• Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    36,978 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    51°36'N 03°56'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.


Oosterschelde. 03/04/87; Zeeland; 36,978 ha; 051°33’N 004°00’E. Natura 2000 (SPA/SAC), National Park. The former Oosterschelde en Markiezaat Ramsar Site was in 2014 divided into two Ramsar Sites, the larger Oosterschelde and the smaller Markiezaat, following Natura 2000 boundaries. This led to an increase in their combined area of 810 ha. Oosterschelde, a large area of intertidal waters with mudflats, is an important component of the West Paleartic Flyway, with international importance due to the wintering, staging and breeding of a large number of waterbirds there. The Site also supports threatened birds such as the Sandwich tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis), Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) and avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), and is also an important spawning ground for many fish species including garpike (Belone belone), sole (Solea solea) and plaice (Pleuronectus platessa). In addition, European critically endangered aquatic mammals such as the harbour porpoise and harbour seal regularly use the Site. The marshland plays an important role in flood mitigation. Human activities are related to tourism and the fishing and shellfish industries. Potential threats to the ecological character of this wetland include the disturbance of birds by recreational activities and a reduction in the tidal volume and flow speed caused by the construction of dykes, dams and barriers. Ramsar site no. 354. Most recent RIS information: 2013.

Administrative region: 

  • National legal designation: 
    • National Park - Oosterschelde
    • Special Area of Conservation (Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC) - Oosterschelde
    • Special Protection Area (Birds Directive 79/409/EEC, 1989) - Oosterschelde
  • Regional (international) legal designations: 
    • EU Natura 2000
  • Last publication date: 


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