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Location Belgium, Vlaams Gewest
Central coordinates 5o 26.00' East  51o 3.00' North
IBA criteria C6
Area 2,798 ha
Altitude 77 - 82m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

BirdLife Belgium

Site description An extensive area of dry and wet heathland on the Kempen plateau, encompassing ponds, marshes, inland dunes, and conifer plantations.

Key Biodiversity A breeding and staging site for woodland and heathland species.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black Grouse Lyrurus tetrix breeding  1996  3 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Wood Lark Lullula arborea breeding  1993  10-15 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bocholt, Hechtel-Eksel, Meeuwen-Gruitrode, Neerpelt en Peer - BE2217310 Birds Directive 9,863 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Houthalen-Helchteren, Meeuwen-Gruitrode en Peer - BE2220313 Birds Directive 2,851 protected area contains site 2,798  
Mangelbeek en heide- en vengebieden tussen Houthalen en Gruitrode - BE2200030 Habitats Directive 3,768 protected area overlaps with site 2,409  
Valleien van de Laambeek, Zonderikbeek, Slangebeek en Roosterbeek met vijvergebieden. - BE2200031 Habitats Directive 3,627 protected area is adjacent to site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved deciduous woodland  5%
Shrubland Heathland  70%
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs  5%
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Forestry plantations  25%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
military 80%
agriculture 20%

Protection status National None International High2,789 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Houthalen, Helchteren, Meeuwen, Gruitrode en Peer, 2,789 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gebieden gelegen te Houthalen-Helchteren en Meeuwen-Gruitrode. Downloaded from on 18/04/2015

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