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Belgium
0 km
0 km2
4

Summary/History
The Belgian coastal zone lies on the east side of the North Sea; although small it comprises several important habitat types including very shallow sandbanks that supports a range of seabirds including the Black Scoter (NT). A scientific survey is on-going to look at extending the SCI Trapegeer Stroombank towards the Hinder Banks; evidence suggests that giving this area SCI protection will also enrich the basis of the marine ecosystem thereby benefiting marine and coastal seabirds.
Current threats to seabirds in the Belgian North Sea include:
o Industry including mineral extraction
o Shipping interactions and pollution
o Fisheries
o Eutrophication as a result of the influx of nutrients
o Recreational disturbance

National priorities
The BirdLlife Partner for Belgium, Natuurprunt , has several recommendations based on scientific evidence:
o Further designation of marine SPAs and IBAs which should focus on areas with high seabird density and diversity as well as feeding areas
o The designation of the areas Vlakte van de Raan and Baai van Heist as MPAs
o Designation of

Government's support/relevant policy
Several MPAs exist within the Belgian 12 nm territorial limit comprising; one area under the Ramsar convention, several areas under the EU Birds and Habitats Directives and one marine reserve. In 2001 a Royal Decree was issued in Belgium legally protecting all birds in the marine waters. Three SPAs have been proposed in Nieuwpoort, Ostend and the harbour of Zeebruge to target the protection of the most suitable habitats for seven specific seabird species: Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Great-crested Grebe, Common Scoter, Little Gull, Great Skua and Little Tern. Please see policy tab for list of agreements that this country is party to.



44 (39th)

Albatrosses
0
Penguins
0
Petrels and shearwaters
0
Cormorants
2

Storm-petrels
0
Auks
4
Gulls and terns
15
Ducks, geese and swans
8



IUCN Red List Status - Marine species

0
0
2 (93rd)
5% (119th)
0
1
1
1
41
0

References
o Haelters, J., Vigin, L., Stienen, E., Scory, S., Kuijken, E., and Jacques, T. (2004). Importance Ornithologique des espaces marins de la Belgique. Bulletin de L?Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique. Vol 74 Suppl., 90 pp.
o Slabbinck, B., Verschoore, K., Van Gompel, J., and Hugenholtz, E.,( 2008). Natuurgebieden in de Noordzee voor natuur


Recommended Citation:
BirdLife International (2014) Country profile: Belgium. Available from: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/country/belgium. Checked: 2014-04-17

Belgium at a glance

Capital

Brussels

Area

30,528km2

BirdLife Partner

BirdLife Belgium

Species

Total number of birds 264
Globally threatened birds 4
Country endemics 0

Important Bird Areas

Number of IBAs 48
Total IBA area 648,298 ha

Endemic Bird Areas

Number of EBAs 0