Country/territory: Netherlands

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3, C4, C6 (2016)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 5,755 ha

Vogelbescherming Nederland
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2017 not assessed not assessed medium
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
A dammed estuary, formerly part of the Wadden Sea (closed off in 1969), which has become freshwater, though the estuary structure remains. The surrounding area is mainly open grassland and arable land with scattered farms. The site is adjacent to the Wadden Sea (site 001) in the north, the Frisian Wadden Sea coast (014) in the west and the Groningen Wadden Sea coast (016) in the east. Hunting is allowed but with restrictions on quarry species (and will be terminated in the near future).

Key biodiversity
The saltmarshes and polders form an important high-tide roost for waterbirds that feed in the Wadden Sea and are an important feeding area for Branta bernicla and B. leucopsis. This is the second most important breeding site for Recurvirostra avosetta in the Netherlands.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lauwersmeer. Downloaded from on 02/12/2021.