|Location||Belgium, Vlaams Gewest|
|Central coordinates||3o 40.00' East 51o 15.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A4i, B1i, B2, B3, C2, C3, C6|
|Altitude||2 - 5m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2000|
Ornithological information This is an internationally important wintering site for Cygnus columbianus. The area is is also a nationally important breeding site for Luscinia svecica (25 pairs) and reedbed species.
Site description A complex of old freshwater and brackish sea inlets (`kreken') in a polder landscape. The area encompasses a diverse set of habitats, including remnant saltmarshes, acidic marshes and wet woodlands.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Greater White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons||winter||-||1,100-18,000 individuals||good||A4i, B1i, C3||Least Concern|
|Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus||winter||1994||100-384 individuals||good||B1i, B2, C2||Least Concern|
|Western Marsh-harrier Circus aeruginosus||breeding||1996||13-18 breeding pairs||good||C6||Least Concern|
|Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta||breeding||1995||4 breeding pairs||good||B3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Grote Geul||Nature Reserve||14||protected area contained by site||14|
|Krekengebied - BE2301134||Birds Directive||781||is identical to site||780|
|Meetjeslandse kreken||Nature Reserve||19||protected area contained by site||19|
|Polders - BE2500002||Habitats Directive||1,866||protected area overlaps with site||267|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial landscapes (terrestrial)||Arable land; Perennial crops, orchards and groves||90%|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||5%|
Management considerations One of the main threats is the loss of grassland around the creeks, as a result of fields being ploughed close to reedbeds, thus limiting the size of the water-bodies. Water quality is also deteriorating due to agricultural pollution, and the lowering of the water-table in the area is also a threat. The area is well studied by a local ornithological working group (Vogelwerkgroep Noord-Oost-Vlaanderen). Approximately 350 ha are designated as a green area on the physical planning map.
Protection status National Low International High14 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Grote Geul, 14 ha). 19 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Meetjeslandse kreken, 19 ha). 780 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Krekengebied, 780 ha).
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Krekengebied. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/06/2013
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