A shallow brackish fjord, encompassing several small islands, and connected by sluices to the North Sea, with meadows and reedbeds to the south.
Numbers of many breeding and visiting waterbirds have declined dramatically due to deteriorating water quality. Several species listed on Annex I of the EC Birds Directive breed at the site, including Botaurus stellaris, Circus aeruginosus, Porzana porzana, Recurvirostra avosetta, Philomachus pugnax, Sterna sandvicensis, S. hirundo, S. paradisaea and Asio flammeus.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
Nutrient pollution, as a result of agricultural intensification, has affected water quality at the site: by 1979 the area had been polluted to such an extent that algal blooms had formed, which reduced light and resulted in massive reductions in the extent of submerged macrophytes. In recent years water quality has improved and in some areas bottom macrophytes are recolonizing. An ongoing restoration project in the Skjern å river valley will hopefully further improve water quality, though positive effects on bird populations are expected to take time to become evident.
National High International High27,520 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Ringkøbing Fjord, 27,520 ha). 27,720 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Ringkøbing Fjord, 27,720 ha).
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ringkøbing Fjord. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 03/08/2020.