The Annotated Ramsar List: The Netherlands

12/02/2013

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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 51 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 865,059 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; 2,124 ha; 53°07'N 005°55'E. Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC); National Park. Alde Feanen is an area of freshwater lakes, reed lands, forested marshland and grasslands which make up one of the few remnants of an extensive peat bog landscape. The boundaries of the Ramsar Site have been adjusted to the boundaries of the Natura 2000 site. It supports rare and endangered species of birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and butterflies, and notable plants such as the critically endangered bog orchid (Hammarbia paludosa), making it important for maintaining the biological diversity of the Atlantic biogeographic region. Moreover, the Site is an important breeding, staging, moulting and wintering area, supporting more that 20,000 birds and up to 1% of the population of shoveler (Anas clypeata), gadwall (Anas strepera), barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis) and great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis). It also plays an important role in flood regulation and groundwater replenishment. As well as water management, the Site is used for farming, commercial fisheries, oil and gas extraction, and recreational activities such as angling and nautical sports. The main threats derive from drainage, pollution and eutrophication caused by farming activities, and habitat disturbance due to tourism. Ramsar Site no. 578. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Bargerveen. 07/01/93; Drenthe; 2082.5 ha; 52°41'N 007°02'E; Natura 2000 (SAC, SPA). The Site is a remnant of a vast raised bog, which used to cover both sides of the Dutch-German border. Currently the area is formed by subatlantic raised bogs in a landscape of dry and wet heaths, swamp forests, peatland and pools within seasonally flooded agricultural land. The Ramsar Site boundary has been amended to follow the Natura 2000 site, with some residential areas excluded. The Site is of international importance for various species of wintering geese and endangered species of breeding birds such as the common snipe (Gallinago gallinago) and whinchat (Saxicola rubetra). It also supports endangered plant species such as bog asphodel, dragonflies such as the bog hawker and butterflies such as the grizzled skipper. The Site plays an important role in groundwater replenishment and climate regulation, acting as a carbon sink. Human activities include tourism and water management. Drainage is the most important threat to the Site’s ecological character; however, hydrological measures have been implemented to promote the natural regeneration of the bog system. Ramsar site no. 581. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Biesbosch. 23/05/80; Noord-Brabant; 9,640 ha; 051°44’N 004°46’E. Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC), National Park. The Site, at the confluence of the Rhine and Meuse rivers, is formed by tidal freshwater floodplain marshes characterized by reedbeds, swamp forests and creeks. The original Ramsar Site, named De Biesbosch (southern part), was extended significantly to follow the Natura 2000 boundary, resulting in the addition of an area of over 6,800 ha. Biesbosch is rich in biodiversity and supports globally threatened species of waterbirds such as bittern (Botaurus stellaris) and spotted crake (Porzana porzana). It also regularly supports more than 20,000 wintering waterbirds, and the shallow waters play an important function as a spawning, nursery and feeding grounds for various fish and mollusc species. The Site’s hydrological values include flood control, sediment and nutrient retention, and water purification. It is also used for farming and reed cutting, and it hosts wind farms and commercial fisheries.  The threats to the ecological character of the Site include the continuing industrialization and urbanization of the surrounding areas. Ramsar site no. 197. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

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 & Polder Stein. 29/08/00; Zuid-Holland. 696 ha; 52°03’N 04°47’E; Natura 2000 (SPA), Habitat/Species Management Area. The complex of shallow slightly brackish lakes criss-crossed by land strips, peatlands, reed fringes, wet meadows and improved grasslands is near the city of Gouda. The current landscape has been formed by land reclamation and peat extraction. The Ramsar Site boundaries were aligned with the Natura 2000 site in 2014, resulting in a reduction of 14 ha. The Site is of international importance for the significant number of waterbirds which congregate there, with average peak numbers of over 50,000 from 2005/2006 to 2009/2010. It hosts nearly 3% of the western Siberian/northwestern-northeastern European population of the Eurasian wigeon and 1% of the individuals of northwestern European population of gadwall. The main human uses include boating, commercial fisheries, farming, and tourism. The Site is threatened by non-industrial pollution and the expansion of agricultural land. Ramsar Site no. 1240. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Deelen. 07/01/93; Friesland; 514 ha; 53°02’N  05°55’E; Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). The Ramsar Site, whose boundary has been adjusted to that of the Natura 2000 site, is one of the few remnants of an extensive peat bog landscape that once covered north-western Overijssel and Friesland. It is characterized by wet meadows, reedbeds, lakes and woodland. The Site is internationally important for endangered breeding birds such as bittern, purple heron and black tern, and it regularly supports more than 20,000 wintering waterbirds and more than 1% of the European populations of gadwall, shoveler and barnacle goose. It also plays a very important role in flood control and groundwater replenishment. Human activities include reed harvesting, farming, peat extraction, water management and recreation. The main threats to the Site’s ecological character derive from drainage and nutrient pollution from the surrounding farmland. The Dutch Bird Research Organisation SOVON coordinates a national bird monitoring programme at the Site. Ramsar site no. 579. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

