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Location Netherlands, Friesland,Groningen,Noord-Holland
Central coordinates 5o 23.00' East  53o 18.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, C2, C3, C4
Area 272,100 ha
Altitude
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Vogelbescherming Nederland



Site description Together with the Danish and German sections, the Wadden Sea (Waddenzee) is the largest intertidal area in Europe. Important habitats of the ecosystem include mudflats, sandflats, saltmarshes, shallowly submerged sandbanks, and estuaries. The Dutch section is bounded by the Waddeneilanden and the mainland. It was separated from Lake IJsselmeer (site 034) in 1932 and from the Lauwerszee (015) in 1969. The Wadden Sea IBA includes the main part of the intertidal system but the main isles (005, 009), the bays (013, 017) and the saltmarshes/forelands (002-004, 006-008, 010-014, 016) have been considered as separate sites. The area covered by the Wadden Sea Memorandum (national policy paper), of which the boundary is determined by the mean of the annual maximum high-water mark, overlaps with these sites and has a total area of 272,100 ha. Human activities include extraction of natural gas and of sand, and shellfish fisheries.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta non-breeding  1991  5,384 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis winter  1991  28,491 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Brent Goose Branta bernicla non-breeding  1990  56,080 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna non-breeding  1990  45,236 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope winter  1991  61,350 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata non-breeding  1991  1,249 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca non-breeding  1991  4,153 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Greater Scaup Aythya marila winter  1990  21,319 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Eider Somateria mollissima non-breeding  1994  79,545 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo non-breeding  1991  2,811 individuals  medium  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus non-breeding  1990  255,916 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta non-breeding  1991  15,557 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola non-breeding  1990  29,265 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus non-breeding  1990  12,694 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica winter  1991  17,045 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica passage  1991  84,388 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata non-breeding  1990  92,462 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  1991  57,693 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus non-breeding  1991  1,914 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia non-breeding  1990  2,120 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres winter  1990  2,341 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus passage  1991  46,732 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus winter  1991  41,117 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina non-breeding  1990  182,674 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  1991  56,985 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds non-breeding  1990-1991  unknown  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1990-1991  unknown  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  1990-1991  unknown  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Duinen Ameland - NL2003057 Habitats Directive 2,016 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Duinen Ameland - NL3009005 Birds Directive 2,055 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Duinen Schiermonnikoog - NL2003058 Habitats Directive 1,021 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Duinen Schiermonnikoog - NL3009006 Birds Directive 1,043 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Duinen Terschelling - NL2003059 Habitats Directive 5,101 protected area overlaps with site 239  
Duinen Terschelling - NL3009007 Birds Directive 3,221 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Duinen Texel - NL3009008 Birds Directive 3,102 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Duinen Texel, Waal en Burg, Dijkmanshuizen en De Bol - NL2003060 Habitats Directive 4,657 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Duinen Vlieland - NL2003061 Habitats Directive 1,532 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Duinen Vlieland - NL3009009 Birds Directive 1,398 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Eems-Dollard - NL2007001 Habitats Directive 4,153 protected area contained by site 4,153  
Noordzeekustzone - NL2003062 Habitats Directive 24,838 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Noordzeekustzone - NL9802001 Birds Directive 123,646 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Noordzeekustzone II - NL2008004 Habitats Directive 118,658 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Waddensea Area UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 260,000 protected area contains site 233,855  
Waddenzee - NL1000001 Habitats Directive 259,214 protected area overlaps with site 263,050  
Waddenzee - NL9801001 Birds Directive 272,027 protected area overlaps with site 270,756  
Waddenzee (Wadden Sea) Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 249,998 protected area contains site 233,855  
Waddenzee I Natural Monument 125,000 protected area overlaps with site 108,000  
Waddenzee II Natural Monument 80,000 protected area overlaps with site 79,700  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Mud flats & sand flats; Tidal rivers & enclosed tidal waters  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture 90%
military 18%
nature conservation and research 85%
tourism/recreation 100%
urban/industrial/transport 11%

Protection status National Partial International HighAbout 108,000 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Waddenzee I, 125,000 ha). 79,700 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Waddenzee II, 80,000 ha). 233,855 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Waddenzee, `250,000 ha' [official, incorrect figure]). 233,855 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Waddenzee, `250,000 ha' [official, incorrect figure]). 233,855 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (Waddenzee, 260,000 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Wadden Sea. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/04/2014

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