Wadden Sea Wildlife

Unique in its variety

The Wadden Sea is one of the largest coastal wetlands in the world. Thanks to its size and great variety of habitats, the Wadden Sea is invaluable for huge numbers of plant and animal species. On the mud flats you can hear the sharp tepeet tepeet from the oystercatchers, searching the emerged seabed with their long bills. The mud flats themselves produce a soft crackling sound, produced by the shrimp-like Corophium that burrow their way through the wet mud. The strange piles of 'worms' at your feet are a silent witness to the activity taking place under the surface. In the puddles between the lumps of mussels, you see shrimp shooting off in all directions. A small hidden flatfish flees just in time as you step into the water. In the distance, in a deep gully, a curious seal sticks its head out of the water.

More than 10,000 species of plants and animals live in the Wadden Sea, from microscopic organisms to fish, birds and mammals. It is an indispensible tanking station for the 10 to 12 million migrating birds that spend a short or longer period of time in the wadden region. While traveling from their nesting grounds on the borders of the North Pole region to their winter home as far away as Africa and back again, it is in the Wadden Sea where they find a sufficient amount of food to accomplish the long journey. This gives the Wadden Sea invaluable importance worldwide.