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.

Deurnsche Peel & Mariapeel. 07/01/93; Noord-Brabant; 2,734 ha; 051°25’N 005°54’E; Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). The original Ramsar Site’s name (Deurnese Peelgebieden) and boundary have been amended to reflect the larger Natura 2000 site. The Site is a former raised bog, with marshland, open water, channels, heathlands, and forests dominated by birch, oak and pine. It is of great importance as a representative landscape type specific to the western European Plain, and it is notable as a resting place for migrating common cranes and tundra bean geese. Regeneration projects have led to substantial increases in the extent of peat moss species such as Sphagnum cuspidatum and to a lesser extent Spagnum fallax. The Site plays an important role in groundwater replenishment, and the land is used for farming, recreation and water management. Potential threats Site include agricultural intensification, overgrazing, drainage, infrastructure developments and tourism. Ramsar site no. 580. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Engbertsdijksvenen. 02/06/89; Overijssel; 998 ha; 052°29’N 006°40’E; Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). Engbertsdijksvenen is one of the last remaining raised bogs in the Netherlands, with dry heathland, birch forests, ditches and drainage channels. The Ramsar Site boundary has been aligned with the Natura 2000 boundary, resulting in the addition of an area of 105 ha. The Site is an important breeding, resting and moulting area for many species of duck, goose, swan and waders. It regularly supports protected species such as the common crane as well as more than 1% of the individuals of the population of tundra bean goose. The wetland plays an important role in groundwater replenishment and carbon sequestration. The main potential threat to its ecological character is drainage. Land use is dedicated to water management, recreation and tourism. There is a visitors’ centre and a national bird monitoring programme is carried out at the site by the Dutch Bird Research Organisation SOVON. Ramsar site no. 428. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Grevelingen. 29/08/00. Zuid-Holland, Zeeland. 13,753 ha; 51°45'N 004°00'E; Natura 2000 (SPA). The Site is an 18km-long intertidal area which was part of the former estuary of the Rhine and Meuse rivers until it was cut off from the North Sea in 1971. It is now a stagnant saline lake, mostly bordered by dykes, with some islets, sand dunes and wet meadows. The Ramsar Site boundary has been adjusted to the Natura 2000 site, and recreational areas, roads and agricultural land covering 78 ha have been excluded. The Site is particularly important for waterbirds: it supports large congregations with annual peaks averaging over 67,000 birds, while more than 1% of the biogeographical populations of 13 species of breeding and wintering birds are present. The main human uses are commercial fishing, water management, boating, tourism and leisure activities. The site is potentially threatened by encroaching industrialization and urbanization (with wind turbines creating specific threats), non-industrial pollution discharge and expanding recreational activities. Ramsar site no. 1272. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

