European countries complete updates of their Ramsar Sites

16 October 2018
Rétszilas Fishponds Nature Conservation Area, Hungary

A number of Contracting Parties in Europe have worked with the Convention Secretariat to update the information on all their Wetlands of International Importance in the Ramsar Sites Information Service (RSIS, see

Hungary has published updated information on all its 29 Ramsar Sites. The most recently updated is Fishponds and Marshlands south of Lake Balaton (Ramsar Site no. 1963), which consists of several sub-sites south of Lake Balaton, the largest freshwater lake in Central Europe and also a Ramsar Site (Site no. 421).

Information on all Hungary’s Sites can be found here.

Norway has now published updated information on its 63 Ramsar Sites. Some changes to the Sites’ boundaries resulted from better delineation of the boundaries, while six of the Sites have been extended.

Ilene and Presterodkilen Wetland System (Site no. 308) consists of two separate nature reserves. Ilene lies at the mouth of the Aulielva River, while Presterødkilen is a shallow coastal bay surrounded by reedbeds. The Site has been extended by 39 hectares so that the boundaries follow those of the nature reserves.

Trondheimfjord wetland system

Lista Wetlands System (Site no. 804), a system of shallow bays, beaches, dune systems and lakes, has been extended by 449 ha through the addition of the Slevdalsvann subsite and the extension of others, so that the boundaries match those of existing protected areas.

Trondheimfjord wetland system (Site no. 1198) consists of 13 subsites with sheltered intertidal mudflats, salt marshes, permanent shallow marine waters and rocky shores. There are also the two largest river estuaries in the fjord. The area increased by 86 ha as two of the subsites were merged with neighbouring protected areas.

Froan Nature Reserve and Landscape Protection Area (Site no. 809) is a coastal nature reserve in the outermost coastal zone. An area of 30 ha was removed from the Ramsar Site and another of 440 ha added as compensation. This, together with better delineation of boundaries, led to a 697-hectare increase in the Site area.

Balsfjord Wetland System (Site no. 1186) comprises three large marine tidal areas in the Balsfjorden fjord: Kobbevågen, Sørkjosleira and Grindøysundet, which was added in 2017.

Nordre Oyeren (Site no. 307) is northern Europe’s largest inland delta. The Site now includes Sørumsneset nature reserve and a separate area to the north composed of Stilla, Holmen and Jølsen nature reserves.

Information on Norway’s Sites can be found here.

Sweden has completed the process of updating the information on its 68 Ramsar Sites. A number of them have been extended, to align the boundaries with national protected areas or to include ecologically important habitats.

The boundaries of Gotlands ostkust (Site no. 21) have been extended to better correspond to other protected areas. The Site includes six subsites along the east coast of the Baltic island of Gotland.

Ottenby (Site no. 17) has been extended to match the boundaries of the existing nature reserve and Natura 2000 site. Areas and shore meadows were added and small areas of open water and non-wetland habitats were excluded.

Östen (Site no. 433) has been extended by nearly 50%, to reflect the boundaries of protected areas and to include dry, mostly arable land important for staging birds.

The boundaries of Komosse (Site no. 1121), one of the most valuable peat bog complexes in north-western Europe, were adjusted to match those of corresponding nature reserves, leading to an increase of around 200 ha.

Stigfjorden (Site no. 431), a marine bay fringed by meadows and deciduous forests with many islands, has been extended by nearly 400 hectares to include a large area of open water.

Tärnasjön (Site no. 29), a large alpine freshwater lake with an extensive archipelago and the southernmost palsa mires in Sweden, was extended to incorporate the Mire Protection Plan Site “Tärnasjön och Ånkardalen” and other wetland types, resulting in an increase in area of over 11,000 ha.

Les Grangettes

Övre Sulån (Site no. 1130), consists of an oligotrophic lake (Sulsjön) and the upper part of a narrow, winding stream (Sulån). Peatlands, marshes and fresh water forests are also present. The Site has been known previously as Sulsjön-Sulån and its boundaries have changed to include important wetland habitats and to exclude areas of no international conservation value.

Information on Sweden’s Sites can be found at the Ramsar Sites Information Service here.

Switzerland has published updated information on all its 11 Sites. They are very diverse, ranging from glacial foreheads and mountainous peatlands to artificial lakes and alluvial plains.

Les Grangettes (Site no. 504), which is located at the delta of the River Rhône where it enters Lake Geneva, was extended in 2011 by addition of a large section of Lake Geneva, which resulted in the area increasing from 330 ha to 6,342 ha.

Information on all Switzerland’s Sites can be found here.