Spain’s 74th Ramsar Site

19/08/2012

The paperwork has been completed for the designation of Spain's 74th Wetland of International Importance - at present, only the UK and Mexico have named more of their wetlands for the Ramsar List. As summarized by Ramsar's Kati Wenzel, based upon the accompanying Ramsar Information Sheet, Lagunas de Ruidera (6,639 hectares, 38°56'23"N 002°51'35"W) in the Castilla-La Mancha region, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is a 25 km long chain of natural dams creating a lagoon complex interconnected by waterfalls and karst formations. It was formed through unique geological processes and comprises European priority habitat types such as petrifying springs with tufa formation and calcareous fens. Several plant communities associated with alkaline peatlands can be found, but Charophytes are dominant.

The site hosts many globally threatened species including Bivalve Unio tumidiformis and Water Vole Arvicola sapidus as well as numerous fish and bird species, especially Anatidae. The site is critical for the functioning of the regional hydrological system and serves as an important water reservoir in this very dry region.

The site is of archaeological and historic significance and is used for traditional agriculture, research and recreational activities. Unsustainable tourism developments involving high water consumption and pollution have threatened the site, but are now partly addressed through a water purification project. There is a visitors centre offering guided tours.



Photo: J.M. Reyero (CENEAM-MMA)



Photo: J.M. Reyero (CENEAM-MMA)



Photo: Dirección General de Áreas Protegidas y Biodiversidad- Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha



Photo: S. Cirujano (Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid-CSIC)



Photo: S. Cirujano (Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid-CSIC)




Photo: S. Cirujano (Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid-CSIC)



Photo: D. Cruz Álvarez



Photo: S. Cirujano (Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid-CSIC)



Photo: S. Cirujano (Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid-CSIC)

Back to top
Follow us 
Ramsar Awards 

The Convention today

Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,342

Ramsar Secretariat

Rue Mauverney 28
CH-1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel.: +41 22 999 0170
Fax: +41 22 999 0169
E-Mail: ramsar@ramsar.org
Map: click here

Ramsar Forum: subscribe