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Dieren en planten

Water en land

Mens en Milieu

Nature policy   Habitat Directive   

Habitat Directive

In 1992, the European Community proposed a directive for protecting exceptional living areas: the Habitat Directive. This directive has designated lists of plant and animal species and natural living communities that deserve extra protection. A related ecological network will be established under the name Natura 2000, within the Habitat Directive. Birds have been excluded because a separate directive (Bird Directive) had already been established.

  • SACs

    The network of Natura 2000 will contain special protective zones, called Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). The zones will be designated using the Habitat Directive and based upon the Bird Directive. This will take place in the coming years. Large parts of the Wadden Sea will be included in the Natura 2000.

  • How does it work

    The Habitat Directive prohibits an activity if the protective zone is damaged. It allows calls for an 'adequate assessment' from the environmental effect report before an activity is allowed in the protective zone. Habitats to be protected include 'permanently with seawater flooded sandbanks and estuaries of minor depth (tidal flats), various types of coastal dunes and several kinds of salt marshes. Practically the entire Wadden Sea has been presented as a protective area under this directive. Examples of activities which are forbidden due to this directive are the mechanical cockle fisheries in the Wadden Sea, a number of construction plans for IJburg and the original plan for the Second Maasvlakte.
    The following table shows the species that fall under Annex II of the Habitat Directive and are found in the North Sea and wadden region.

    group species latin name details habitat
    mollusc Narrow-mouthed whorl snail Vertigo angustior coast
    arthropod Large White-faced Darter Leucorrhinia pectoralis peat bogs, dunes
    fish Sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus migratory fish coastal waters, migrates to rivers
    River lamprey Lampetra fluviatilis migratory fish coastal waters, migrates to rivers
    Allis shad Alosa alosa migratory fish coastal waters, migrates to rivers
    Twaite shad Alosa fallax migratory fish coastal waters, tidal areas
    Salmon Salmo salar migratory fish open sea and coastal waters, rivers
    Bitterling Rhodeus seiceus amarus stationary or slow moving waters
    Spined loach Cobitis taenia stationary or slow moving waters
    amphibians Natterjack toad Bufo calamita pioneer environments
    Moor frog Rana arvalis of the Dutch Wadden Islands, only on Texel areas with a high groundwater level
    reptiles Sand lizard Lacerta agilis of the Dutch Wadden Islands, on Vlieland and Terschelling sandy, dry, open terrains in heath and dunes
    bats Common pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus closed to half open landscapes, in towns, cities, parks and gardens
    Noctule bat Nyctalus noctula lives in old trees open, water-rich landscapes
    Daubenton's bat Myotis daubentonii lives in trees partially open to closed landscapes rich in water and trees
    Nathusius's pipistrelle Pipistrellus nathusii reported mostly in wadden region during migration partially open forest-rich landscapes
    Pond bat Myotis dasycneme colonies in buildings peat bogs, sea clay and IJsselmeer region
    Natterer's bat Myotis nattereri found in (wooden) splits, cracks and woodpecker holes partially open to very thick woods; small-scale enclosed landscapes
    Long-eared bat Plecotus auritus woody areas on sandy soils
    Serotine Eptesicus serotinus lives in buildings relatively open areas
    Whiskered bat Myotis mystacinus rare species in the summer but most common sort found in the winter river regions, higher sand grounds, hilly regions
    voles Root vole Microtus oeconomus arenicola five separated populations in the Netherlands marsh, reedlands, banks of rivers, lakes and streams; damp extensively exploited haylands and fields
    marine mammals Porpoise Phocaena phocaena shallow seas (max. 200 m) and coastal waters
    Grey seal Halichoerus grypus reproduces on rocky coasts, caves, pebbly stone beaches and exposed sandbanks coasts of the North Sea and Wadden Sea
    Harbour seal Phoca vitulina reproduces in the Wadden Sea Wadden Sea and North Sea
    plants Fen orchid Liparis loeselii found particularly on the Wadden Islands quaking bogs and dune valleys
    Source: Soorten van de Habitatrichtlijn, 2008