NL032
Westerschelde & Saeftinghe


Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
A tidal estuary of the River Schelde with mudflats, sandbanks and raised saltmarsh (Verdronken Land van Saeftinghe, 3,500 ha), and the only estuary in south-west Netherlands which will be allowed to remain open to the sea. The estuary is 60 km long from the Belgian border up to the North Sea, and is adjacent to the Voordelta (020) in the west.



Key biodiversity
An important roost for tens of thousands of geese Anser from Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, but numbers of Anser albifrons in particular have been poorly covered by counts.



Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The main problems are the further deepening of the shipping lane (erosion causes loss of mudflats and saltmarsh), nutrient pollution through discharge of polder water, and industrial discharges. The SPA and Ramsar designations concern the saltmarsh area.



Protected areas
National Low International Low2,400 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Verdronken Land van Saeftinge I, 2,400 ha). 1,100 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Verdronken Land van Saeftinge II, 1,100 ha). 28 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Zwarte Polder, 28 ha). 92 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Zwarte Polder II, 92 ha). 99 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Schor van Waarde, 99 ha). 1 ha of IBA covered by Natural Monument (Schor van Waarde, 1 ha). 189 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Braakman, 189 ha). 18 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Inlaag 1887, 18 ha). 14 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Kapelle Bank, 14 ha). 69 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Rammekens, 69 ha). 544 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Saeftinghe, 544 ha). 248 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Schor bij Bath, 248 ha). 34 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Schor bij Ossendrecht, 53 ha). 163 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Zuidgors, 163 ha). 76 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Schor van Waarde, 76 ha). 3,500 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Verdronken Land van Saeftinge, 3,500 ha). 3,500 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Verdronken Land van Saeftinge, 3,500 ha).




Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Westerschelde & Saeftinghe. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/01/2022.