Nissum Fjord

Year of compilation: 2000

Site description
A shallow brackish fjord connected by sluices to the North Sea, with coastal saltmarshes and reedbeds, and heathland vegetation on Fjandø Island.

Key biodiversity
This is an important staging area for Cygnus cygnus, C. columbianus, Anser brachyrhynchus and Limosa lapponica; however, numbers of most winter and passage visitors have declined (since the 1980s) to below 20,000 birds in total, due to nutrient pollution. Also a disease affecting the formerly extensive areas of eel-grass Zostera has affected foraging, especially for swans Cygnus and Branta bernicla. Several species listed on Annex I of the EC Birds Directive breed at the site, including Botaurus stellaris, Circus aeruginosus, Recurvirostra avosetta, Philomachus pugnax, Sterna sandvicensis, S. hirundo, S. paradisaea and S. albifrons.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Several parts of the IBA are afforded protection through entry, hunting and boating restrictions. Reduced grazing of saltmarshes is detrimentally affecting this habitat for birds, and renewed grazing is planned in some state-owned parts of the site.

Protected areas
National Partial International High10,890 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Nissum Fjord, 11,600 ha). 10,890 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Nissum Fjord, 10,890 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nissum Fjord. Downloaded from on 02/04/2023.