A nice home for the animals in our city

On Animal Day, all animals are put in the spotlight. In addition to dogs, cats, rabbits and other pets, Amsterdam has no fewer than 10,000 species of wild animals and plants. Also very rare. As a city, we take good care of that.

Of all the animals and plants found in the Netherlands, no less than 25 percent occur in Amsterdam. We are very careful with our nature.

We build for everyone

The city is not only there for people, but also for plants and animals. Amsterdam therefore takes this into account when building new buildings. This is called: nature-inclusive construction. Amsterdam has a special points system for this. The IJburg district is a good example of nature-inclusive construction. There are built-in nest boxes, a lovely home for house sparrows and swallows. But green roofs and facades also contribute to a nature-inclusive city.

Pet friendly city

The Amsterdam urban ecologists are very aware of nature and the animals in the city. They see that adaptations in buildings and public spaces help the animals well. For example, bird species return and choose Amsterdam to breed. The peregrine falcon has once again become a regular visitor in the city. There are endless ways to make Amsterdam a pet-friendly city. Below you can see an example from each district. Even as an Amsterdammer, you know a lot. By, for example, placing nest boxes or by arranging your garden in an animal-friendly way. Look for ideas at amsterdam.nl/groen.


Anyone who walks along the canals in the city center has probably seen them: the colorful flowers on the waterfront. Some quay walls are in poor condition and reinforced with steel beams. The spaces between the quays and sheet piles are filled with sand. Mixtures of herbs and native flowers have been planted there, which attract butterflies and wild bees. Amsterdam is helping the animals with this temporary nature measure. Waterfowl, insects, fish and other aquatic animals find their food and shelter among the plants and willows in the steel beams. The arrows are regularly polished and the arrows go to Artis as feed for the elephants.

Photo: Sanne Couprie

New West

De Vrije Geer near the Castle and De Tuinen van West are 2 larger nature reserves. Between these 2 areas, along the Baden Powellweg, is an ecological corridor. These connection zones help small mammals, insects and birds to move around. Various flowers grow, which in turn attract bees and butterflies.


Natuurzoom has been built in the southeast. This connects different small habitats, from Diemerbos to Amstelland. Grass snakes, hedgehogs, shellfish and other small mammals can move safely from one area to another. Without having to cross a major road.


The howler is a special bird. So he sleeps while flying. The howler likes to breed in the city, for example under loose roof tiles. Many of these places have disappeared due to renovation. The fast working group has already placed several nest boxes on facades in Baarsjes.

Photo: Margreet Bloemers


Meerbatten lived in a school that is to be demolished. To give the rare animal a new home, a sea bat tower has been built at the Monnikendammerplantsoen. Special sounds have lured the bats to their new home.


The squirrel lives mainly in Amsterdamse Bos and in the parks of Amsterdam South. Special squirrel bridges ensure that the squirrels can safely get from Amsterdamse Bos to Amstelpark. The bridges consist of ropes strung between the trees over busy roads.


Amsterdam water can be dangerous for small mammals. They quickly become exhausted if they cannot get out of the water easily. A fine solution has been devised for this: a so-called FUP (fauna excursion area). It is small steps or ramps that enable the animals to reach the steep quays.


Amsterdam has built forced mounds for grass snakes at Fort Uitermeer on the Vecht in Weesp. A hearth usually consists of rotting material such as manure, compost and branches. Because of the rot (heating), it is always nice and warm in the pile. An ideal place for grass snakes to lay eggs.

To know more

Main photo: Martin de Bouter

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