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 was adjusted to the Natura 2000 site in 2014, 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). Formerly (together with Hollands Diep and De Biesbosch) one of the estuaries of the Rhine/Maas system, Haringvliet 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 Ramsar Site boundary was aligned to the Natura 2000 site in 2014, adding 152 ha to its area.  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 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. The Ramsar Site boundary was aligned to the Natura 2000 site in 2014, resulting in an overall increase of 89 ha.  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). IJsselmeer was cut off from the Wadden Sea by Afsluitdijk causeway in 1932, and about 45% of the territory was reclaimed as polders. It is now a vast shallow freshwater lake, the largest freshwater basin in the country. The boundaries of the Ramsar Site were aligned to the Natura 2000 site in 2014, resulting in an increase of over 5,000 hectares. 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; 3,843 ha; 52°36’N 05°45’E; Natura 2000 (SPA). The Site, which is formed by artificial freshwater lakes created by the construction of dikes in the reclaimed IJsselmeer polders, is aligned with the Natura 2000 site boundary. The lakes receive their water from river Rhine and river Ijssel. The Site is of international importance for endangered bird species such as bittern, spotted crake and great reed warbler. It regularly supports more than 20,000 wintering waterbirds, with an average peak number of over 21,000 between 2005/2006 and 2009/2010. The Site also supports more than 1% of the individuals of the northwestern European population of Gadwall. The lakes play an important role as water reservoirs for irrigating the surrounding agricultural land, while they are also used for boating, commercial fisheries, shipping traffic, water management and sand extraction. Serious threats are posed by reed cutting, aquaculture, pollution with nutrients increasing eutrophication, and the construction of a sludge depot. Ramsar site no. 1274. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Krammer-Volkerak. 04/09/95; Zeeland, Noord-Brabant, Zuid-Holland; 6,159 ha; 051°39’N 04°15’E. Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). The Site is a former tidal estuary of the Rhine-Maas river system, which was transformed into a permanent freshwater lake by its separation from the North Sea in 1987. The Ramsar Site boundary was adjusted to the Natura 2000 site in 2014. The Site’s islands, forested peatlands, mud flats and intertidal marshes are very important resting, moulting, feeding and breeding grounds for many species of waterbirds which are threatened in Europe, such as Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) and common tern (Sterna hirundo). The Site also supports over 50,000 wintering waterbirds and more than 1% of the population of eight bird species. Meanwhile it plays an important role in flood regulation. Human activities include commercial and recreational fishing, shipping traffic, nautical sports and water management. The main threats to the Site’s ecological character are pollution, eutrophication and bird disturbance from recreational activities. Ramsar site no. 747. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Lauwersmeer. 29/08/00; Groningen, Friesland; 5,754 ha; 053°22'N 006°13'E; Natura 2000 (SPA), National Park. The Site is a dammed estuary, which was part of the Waddenzee until it was closed off in 1969. It includes a shallow freshwater lake, marshes, wet grasslands and arable lands. The Ramsar Site boundary was aligned with the Natura 2000 Site in 2014, with a road and parking areas on the north side excluded. It hosts more than 20,000 wintering birds and over 1% of the biogeographic populations of 13 species of waterbirds. The Site also supports threatened mammals such as the otter (Lutra lutra) and pine marten (Martes martes), and endangered breeding birds such as the ruff (Philomachus pugnax), bittern (Botaurus stellaris) and Montagu`s harrier (Circus pygargus). It also plays an important role in water supply and the maintenance of the hydrological balance of the region. Human activities include tourism, commercial fishing, shipping, boating and farming. The main threats to the Site’s ecological character are the disturbance of birds by military training and tourism, and the impacts of mining and gas exploration, reed cutting, non-industrial pollution and eutrophication. Significant research and monitoring is carried out within the Site.  Ramsar Site no. 1247. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Leekstermeergebied. 29/08/00; Groningen, Drenthe; 1,543 ha; 053°11'N 006°26'E; Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC), Habitat/Species Management Area. The Site is a freshwater lake, part of the river Rhine catchment area, surrounded by reedbeds, peatbogs and pastures with small marshes and wet grasslands within seasonally flooded agricultural land. The Ramsar Site boundary was adjusted to the Natura 2000 site in 2014, with some residential and recreation areas excluded. The Site supports vulnerable species of breeding bird such as the corn crake (Crex crex) and spotted crake (Porzana porzana), and is of international importance for ducks and geese during migration and wintering periods. It also supports more than 1% of the individuals of the northwestern Siberian / northwestern-northeastern European population of white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons). The lake serves as a drain for the surrounding polders and provides water for irrigation. The main human uses include commercial fishing, boating, tourism and water management. The Site is threatened by drainage, unnatural water level management and eutrophication. Ramsar site no. 1248. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

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.

