Markermeer & IJmeer


Markermeer & IJmeer

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    68,463.4 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    52°24'N 05°07'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Markermeer and IJmeer is a stagnant freshwater lake with submerged vegetation in the catchment of the river Rhine, which was separated from IJsselmeer by the closing of Houtribdijk in 1976. The two separate Ramsar Sites IJmeer and Markermeer (former Site no. 1249) have been merged into a single Site following the Natura 2000 boundary. The Site is of international importance for a large number of breeding and non-breeding birds, supporting regularly more than 20,000 wintering waterbirds, with an average peak number of almost 105,000 for the period from 2005/2006 to 2009/2010. Large resting groups of common pochard, tufted duck and common coot gather in relatively small areas. The lake is also an important spawning, nursery and feeding ground for fish and molluscs, and plays an important role as a freshwater reservoir for irrigation. Human activities include boating, tourism, extractive operations, commercial fisheries, shipping traffic, water management, conservation and research. The main threats potentially affecting the Site’s ecological character relate to aquaculture and fisheries activities, plans to increase the capacity of recreational harbours, and eutrophication. Long-term monitoring has, however, shown a decrease in eutrophication and chemical water contamination and an increase in submerged vegetation. New habitat for birds such as gulls and terns have been created, which require intense nature management.

Administrative region: 
Provinces of Flevoland and Noord-Holland

  • Regional (international) legal designations: 
    • EU Natura 2000
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

Additional reports and documents