|Most recent IBA monitoring assessment|
|Year of assessment||Threat score (pressure)||Condition score (state)||Action score (response)|
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This 40-km long water-body was formerly an estuary of the Rhine/Maas river system, via Hollands Diep (025) and Lake Volkerak (026), but has been closed off from the sea since 1986 by a storm-surge barrier which allows the tidal regime to continue with some restrictions. The sea can be completely shut out during storms or high tides. Two freshwater lakes have developed on the eastern side following the construction of secondary dams (Markiezaat and Zoommeer, 029 and 030). South of this area, Lake Veersemeer (031) came into being following the closing of the Veerse Gat in 1961. This site, together with sites 029 and 030, formed part of a single, larger site (former site NL050) in the previous pan-European IBA inventory (Grimmett and Jones 1989).
This is the most important intertidal staging area for ducks and waders in south-west Netherlands. Thousands of geese Anser, feeding in adjacent farmland polders, use the area as roost. Recurvirostra avosetta and Charadrius alexandrinus breed in small lagoons (`inlagen', inland of the dyke) and at Neeltje Jans (building site of storm-surge barrier).
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Oosterschelde. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/02/2020.