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About the national park

  • The national park’s surface area is 48,610 ha.
  • The national park is one of the most important nesting and stopover sites for waterfowl in Europe. Matsalu is a stopover site for over 2 million waterfowls, from which 230 000 stay for either shorter or longer period.
  • Haeska has been acknowledged as the best birdwatching site in the Nordic Countries. In 1997, during 24 hours about 128 different bird species were counted in Haeska observation tower.
  • More than 780 species of vascular plants, 280 species of birds and 40 species of mammals as well as fi ve species of amphibians and four species of reptiles have been recorded here. 
  • Rare species include the frog orchid (Coeloglossum viride), natterjack toad (Epidalea calamita), Baltic dunlin (Calidris alpina schinzii), ruff (Philomachus pugnax), white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) and lesser white-fronted goose (Anser erythropus).
  • More than 20 species of orchids are found in the park and it's surrounding area.
  • The first sighting of a jackal in Estonia was documented here in 2013.

Matsalu National Park authority is the Environmental Board.