The Zwin is a well-known bird reserve, but most visitors come to see one species in particular, the stork!
Storks were introduced to the Zwin in the 1960s, heralding their return as a Belgian breeding bird after the species became extinct in our country in the late 19th century. Storks were later released in other locations across Belgium. As a result, the stork population has increased sharply, in part due to rising populations in neighbouring countries. Today, storks are once again breeding in several locations in our country, with a total of over 200 breeding pairs. The Zwin and its surrounding area continue to be one of the most important breeding areas, however.
The storks that have chosen to breed in the Zwin are intensively monitored. The breeding success of all the pairs is closely observed, and every year, all young storks in the park receive a scientific ring. In 2019, we also launched a transmitter project in collaboration with the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, allowing us to better monitor our stork population.