding area for waterbirds, and nursery area for various species of fish and crustaceans. Ramsar site no. 198. Most recent RIS information: ?.

NETHERLANDS (Netherlands Antilles) / PAYS-BAS (Antilles néerlandaises) / PAISES BAJOS (Antillas Neerlandesas)

De Slagbaai. 23/05/80; Bonaire; 90 ha; 12º16’N 068º25’W. Within a National Park. A shallow, permanent, saline lagoon, isolated from the sea by a bank of beach rock. Brine shrimp and brine flies provide valuable food sources for birds. The lagoon is a resting area for Phalacrocorax olivaceus (max. 50), and a staging area for a variety of Nearctic breeding species. Ramsar site no. 203. Most recent RIS information: ?.

Het Gotomeer. 23/05/80; Bonaire; 150 ha; 12º14’N 068º22’W. Within a National Park. A shallow, permanent, saline lagoon, isolated from the sea by a beach rock bank. Brine shrimp and brine fly are abundant in the hypersaline areas, providing valuable food sources for birds, including Phoenicopterus ruber ruber (100-500). The site is important for several species of breeding birds and for staging shorebirds which nest in North America. Ramsar site no. 202. Most recent RIS information: ?.

Het Lac. 23/05/80; Bonaire; 700 ha; 12º06’N 068º14’W. Underwater Park. A shallow bay of dense sea grass, fringed by mangroves and separated from the sea by coral debris and red algae. The mangroves provide shelter for fish and invertebrates and contribute large quantities of organic debris to the bay, creating highly productive waters. An important feeding area for waterbirds and invertebrates, supporting several species of breeding waterbirds. Ramsar site no. 199. Most recent RIS information: ?.

Het Pekelmeer. 23/05/80; Bonaire; 400 ha; 12º02’N 068º19’W. A shallow seawater lagoon located between a ridge of recrystalized coral debris (beach rock) and a commercial saltworks, linked to the open sea by an artificial channel. Sparsely vegetated, the site provides a flamingo nesting sanctuary and supports one of the most important nesting colonies of Phoenicopterus ruber ruber in the Caribbean (1,000 pairs). It serves as an important feeding area for Pelecanidae, Ardeidae (herons, bitterns, etc.), and various migratory shorebirds which breed in North America. Ramsar site no. 200. Most recent RIS information: ?.

Klein Bonaire Island & adjacent sea. 23/05/80; Bonaire; 600 ha; 12º10’N 068º19’W. Underwater Park. A small uninhabited coral island supporting a sparse cover of shrubs and cacti. Brackish lagoons and fringing coral reefs support a rich marine fauna. The reefs experience heavy diving pressure. Ramsar site no. 201. Most recent RIS information: ?.

Malpais/Sint Michiel. 05/02/2013; Curaçao; 1,100 ha; 12°10'N 069°00'W. Important Bird Area. Malpais is a former plantation just to the north of Sint Michiel. There are two freshwater lakes and the hyper-saline St. Michiel lagoon connected to a bay in which coral reefs are found, surrounded by dry deciduous vegetation and a well-developed woodland habitat. The area provides refugee for many birds, such as the IUCN Red Listed Caribbean coot (Fulica caribaea). The lagoon also supports a significant fraction of the global population of the Common tern (Sterna hirundo) and is part of a regional network of foraging sites for the Caribbean flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber), protected under the Convention of Migratory Species. Freshwater is scarce in Curaçao and therefore of great ecological, social and economic value. The dam of Malpais is located downstream. Freshwater infiltrates into the soil, recharging groundwater reservoirs which allow woodlands to grow in the area. Some of the current threats which may affect the ecological character of the site are the landfill and runoff from a pig farm situated only 1km away. Ramsar Site no. 2117. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Muizenberg. 05/02/2013; Curaçao; 65 ha; 12°09'29"N 068°55'07"W. Important Bird Area; Natural Park. Muizenberg comprises an intermittent shallow lake created by the damming of a stream that drains the surrounding low hills. Periodically inundated grassland and shrubland surround the wetland. A separate small pond, Kaya Fortuna, is situated 200m to the west. This area is internationally significant for its population of the Caribbean coot (Fulica caribaea), near-threatened under the IUCN Red List, and the Caribbean flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) conserved under the Convention of Migratory Species, but it also supports many other waterbirds, both residents and migrants. The Muizenberg dam was built by Shell Curaçao in 1915 to collect freshwater for industrial cooling purposes; with a capacity of 650,000 m3, it represents the largest freshwater reservoir on the island. The area was designated as a Natural Park for the improvement of the urban living conditions of the nearby population and is mainly used by hikers for recreational purposes. Illegal dumping of garbage, pollution, drainage of surrounding wetlands, and recreational disturbance are seen as the main potential threats. A general environmental education programme is being implemented. Ramsar Site no. 2118. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Northwest Curaçao. 05/02/2013; Curaçao; 2,441 ha; 12°21'11"N 069°05'00"W. Important Bird Area, Natural Parks. The area comprises a great variety of ecosystems such as coral reefs, coastal lagoons with sea grass beds and mangroves, coastal limestone terraces, inland hills supporting evergreen woodland, freshwater dams, natural springs and dry deciduous shrublands. The Ramsar site includes parts of Shete Boka and Christoffel Natural Parks. The wetland covers approximately 20 km of the rocky, wave-exposed north coast of Curaçao, including 10 pocket beaches (bokas) and 3 inland bays that are used as nesting and foraging sites for threatened sea turtle species as Dermochelys coriacea and Eretmochely imbricata. There is also a breeding colony of more than 500 individuals of Least Tern. Moreover, the northwestern coast of Curaçao locally harbours a fringing coral reef, characterized by more than 50% coral cover and the presence of such critically endangered coral species as Acropora palmata and Acropora cervicornis as well as endangered fish species like the Epinephelus itajara. Some of the caves in the area were used for spiritual rituals in the past, and Indian drawings can be found estimated to be more than 5,000 years old. Numerous manmade dams in the area retain freshwater for several months after the wet season has passed. Subterraneous groundwater reservoirs in turn sustain local vegetation types year-round which are used by several bird species, pollinating bats and mammals to survive during Curaçao's dry season. Ramsar Site no. 2119. Most Recent RIS information: 2013.

Rif-Sint Marie. 05/02/2013. Curaçao; 667 ha; 12°12'16"N 069°03'16"W. Conservation Area, Important Bird Area. The area of Rif-Sint Marie is relatively undisturbed and undeveloped and comprises a salt mash surrounded by mud flats, shrub land, and forests. The marsh is a strategic feeding habitat for flamingos and several waterbirds. The coral reef of Rif-Sint Marie is well developed and shelters several threatened coral species such as Acropora palmata and Acropora cervicornis, as well as such endangered turtle species as Dermochelys coriacea and Eretmochely imbrica and threatened fishes like Goliath grouper Epinephelus itajara. Dense thickets of Elkhorn coral sustain major ecological processes such as gross community calcification and nitrogen fixation; dense populations of this branching species dissipate wave energy and thus protect the coast. The area is currently used for recreational purposes like hiking, biking and guided eco-tours. The major threats to the site are uncontrolled access of visitors with dogs disturbing flamingos and potentially unwise development of touristic infrastructures in the surrounding area. Ramsar Site no. 2120. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

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