IJzervallei-De Blankaart

Site description (2000 baseline):

Site location and context
A large area of flat and annually (in winter) inundated hay-meadows and grasslands along the IJzer and Handzame rivers. The site includes the Blankaart, a shallow freshwater lake with extensive reedbeds and Salix marshes.

Key biodiversity
This is an internationally important area for migrating and wintering waders and waterfowl, especially wintering Anas penelope. The site is also nationally important for breeding meadow birds.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The area is included in the `Ecologisch Impulsgebied', an integrated conservation and development project. Small zones are managed as nature reserves by BNVR/RNOB and the Flemish Region. A management plan exists for the Blankaart area and several smaller zones. 170 ha (4%) is designated as a green area on the physical planning map of Flanders. Wintering waterbirds have been monitored for the past 15 years and breeding birds intensively for the last five.

Protected areas
National Low International High113 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Blankaart, 113 ha). 2,160 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Blankaart, 2,160 ha). 5,100 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (IJzervallei including Blankaart, 5,100 ha).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: IJzervallei-De Blankaart. Downloaded from on 30/09/2023.