• Country: 
    Netherlands (Kingdom of the)
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    113,341 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    52°52'N 05°23'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.


The Site it is a vast shallow freshwater lake, the largest freshwater basin in the country. IJsselmeer was cut off from the Wadden Sea by the Afsluitdijk causeway in 1932, and about 45% of the territory was reclaimed as polders. In 2014 the boundaries of the Site were aligned to those of the Natura 2000 site, resulting in an increase in area of 5,184 hectares. The Site regularly supports more than 20,000 wintering waterbirds as well as endangered bird species such as ruff (Philomachus pugnax), bittern (Botaurus stellaris), avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) and spotted crake (Porzana porzana). IJsselmeer plays a crucial role in regulating the hydrology of the northern Netherlands. The construction of an innovative “fish migration river” in the Afsluitdijk between the IJsselmeer and the Wadden Sea was started in November 2020 which would restore brackish conditions. Human activities include tourism, commercial fisheries, and shipping traffic. The Site is threatened by artificial water level management, intensive commercial fishing, industrialization, urbanization and the construction of wind farms.

Administrative region: 

  • National legal designation: 
    • National Ecological Network (NEN) - IJsselmeer
  • Regional (international) legal designations: 
    • EU Natura 2000
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

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