Markiezaat. 03/02/14; Zeeland, Noord-Brabant; 1,832 ha; 051°28’N 004°16’E; Natura 2000 (SPA). Following Natura 2000 boundaries, the former Oosterschelde en Markiezaat Ramsar Site was in 2014 divided into two Ramsar Sites, the larger Oosterschelde (Site no. 354) and the smaller Markiezaat. This led to an increase in their combined area of 810 ha, with the new Markiezaat boundary including 10 ha of newly-designated area. The Site consists of former tidal channels and creeks, mud flats, salt marshes and higher grounds with young shifting dunes. An internationally important area for European threatened breeding birds such as the Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) and Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrines), it also regularly supports more than 20,000 wintering birds and more than 1% of the populations of five species of waterbirds. Land use is dedicated to dairy farming, forestry and outdoor recreation. There is a visitor centre, hiking trails and observation hides within the Site. The main threats are posed by intensification of agriculture, the industrialization and urbanization of surrounding areas, waste water discharge and the construction of infrastructure such as power lines. Ramsar Site no. 2211. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

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, and also 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. 03/04/87; Zeeland; 36,978 ha; 051°33’N 004°00’E. Natura 2000 (SPA/SAC), National Park. The former Oosterschelde en Markiezaat Ramsar Site was in 2014 divided into two Ramsar Sites, the larger Oosterschelde and the smaller Markiezaat, following Natura 2000 boundaries. This led to an increase in their combined area of 810 ha. Oosterschelde, a large area of intertidal waters with mudflats, is an important component of the West Paleartic Flyway, with international importance due to the wintering, staging and breeding of a large number of waterbirds there. The Site also supports threatened birds such as the Sandwich tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis), Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) and avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), and is also an important spawning ground for many fish species including garpike (Belone belone), sole (Solea solea) and plaice (Pleuronectus platessa). In addition, European critically endangered aquatic mammals such as the harbour porpoise and harbour seal regularly use the Site. The marshland plays an important role in flood mitigation. Human activities are related to tourism and the fishing and shellfish industries. Potential threats to the ecological character of this wetland include the disturbance of birds by recreational activities and a reduction in the tidal volume and flow speed caused by the construction of dykes, dams and barriers. Ramsar site no. 354. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Oostvaardersplassen. 02/06/89; Flevoland; 5,477 ha; 52°26’N 05°21’E. Natura 2000 (SPA). The Site is an extensive area of shallow lakes, pools, marshes, reedbeds, Salix woodland and grassland within seasonally flooded agricultural land on the shore of the Markermeer. The Ramsar Site boundary has been aligned with the Natura 2000 site boundary, and dikes with roads have been excluded, resulting in a reduction of 28 ha in the area covered. The Site is of international importance for the biological diversity of the Atlantic biogeographic region. It supports threatened species of breeding birds such as spotted crake (Porzana porzana) and little bittern (Ixobrychus minutus). It also regularly supports more than 30,000 wintering waterbirds and more than 1% of the individuals of the north-west european population of gadwall (Anas strepera) and tufted duck (Aythya fuligula). Otters have also been observed. The Site plays an important role in flood regulation.  Land use is dedicated to water management and tourism. There are a visitors’ centre and observation hides. The main threat to the Site is bird disturbance from recreation activities. Ramsar Site no. 427. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Oudegaasterbrekken, Fluessen en omgeving. 29/08/00; Friesland; 3,054 ha; 052°59’N 005°31’E. Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). Fluessen / Vogelhoek / Morra (Ramsar Site no. 1243) and Oudegaasterbrekken (Ramsar Site no. 1276) were combined in 2014 to form one Ramsar Site following Natura 2000 boundaries. The new Site is a complex of freshwater lakes surrounded by seasonally flooded agricultural land, reed beds, pastures and peat polders. It is located in the river Rhine catchment area, south west of the city of Sneek. The Site regularly supports more than 1% of the population of barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis), as well as more than 20,000 wintering waterbirds. It is also a very important feeding and resting area for species which are threatened in Europe, such as the spotted crake (Porzana porzana), smew (Mergellus albellus) and ruff (Philomachus pugnax). The water in the lakes is used to irrigate intensively farmed polders during the summer. Other human activities include commercial fishing, recreation and boating, water management, conservation and research. The main threats to the ecological character of the Site are nutrient pollution and the adverse affects of tourism. A management plan for the Site was being prepared in 2013. Ramsar Site no. 1243. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Rottige Meenthe & Brandemeer. 29/08/00; Friesland; 1,369 ha; 52°51’N 05°53’E; Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). The Site is an open landscape of seasonally flooded agricultural land with small ponds and canals made by past peat excavations. The boundary of the Ramsar Site was in 2014 aligned with the Natura 2000 site by adding the 234 ha Brandemeer Nature Reserve. 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.

