Flora and fauna

Thanks to its many different landscapes, Schiermonnikoog has an abundance of plants and animals. Some sorts of animals, such as foxes, mink, weasels, moles, squirrels, deer and bats, have not been able to cross the water to the island. Most of the mammals that do live on the island, such as rabbits, hares, brown rats and hedgehogs, arrived here with human assistance. One mammal that is naturally present on Schiermonnikoog is the seal. Seals can occasionally be seen lying on the sandbank at the northwest end of the island.

There are not any reptiles on Schiermonnikoog. Among the amphibians, the most conspicuous sorts are the natterjack toad and the smooth newt.
The large variety of birds and insects more than makes up for the limited number of mammals.

Schiermonnikoog is an attractive location for birds all year round. Besides the tidal flats with their many birds searching for food, the salt marsh with its colonies of gulls, terns and spoonbills, and the dunes with their abundant population of songbirds, the polder and the village often harbour a large number of birds.

The vegetation of Schiermonnikoog is also quite unusual. Particularly in the moist dunes, there are plants and mushrooms that have become rare in the rest of the Netherlands. These rarities are often small and inconspicuous, but there are also magnificent plants such as orchids and parnassus grass. Equally spectacular for connoisseurs, if less striking, are the splendid mosses and lichens in the dunes.

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