The Netherlands designates still another eleven new Ramsar sites

02/05/2003

The Ramsar Bureau is very glad to announce the next batch of newly designated Ramsar sites in The Netherlands, following the listing of 14 new sites and 1 extension announced in February 2003. The Government of The Netherlands has made another significant contribution to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance with 11 more coastal and inland sites covering 127,680 hectares. The Ramsar Bureau's European regional team stresses that it's worth mentioning the superior quality of the GIS maps for these sites. Currently the Netherlands has 49 sites totaling 818,908 hectares. Soon, after the updates on the other existing sites in the country have been studied and accepted, it is expected that the total number of sites will drop by 2 sites to 47 due to the reconfiguration of the Ramsar site of Waddenzee (Wadden Sea) which will swallow up two smaller ones - Boschplaat and Griend. The Bureau once again heartily welcomes these significant commitments by the Government of The Netherlands to the health of its environment.

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. Proposed for SAC under the Habitat Directive 92/43/EEC. Ramsar site no. 1272.

Hollands Diep. 29/08/00. Zuid-Holland. 4,050 ha. 51°42'N 004°30'E. SPA, partially Nature Conservation Act. A stagnant 17km-long freshwater lake with reedbeds and grassland polders. It is a former part of an estuary, but soon after having been cut off from the sea became a freshwater body. Tidal variations of about 30 cm still occur during low river discharges. The site is particularly important for waterbirds - large congregations with a mean peak of 28,356 birds (1991-96), and one species of wintering bird present with more than 1% of its biogeographical population (Greylag Goose Anser anser - 1.4%). The chief human uses comprise boating, commercial fisheries, water management, shipping traffic, and farming. Significant threats are posed non-industrial pollution discharge, sediment pollution, industrialization (wind turbines). Management is provided by the State Forestry Service (Staatbosbeheer) in accordance with a management plan. It is planned to restore to some extent the natural tidal movements and fresh/salt water gradient in 2005 when the site will be partly opened to the sea through the adjoining Haringvlietdam. Ramsar site no. 1273.

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.

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.

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.

Rottige Meenthe. 29/08/00. Friesland. 1,130 ha. 52°51'N 005°55'E. An area of ponds and canals resulting from peat extraction in 18th and 19th centuries, with fenland, reedbeds, swampy woodland and wet meadows, located close to another Ramsar site - De Weerribben. It is situated 05m to 1m above the surrounding polders and water levels are maintained by a system of windmills, pumps, dams and small dykes. Declared a Ramsar site for being a refuge for many rare and endangered species - 3 plant and 2 moss species, 2 species of freshwater mollusks and 3 dragonfly and butterfly species, 3 freshwater fishes, 4 breeding bird species, and 1 bat. Main human uses comprise water management, reed harvest, boating, commercial fisheries, tourism and leisure activities. Main threats posed to the site are drainage of surrounding farmlands, atmospheric deposition of nutrients from bio-industry, and nutrient pollution by waters from surrounding farmlands. The site is owned by the State Forestry Service (Staatsbosbeheer), which organization provides management according to a management plan. Proposed for SAC under the Habitat Directive 92/43/EEC. Ramsar site no.1277.

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.

Voordelta. 29/08/00. Zeeland, Zuid-Holland. 90,000 ha. 51°43'N 003°35'E. SPA. An extensive area of coastal waters of the North Sea from Rotterdam in the north to the Westerschelde estuary in the south. Coastline within the site is nearly 100 km long, with natural dunes and sand dams and a smaller area of tidal mudflats (Westplaat). Besides the natural sea wall there are humanmade dykes and dams. Water quality is influenced by the rivers Rhine and Meuse. The site meets at least three Ramsar criteria - first, it preserves particularly good examples of wetlands like intertidal mudflats, extensive marine waters, sandbanks permanently slightly covered by sea water; second, it harbours large congregations of waterbirds - 39,000+ (data of 1992-97) - and third, it is a refuge for more than 1% of the biogeographical populations of four waterbird species (Spoonbill, Scaup, Grey Plover, and Redshank). Main human uses comprise commercial fisheries, angling, boating, tourism and leisure activities. Some serious threats are posed to the site by intensive shellfish fisheries, non-industrial pollution, construction works of dykes, dams, barrages, and reclamation plans. Proposed for SAC under the Habitat Directive 92/43/EEC. Management plan exists. Ramsar site no. 1279.

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. Proposed for SAC under the Habitat Directive 92/43/EEC and for listing under the Dutch Nature Conservation Act. Management plan elaborated in 1992. Ramsar site no. 1280.

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.

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.

-- site descriptions by Sergei Dereliev, Ramsar

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
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