Sneekermeergebied. 29/08/00; Friesland; 2,279 ha; 53°01’N 05°46’E; Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). The Sneekermeer, Goengarijpsterpoelen, Terkaplesterpoelen en Akmarijp Ramsar Site was renamed Sneekermeergebied in 2014; the boundary was aligned with the Natura 2000 site and some recreation and residential areas were excluded. The Site is a complex of freshwater lakes formed by peat extraction activities, and adjoining marshlands and wet meadows within seasonally flooded agricultural land. It is of international importance for maintaining the biological diversity of the Atlantic biogeographic region. It regularly supports endangered species of breeding birds such as spotted crake, ruff and corn crake, and more than 20,000 wintering waterbirds with an average peak number of over 39,000 between 2005/2006 and 2009/2010. The lakes play an important role as water reservoir for irrigation, and are also used for boating and tourism, farming, commercial fisheries, water management, conservation and research. The main threats are nutrient pollution from intensive farming on surrounding polders, eutrophication from water from the River Rhine, peat extraction, drainage and land reclamation for agriculture. Ramsar site no. 1250. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Veerse Meer. 29/08/00; Zeeland; 2,539 ha; 51°32'N 003°44'E. Natura 2000 (SPA). Formerly part of the Oosterschelde estuary (closed in 1961), the Site is now a 20km-long stagnant brackish lake with sandbanks and small islands, surrounded by wet meadows, improved grasslands, arable lands and some wood plantations. The Ramsar Site boundary was aligned with the Natura 2000 site in 2014; farmland and the dyke separating the western end of the lake from the North Sea were excluded. Veerse Meer hosts significant concentrations of waterbirds (with average peaks of nearly 38,000 between 2005/2006 and 2009/2010) and provides refuge to more than 1% of the biogeographic population of Eurasian wigeon (Anas Penelope). The lake acts as a storage basin for surplus water pumped from the surrounding polders until it is discharged into the Oosterschelde. Human uses include commercial fishing, farming, tourism and boating. The Site is threatened by nutrient pollution causing eutrophication, and by recreational activities and the Midden-Zeeland airport which cause disturbance to birds. In 2004 a sluice was constructed in the Zandkreekdam, which separates the eastern end of the lake from the Oosterschelde, to allow more natural water management and improvement of the water quality. Ramsar site no. 1251. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Veluwerandmeren. 29/08/2000; Flevoland, Gelderland, Overijssel; 6,124 ha; 052°24’N 005°43’E. Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). Drontermeer (Site no. 1242, 600 ha) was combined with Veluwemeer (Site no. 1278, 3,150 ha) and Wolderwijd en Nuldernauw (Site no. 1281, 2,600 ha) in 2014 and adjusted to follow the boundary of the Veluwerandmeren Natura 2000 site. The newly-defined Site is formed by three lakes situated between the dikes of the Flevoland polder and the mainland. It regularly supports more than 20,000 wintering waterbirds and more than 1% of the northwestern European populations of tufted duck Aythya fuligula, mute swan Cygnus olor and red-crested pochard Netta rufina. The Site also supports threatened species of plants, mosses, mushrooms, molluscs and fish which are important for maintaining the biodiversity of the Atlantic biogeographic region. It maintains the hydrological balance of the region and is an important fresh water reservoir during periods of drought. The lakes are used for shipping, commercial fisheries, sand extraction, water management, recreation and tourism, conservation and research. The main factors threatening their ecological character include the extension and deepening of the shipping lane, impacts from the extraction industry, pollution, eutrophication, and disturbance from recreation activities. A management plan was being prepared in 2013. Ramsar site no. 1242. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

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 was aligned with the Natura 2000 site in 2014, 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 had been approved in 2013. Ramsar Site no. 1279. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Voornes Duin. 29/08/00; Zuid-Holland; 1,432 ha; 051°53’N 04°03’E. Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). The Site represents the least damaged dune system of the Netherlands. It is located between Oostvoorne and Harlingvliet, just 20 km south of the capital The Hague. The Ramsar boundary has been adjusted to the Natura 2000 site, including the addition of a new area of 45 ha. The area includes two lakes – Breedewater and Quackjeswater – and mesotrophic dune slacks surrounded by alder woodland and wet dune valleys. The Site supports rich vegetation including endangered plant species such as water germander and fen orchid, and is of particular importance for many breeding birds such as the Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) and great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo). The dunes play an important role in shoreline stabilization and water purification. Land use is dedicated to water management, tourism, conservation and research. The main factors adversely affecting the Site’s ecological character come from the surrounding area: the construction of a harbour and an industrial area will influence the salt spray and dynamics of shifting dunes. Moreover, the partial opening of the sluices in Haringvliet dam will also influence the hydrology of the Site. Ramsar site no. 1280. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

