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.
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.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
One of the main threats is the loss of grassland around the creeks, as a result of fields being ploughed close to reedbeds, thus limiting the size of the water-bodies. Water quality is also deteriorating due to agricultural pollution, and the lowering of the water-table in the area is also a threat. The area is well studied by a local ornithological working group (Vogelwerkgroep Noord-Oost-Vlaanderen). Approximately 350 ha are designated as a green area on the physical planning map.
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).
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Krekengebied. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 02/10/2022.