• Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    27,450 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    59°09'N 23°30'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.


Haapsalu-Noarootsi is a large coastal wetland complex situated along the north-western coast of Estonia. The Site presents a coastal seascape with lagoons, coastal meadows, reefs, reedbeds and intertidal mudflats and sandflats. Osmussaare Island, at the entry to the Gulf of Finland, is mainly covered by typical calcareous alvar grasslands, small lakes, swamp meadows and rich fens. Appropriate management of the semi-natural grasslands through cutting and grazing is essential to uphold the biodiversity and habitats for animals and plants. Fifteen species of orchids have been recorded, including the protected fen orchid (Liparis loeselii). The coastal meadows are an important breeding habitat of coastal waders (Calidris alpina schinzii, Limosa limosa and Tringa totanus) and a spawning ground for the natterjack toad (Bufo calamita). Thousands of waterbirds such as the long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis) and the tundra swan (Cygnus columbianus) rest at the Site during their migration. The biggest threats to the Site are pollution from urban wastewater and agricultural effluents, the increase in invasive alien species and the potential risk of oil pollution, which is one of the greatest dangers for seabirds. Plans to construct offshore wind farms near the Site also present a potential threat.

Administrative region: 
Lääne County

  • National legal designation: 
    • Landscape Reserve
    • Limited Conservation Area - Nõva-Osmussaar
    • Nature Reserve
  • Regional (international) legal designations: 
    • EU Natura 2000
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

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