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Location Belgium, Vlaams Gewest
Central coordinates 3o 13.00' East  51o 15.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 9,349 ha
Altitude 2 - 8m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

BirdLife Belgium

Site description The area includes the most interesting parts of the coastal polders to the north of Brugge which consist of grasslands, extensively used ditches, canals and reedbeds. It also includes a small part of the coastal dunes near Blankenberge.

Key Biodiversity This is an internationally important wintering site for Anser brachyrhynchus, A. albifrons and Anas penelope. The area is also important for breeding meadow birds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus winter  20,000-36,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Bean Goose Anser fabalis winter  1989  3,000 individuals  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons winter  15,000-30,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  10,000-40,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata winter  300-500 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris passage  15 individuals  medium  C2  Least Concern 
Western Marsh-harrier Circus aeruginosus breeding  1996  10 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria passage  10,000-15,000 individuals  medium  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa breeding  1995  100-120 breeding pairs  good  B2  Near Threatened 
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica breeding  1993  60-80 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  50,000-99,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
De Fonteintjes Certified Nature Reserve 12 protected area contained by site 12  
Uitkerkse Polder Nature Reserve 60 protected area contained by site 60  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   60%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Perennial crops, orchards and groves  40%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 90%
tourism/recreation 5%
nature conservation and research 5%

Protection status National Low International High12 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (De Fonteintjes, 12 ha). 60 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Uitkerkse Polder, 60 ha). 9,349 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Poldercomplex Hoeke, Damme, Meetkerke, Uitkerke, 9,530 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Polderkomplex. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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