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      Biosphere Reserve Information



Photo: Bert Aggenbach, NIOZ
  General Description   This biosphere reserve represents a section of the Wadden Sea area which extends along the coast of the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. This Dutch biosphere reserve comprises the area between the town of Den Helder and the estuary of the Eems River whereas two more biosphere reserves represent the wadden sea on the German side. Wadden Sea Area Biosphere Reserve is a shallow coastal area partly with estuarine character. The Wadden Sea is protected by a chain of barrier islands and high sand flats. It consists of tidal channels and shallow open water, muddy and sandy tidal flats and sand marshes. The area is of international importance as staging, wintering, moulting and foraging area for many bird species and is therefore also designated as Ramsar site.
The original Wadden Sea are has been diminished in size by gradual embankment of the adjoining salt-marshes and coastal embayments. Apart from tourism, main human activities in the biosphere reserve are fisheries, musselculture, sand extraction, exploitation and transport of natural gas and oil, military training as well as engineering works for coastal protection.
The area is of great significance from a research and monitoring point of view since geological, biological, physical and chemical activities were carried out for many decades and provide also historical data record.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate coastal/marine wetlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Salt marshes covered with halophilous vegetation with phanerogams; sand dunes; tidal flats with Spartina spp., macro- and micro-algae
  Location   5252' to 5333'N; 0445' to 0713'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   260,000
  Core area(s)   120,000
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   0 to +7
  Year designated   1986
  Administrative authorities   Institute for Forestry and Nature Research c/o The Netherlands MAB Committee
  Brief description   Coastal wetlands and dune systems
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   n.a.
  Biodiversity   Coastal/marine, dune systems, wetlands.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address    
Institute for Forestry and Nature Research
P.O. Box 167
1790 AD Den Burg - Texel
  Telephone   (31.222) 369 700
  Fax   (31.222) 319 235

Last updated: 09/03/2005

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