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Location Belgium, Vlaams Gewest
Central coordinates 3o 40.00' East  51o 15.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, B1i, B2, B3, C2, C3, C6
Area 780 ha
Altitude 2 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

BirdLife Belgium

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.

Key Biodiversity 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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

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 areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Grote Geul Nature Reserve 14 protected area contained by site 14  
Meetjeslandse kreken Nature Reserve 19 protected area contained by site 19  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   5%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Perennial crops, orchards and groves  90%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 95%
nature conservation and research 5%
tourism/recreation 5%

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 (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Krekengebied. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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