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Location Denmark, Ribe Amtskommune,Sønderjyllands Amtskommune
Central coordinates 8o 32.00' East  55o 16.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 115,850 ha
Altitude 0 - 1m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Dansk Ornitologisk Forening



Site description The Wadden Sea is characterized by intertidal mud and sandflats between the mainland and the barrier islands. The flats are traversed by deeper water channels. There are coastal marshes grazed by sheep and cattle and reclaimed coastal marshland behind the dykes with permanent grass and some arable land.

Key Biodiversity An extremely important staging area: at least 20 waterbird species congregate in internationally important numbers in winter or on passage, totalling hundreds of thousands of birds. Circus aeruginosus, C. pygargus, Recurvirostra avosetta, Philomachus pugnax, Sterna hirundo, S. paradisaea and S. albifrons, listed on Annex I of the EC Birds Directive, breed at the site, some in large numbers.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Northern Pintail Anas acuta non-breeding  1994  4,000 individuals  medium  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus non-breeding  1994  10,000 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis non-breeding  1994  7,700 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Brent Goose Branta bernicla non-breeding  1994  15,000 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna non-breeding  1994  31,200 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope non-breeding  1994  48,700 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Eider Somateria mollissima non-breeding  1994  42,600 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Melanitta nigra non-breeding  1994  35,000 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Haematopus ostralegus non-breeding  1994  31,000 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta passage  1994  6,500 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  1991  1,066 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B3, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria non-breeding  1994  43,600 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola non-breeding  1994  5,500 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus non-breeding  1994  1,680 individuals  medium  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus breeding  1991  514 breeding pairs  B2  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica non-breeding  1994  35,400 individuals  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Red Knot Calidris canutus non-breeding  1994  24,100 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Sanderling Calidris alba non-breeding  1994  3,000 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina non-breeding  1994  365,000 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1991  43 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds non-breeding  1994  500,000-999,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C3, C4   

IBA Monitoring

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

Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high

Anser anser Greylag Goose 3700 3700 individuals 100 favourable
Tadorna tadorna Common Shelduck 37040 37040 individuals 100 favourable
Phalacrocorax carbo Great Cormorant 1479 775 individuals 53 unfavourable
Circus pygargus Montagu's Harrier 1 1 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Circus aeruginosus Western Marsh-harrier 4 2 breeding pairs 50 unfavourable
Charadrius alexandrinus 66 66 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Charadrius alexandrinus 118 112 individuals 95 favourable
Numenius arquata Eurasian Curlew 15264 15264 individuals 100 favourable
Calidris alpina Dunlin 28 12 breeding pairs 43 unfavourable
Calidris pugnax Ruff 40 1 nests 3 very unfavourable
Sterna nilotica 12 3 breeding pairs 25 very unfavourable
Larus argentatus 28200 28200 individuals 100 favourable
Larus canus Mew Gull 7600 7000 individuals 93 favourable
Larus marinus Great Black-backed Gull 2825 2825 individuals 100 favourable
Larus ridibundus Black-headed Gull 15000 14800 individuals 99 favourable
Hydrocoloeus minutus Little Gull 99 99 individuals 100 favourable
Thalasseus sandvicensis Sandwich Tern 3249 3249 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Asio flammeus Short-eared Owl 3 1 breeding pairs 34 very unfavourable

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Vadehavet Major Conservation Area 73,000 protected area contained by site 73,000  
Vadehavet Wildlife Reserve 83,000 protected area overlaps with site 73,780  
Vadehavet (Wadden Sea) Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 150,482 protected area contains site 115,850  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Mud flats & sand flats  25%
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  75%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
unknown -

Protection status National High International High115,850 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Vadehavet, 115,850 ha). 115,850 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Vadehavet (Wadden Sea), 140,830 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Vadehavet (Wadden Sea). Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/07/2015

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