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Nature Reserve Oostvaardersplassen,
The Oostvaardersplassen is a nature reserve in the Netherlands,
Despite its age, the polder exists only since 1968, it has an international importance as a European wetland. The Oostvaardersplassen can be divided into two areas, wet and dry.
In the wet area along the Markermeer, there are large reedlands on clay soil. In these geese often feed during their moulting. This area is also home to cormorants, spoonbills, barnacle geese, white herons and the Great Bittern, among many other birds and animals.
The dry area was originally a habitat for willow trees. The first year hundreds of seedlings could be found per square metre. The area is kept open by konik horses, deer and Heck cattle. These big grazers and browsers are living in the open all year round without supplemental feeding. The expectation is that in time, the current open landscape will evolve into a natural forest. The only big grazers missing are moose and wisent (European bison). It is unlikely that moose will be introduced but there is hope for wisent. Wisent would fill a different niche from Heck cattle.
The Oostvaardersplassen today covers 5600 ha, of which 3600 ha are marshland and 2000 ha are grasslands and roughs.