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Location Denmark, Ringkøbing Amtskommune
Central coordinates 8o 14.00' East  56o 21.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C3, C6
Area 10,890 ha
Altitude 0 - 7m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Dansk Ornitologisk Forening

Site description A shallow brackish fjord connected by sluices to the North Sea, with coastal saltmarshes and reedbeds, and heathland vegetation on Fjandø Island.

Key Biodiversity This is an important staging area for Cygnus cygnus, C. columbianus, Anser brachyrhynchus and Limosa lapponica; however, numbers of most winter and passage visitors have declined (since the 1980s) to below 20,000 birds in total, due to nutrient pollution. Also a disease affecting the formerly extensive areas of eel-grass Zostera has affected foraging, especially for swans Cygnus and Branta bernicla. Several species listed on Annex I of the EC Birds Directive breed at the site, including Botaurus stellaris, Circus aeruginosus, Recurvirostra avosetta, Philomachus pugnax, Sterna sandvicensis, S. hirundo, S. paradisaea and S. albifrons.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus non-breeding  1983  3,750 individuals  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus non-breeding  1983  1,000 individuals  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus non-breeding  1989  320 individuals  A4i, B1i, B2, C2  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna non-breeding  4,445 individuals  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca non-breeding  1989  4,000 individuals  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo breeding  1994  770 breeding pairs  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica passage  1983  6,500 individuals  A4i, B1i, C2  Near Threatened 
Dunlin Calidris alpina non-breeding  1983  15,000 individuals  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Mew Gull Larus canus breeding  1995  800-1,200 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  1994  1,050 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2010 not assessed very unfavourable not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Anser anser Greylag Goose 4500 4500 individuals 100 favourable
Branta leucopsis Barnacle Goose 10000 10000 individuals 100 favourable
Mergus serrator Red-breasted Merganser 1900 18 individuals 1 very unfavourable
Phalacrocorax carbo Great Cormorant 770 93 breeding pairs 13 very unfavourable
Charadrius alexandrinus 7 0 breeding pairs 0 very unfavourable
Larus ridibundus Black-headed Gull 8000 5000 individuals 63 unfavourable

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Nissum Fjord Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 10,890 protected area contains site 10,890  
Nissum Fjord Wildlife Reserve 7,000 protected area contained by site 7,208  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  25%
Coastline Salt marshes  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 30%
unknown 70%

Protection status National Partial International High10,890 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Nissum Fjord, 11,600 ha). 10,890 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Nissum Fjord, 10,890 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Nissum Fjord. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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