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; 3,329 ha; 052°47’N 05°55’E. Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC), National Park. The Ramsar Site boundary has been adjusted to the Natura 2000 site, resulting in the addition of an area of 790 ha. The Site is a low-lying peatland formed by bogs, marshland, reedbeds, wet meadows, pools, channels, heathland, and woodland. It is an important breeding area for numerous species of endangered waterbirds including bittern, purple heron and black tern. It also supports notable species of plants, fish and butterflies. European otter have been reintroduced since 2002 and healthy and expanding populations have developed. The Site is part of the catchment area of the river Rhine and it plays an important role in flood regulation and groundwater recharge. Human activities include farming, reed cutting, commercial fisheries, angling and other recreation activities, as well as water management. Potential threats to its ecological character include drainage, eutrophication, pollution and animal disturbance caused by recreational activities. There is a visitors’ centre at the site and biodiversity monitoring activities are carried out by the Dutch Bird Research Organisation. Ramsar Site no. 193. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Westerschelde & Saeftinghe. 04/09/95; Zeeland; 43,647 ha; 051°22’N 003°48’E; Natura 2000 (SPA, SAC). The boundary of the ‘Westerschelde en Verdronken Land van Saeftinge’ Ramsar Site was aligned with the Natura 2000 site in 2014 and renamed to reflect the Natura 2000 site name. Westerschelde & Saeftinghe covers the entire estuary of the River Scheldestretching stretching 60 km from the border with Belgium to the North Sea. The Site is one of the largest and most intact examples of Atlantic salt marshes in Europe. The extensive mudflats and sandbanks regularly support more than 20,000 wintering waterbirds and more than 1% of the respective biogeographic populations of 18 bird species, as well as many other endangered breeding birds such as the Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) and Sandwich tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis). In addition, the mudflats support endangered molluscs, and the tidal waters are important spawning grounds for migratory fish including sea lamprey and twaite shad (Alosa fallax). The harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) regularly uses the Site. Land use is dedicated to farming, birdwatching, tourism, commercial fisheries, shipping, conservation and research. The main threats to the ecological character of the Site are posed by aquaculture, industrialization, urbanization, the extension of harbours, dredging and canalization, the construction of wind farms, pollution and eutrophication. Ramsar site no. 748. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

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; 2,087 ha; 53°08’N 06°41’E; Natura 2000 site (SPA). Zuidlaardermeer is a natural freshwater lake surrounded by reedbeds and an extensive area of wet grasslands. The Ramsar Site boundary has been aligned with the Natura 2000 site, and some residential areas, farmland and a sluice complex have been excluded. The Site is of international importance for maintaining biological diversity within the Atlantic biogeographic region. It regularly supports endangered species of breeding birds such as great bittern and spotted crake, and more than 20,000 wintering waterbirds, with an average peak number of almost 22,000 between 2005/2006 and 2009/2010. The main human uses include commercial fisheries, water management, boating, farming, tourism and other leisure activities. The Site is threatened by non-industrial pollution, drainage and disturbance of birds. Ramsar Site no. 1282. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

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; 2,162 ha; 52°38’N 05°58’E; Natura 2000 (SAC, SPA). The Site comprises a large shallow lake with extensive reed marshes, floodplains, and a human-made island (Vogeleiland). The Ramsar Site boundary was adjusted in 2014 to reflect the Natura 2000 site, while Noordoostpolder dike was excluded. It is an internationally important area for wintering and foraging waterbirds such as purple heron (Ardea purpurea) and Savi’s warbler (Locustella luscinioides). In addition, the Site supports endangered species of mosses and plants which are important for maintaining the biological diversity of the Atlantic biogeographic region. It plays an important role in flood control, and sediment and nutrient retention. Human activities include commercial fishing, shipping, nautical sports and water management. The main threats to the Site’s ecological character derive from the construction of dykes and dams, from reed cutting and nutrient pollution. Ramsar site no. 749. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

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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