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Location Netherlands, Zeeland
Central coordinates 3o 50.00' East  51o 23.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 50,800 ha
Altitude
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Vogelbescherming Nederland



Site description A tidal estuary of the River Schelde with mudflats, sandbanks and raised saltmarsh (Verdronken Land van Saeftinghe, 3,500 ha), and the only estuary in south-west Netherlands which will be allowed to remain open to the sea. The estuary is 60 km long from the Belgian border up to the North Sea, and is adjacent to the Voordelta (020) in the west.

Key Biodiversity An important roost for tens of thousands of geese Anser from Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, but numbers of Anser albifrons in particular have been poorly covered by counts.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta non-breeding  1991  3,343 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons winter  1991  7,782 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Greylag Goose Anser anser non-breeding  1991  14,921 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna non-breeding  1991  4,728 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  1990  23,385 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia non-breeding  1991  57 individuals  good  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Haematopus ostralegus non-breeding  1991  14,427 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  1991  180 breeding pairs  good  B3  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta non-breeding  1992  1,207 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Charadrius alexandrinus non-breeding  1990  752 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Charadrius alexandrinus breeding  1991  70 breeding pairs  good  B2  Not Recognised 
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola non-breeding  1991  3,542 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula non-breeding  1990  4,153 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus non-breeding  1991  2,029 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica winter  1991  1,078 individuals  good  B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata non-breeding  1991  6,122 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  1991  3,185 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus non-breeding  1990  906 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus winter  1991  1,083 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina non-breeding  1990  28,236 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  1991  21,960 individuals  good  B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus breeding  1991  3 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  1991  537 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  1991  1,580 breeding pairs  good  C2, C6  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1991  136 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds non-breeding  1990-1991  50,000-99,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1990-1991  50,000-99,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

2013 very high not assessed low
unset
Unknown

Climate change and severe weather habitat shifting and alteration happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - large dams happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Pollution industrial & military effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Transportation and service corridors shipping lanes happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  No management plan exists but the management planning process has begun  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Braakman Nature Reserve 189 protected area contained by site 189  
Inlaag 1887 Nature Reserve 18 protected area contained by site 18  
Kapelle Bank Nature Conservation Law 14 protected area contained by site 14  
Rammekens Nature Reserve 69 protected area contained by site 69  
Saeftinghe Nature Reserve 544 protected area contained by site 544  
Schor bij Bath Nature Reserve 248 protected area contained by site 248  
Schor Bij Ossendrecht Nature Conservation Law 34 protected area overlaps with site 34  
Schor van Waarde Natural Monument 99 protected area contained by site 99  
Schor Van Waarde Nature Conservation Law 21 protected area contained by site 76  
Verdronken Land van Saeftinge Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 3,500 protected area contained by site 3,500  
Verdronken Land van Saeftinge I Natural Monument 2,400 protected area contained by site 2,400  
Verdronken Land van Saeftinge II Natural Monument 1,100 protected area contained by site 1,100  
Westerschelde - NL9803061 Habitats Directive 42,840 protected area overlaps with site 48,895  
Westerschelde & Saeftinghe - NL9802026 Birds Directive 19,298 protected area overlaps with site 27,966  
Westerschelde en Verdronken Land van Saeftinge Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 19,500 protected area contained by site 16,000  
Zuidgors Nature Reserve 163 protected area contained by site 163  
Zwarte Polder Natural Monument 28 protected area contained by site 28  
Zwarte Polder II Natural Monument 92 protected area contained by site 92  

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 5%
fisheries/aquaculture 50%
hunting 25%
nature conservation and research 11%
tourism/recreation 80%
urban/industrial/transport 50%

Protection status National Low International Low2,400 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Verdronken Land van Saeftinge I, 2,400 ha). 1,100 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Verdronken Land van Saeftinge II, 1,100 ha). 28 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Zwarte Polder, 28 ha). 92 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Zwarte Polder II, 92 ha). 99 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Schor van Waarde, 99 ha). 1 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Schor van Waarde, 1 ha). 189 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Braakman, 189 ha). 18 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Inlaag 1887, 18 ha). 14 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Kapelle Bank, 14 ha). 69 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Rammekens, 69 ha). 544 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Saeftinghe, 544 ha). 248 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Schor bij Bath, 248 ha). 34 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Schor bij Ossendrecht, 53 ha). 163 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Zuidgors, 163 ha). 76 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Schor van Waarde, 76 ha). 3,500 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Verdronken Land van Saeftinge, 3,500 ha). 3,500 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Verdronken Land van Saeftinge, 3,500 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Westerschelde and Saeftinghe. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2014

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