- Site number:104
- Area:48,610 ha
- Designation date:29-03-1994
- Coordinates:58°45'N 23°34'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 includes a part of the Väinameri sea, the brackish Matsalu Bay and its 50 or so islands and islets, reed beds, coastal meadows and the lower floodplain of the Kasari River. Matsalu provides significant support to the biodiversity of the entire Boreal region, as it hosts more than 780 species of vascular plants, 280 bird species, 49 fish and 40 mammals. The populations of nesting and migrating waterbirds are especially noteworthy, with up to 230,000 individuals recorded including internationally important numbers of the vulnerable lesser white-fronted goose (Anser erythropus) and barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis), and of the nationally vulnerable tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus) among others. More than half of the fish species recorded in Estonia can be found within the Site. The floodplain meadows and the bay provide important spawning grounds for species such as pike (Esox lucius) and European perch (Perca fluviatilis). The main threats to the area include the invasive golden jackal (Canis aureus), and agricultural and drainage activities. The “Penijõe Manor” visitor centre provides conservation education activities and welcomes around 20,000 visitors annually.
- National legal designation:
- National park - Matsalu
- Regional (international) legal designations:
- EU Natura 2000
- Last publication date:20-10-2020
Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)
Additional reports and documents
- Site management plan
- Other published literature