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Location Netherlands, Friesland,Groningen,Noord-Holland
Central coordinates 5o 0.00' East  53o 20.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 187,000 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Vogelbescherming Nederland

Site description An extensive area of coastal waters, extending from the Eems/Dollard estuary and German border in the east across to Groet (Noord-Holland) in the south. The area is adjacent to 11 IBAs (001, 003-004, 006-012, 019). The outer boundary follows roughly the line of 20 metres depth. Important habitats include shallowly submerged sandbanks.

Key Biodiversity The number of Somateria mollissima increased during the winters of 1992/93 and 1993/94 due to food shortage in the Wadden Sea.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Common Eider Somateria mollissima non-breeding  1989-1993  22,125 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Melanitta nigra winter  1989-1993  94,250 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Arctic Loon Gavia arctica winter  1990  750 individuals  medium  C6  Least Concern 
Red-throated Loon Gavia stellata winter  1990  7,000 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C2, C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1993  100,000-499,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds non-breeding  1993  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Noordzeekustzone II - NL2008004 Habitats Directive 118,658 protected area overlaps with site 141,828  
The Wadden Sea World Heritage Site 968,393 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Waddeneilanden,Noordzeekustzone,Breebaart Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 135,000 protected area overlaps with site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Sea Open Sea  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture 100%
tourism/recreation 20%
urban/industrial/transport 20%

Protection status National None International None

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: North Sea north of the Wadden Sea. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife