The Annotated Ramsar List: Spain

29/11/2012

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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance

SPAIN / ESPAGNE / ESPAÑA

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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for Spain on 4 September 1982. Spain presently has 74 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 303,090 hectares.

Plan Estratégico Español para la Conservación y el Uso Racional de los Humedales (text)

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Aiguamolls de l’Empordà. 26/03/93; Cataluña; 4,784 ha; 42º14’N 003º06’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Park, Integral Natural Reserve. A series of coastal saline and freshwater wetlands in the floodplains of two rivers, separated from the sea by dunes. The site includes lagoons, pools, marshes and drainage channels supporting salt-resistant vegetation, wet meadows, lush reed and sedge beds, and woodlands. The site’s flora and fauna include several rare species. Various species of wintering and nesting waterbirds are supported. Human activities include conservation education, tourism, and peat extraction. Ramsar site no. 592. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Albufera de Adra. 04/10/94; Andalucía; 75 ha; 36º45’N 002º57’W. Natural Reserve. The site, considered to be of national botanical importance, consists of two endorheic lagoons in the Adra River Delta. Vegetation includes reed, rush and sedge beds. The area is a nesting and wintering site for, among others, the globally endangered duck Oxyura leucocephala. Several species of waterbirds winter at the site. Human activities include fishing and hunting. Ramsar site no. 704. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Albufera de Valencia. 05/12/89; Comunidad Valenciana; 21,000 ha; 39º20’N 000º21’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Park. A large coastal lagoon fed by streams, rivers and irrigation channels, fringed by areas of rice cultivation. The site is separated from the sea by an urbanized dune peninsula. Vegetation is dominated by aquatic, halophytic, and dune communities. The site’s fauna is notable for its species diversity. Regional endemics include fish and crustaceans. The area supports a rich assemblage of breeding waterbirds, and large numbers of various species of waterbirds, especially ducks, winter at the site. Human activities include rice cultivation, fishing, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 454. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Bahía de Cádiz. 24/10/02; Andalucía; 10,000 ha; 36° 30'N 006° 11'W. Natural Park (Parque Natural, 2 Parajes Naturales), Special Protection Area and proposed Site of Community Importance EC Directives. An outstanding example of Atlantic tidal marshes on the Iberian Peninsula. Much of the saltmarshes have been transformed into salt pans. Nowadays, most of them are no longer in use and have reverted to more natural habitats or been transformed into pans for aquaculture. Natural habitats also include sandy beaches and rocky islets. The Bay of Cadiz is a crucial refueling site for migrating and wintering waterbirds, hosting more than 1% (Ramsar Criterion 5) of 14 different East Atlantic populations. It also harbours more than 1% of the breeding populations of 5 different shorebirds. The Bay is crucial for spawning, nursery and foraging of 9 commercially important fish species and harbours up to 60 different fish. The Bay was settled in ancient times, as revealed by archeological remains - it is now surrounded by urban centres (400,000 inhabitants) and the Cadiz port facilities. This creates urban, tourism and leisure pressures on the protected area. Ramsar site no. 1265. Most recent RIS information: 2003.

Colas del Embalse de Ullibarri. 24/10/02; País Vasco; 397 ha; 42°54'N 002°33'W. Proposed Site of Community Importance EC Directive. Two parts of the extensive Ullibarri-Gamboako reservoir basin east of the regional capital Vitoria-Gasteiz. Since the creation of the reservoir in 1957, these two shallow bays have developed rich emergent vegetation that provides habitat for many species, including breeding and wintering waterbirds, and supports 2500 shoveler Anas clypeata (1% criterion). Threatened species occurring include the water plant Najas minor, the frog Rana dalmatina, and the European mink Mustela lutreola. Human uses include water sports, research and education activities, walking and nature observation along the long shorelines. Ramsar site no. 1255. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Complejo de Corrubedo. 26/03/93; Galicia; 550 ha; 42º33’N 009º02’W. Natural Park, Wildlife Refuge. A major dune system with an enormous shifting dune. The site includes partially enclosed sandbar lagoons, and numerous streams form an extensive marshy area giving way to a belt of pine trees. The area provides an outstanding example of dune flora and is particularly notable for several endemic species and sub-species. The site supports salt-resistant vegetation and extensive reedbeds. Numerous reptiles, amphibians, and mammals are present, and the area is important for breeding, staging and wintering waterbirds. Human activities include tourism, agriculture, and rush harvesting. There are an information centre and bird observatory available to visitors. Ramsar site no. 598. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Complejo intermareal Umia-Grove. 05/12/89; Galicia; 2,561 ha; 42º28’N 008º50’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Hunting Refuge. A complex of coastal wetlands composed of three physically separate units consisting of an intertidal embayment and dune system, a freshwater lagoon, and island coastline. The area is important for waterbirds and supports the largest number of wintering shorebirds (over 10,000) along the Atlantic coast of Spain. The site also supports an interesting flora, including endemic species. Human activities include tourism, shell-fishing, fishing and marine aquaculture. Ramsar site no. 452. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Complejo lagunar de La Albuera. 20/12/02; Extremadura; 1,878 ha; 38°42'N 006°46'W. Proposed Special Protection Area and proposed Site of Community Importance EC Directives. A cultivated plain with steppe grazing lands and Mediterranean oak savannah, including seven shallow, temporary endorheic pools and four smaller artificial freshwater ponds, covering together some 40 ha. The temporary pools and ponds represent about half of this EC priority habitat in the Extremadura region. They attract a variety of breeding, migrating and wintering waterbirds. Threatened steppe birds, bustards and sandgrouse are also abundant on the site. Human uses include agriculture and grazing and traditional exploitation of natural resources (timber, plant, mushrooms, etc.). Ramsar site no. 1256. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Delta del Ebro. 26/03/93; Cataluña; 7,736 ha; 40º43’N 000º44’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Park, Natural Reserve, National Hunting Refuge, Hunting Refuge. A fluvial delta, including shallow coastal waters, beaches, dunes, saline lagoons, salinas, freshwater marshes, and freshwater pools fed by groundwater springs. The delta’s flood regime is regulated artificially to promote rice cultivation. Shallow water areas are extremely important as spawning and nursery areas for many species of commercially valuable fish and support outstanding mollusc, shrimp and endemic fish populations. The site supports internationally important numbers of numerous species of waterbirds. Up to 30,000 pairs of waterbirds nest, and 180,000 individuals winter at the site annually. Human activities include hunting, fishing, shellfish harvesting, tourism, agriculture, and limited aquaculture and livestock rearing. Subject of a Ramsar Advisory Mission in 2000. Ramsar site no. 593. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Doñana. 04/05/82; Andalucía; 111,646 ha; 37º01’N 006º25’W. Added to the Montreux Record, 4 July 1990. World Heritage site, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Special Protection Area EC Directive, Council of Europe Diploma; National Park. A vast coastal marshland complex, separated from the ocean by an extensive dune system and subject to seasonal variations in water level and salinity. Vegetation includes aquatic species, salt-tolerant plants, Pinus pinea forest, and grassland. The area is of international importance for numerous species of breeding, staging and wintering waterbirds, and supports several rare or endanered species. Human activities include nature conservation, charcoal production, bee keeping, wood gathering, fishing, and livestock grazing. The impact of mass tourism and intensive irrigated agriculture in the surrounding area are concerning. Development of tourism, agriculture, and transport are factors influencing management of this vast complex. Fears that these activities are causing over-exploitation of regional aquifers, leading to a drop in groundwater levels and a reduction in the extent and duration of seasonal flooding in the marshes, resulted in the site’s designation to the Montreux Record in 1990. Subject of a Ramsar Advisory Mission in 2002. Area extended from 50,720 to 111,646 hectares, April 2007. Ramsar site no. 234. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Embalse de las Cañas. 18/11/96; Navarra; 101 ha; 42º29’N 002º24’W. Natural Reserve, European Community Special Protection Area. The site was originally a permanent brackish lagoon, but it has been converted into an artificial impoundment. It is most important for nesting waterbirds, especially various heron species. The most important breeding bird is Nycticorax nycticorax (470 pairs in 1994), which is the largest colony of this species in the entire Ebro Valley. Other valuable breeding waterbirds include Ardea purpurea and Botaurus stellaris. The lake is surrounded by aromatic shrubs of the Sideritido-Salvion association, in a mosaic with steppe-like Ligeo-Stipetea pasture. The site is visited peripherally and fishing is permitted in parts of the lake. Ramsar site no. 870. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Embalse de Orellana. 26/03/93; Extremadura; 5,500 ha; 38º59’N 005º32’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive. A vast, artificial reservoir built for irrigation purposes and subject to seasonal variations in water level. Located at altitude, the site includes several islands and is surrounded by forests. Of particular importance for nesting birds, the islands support a major colony of Gelochelidon nilotica (500 pairs), up to 65,000 wintering waterbirds of various species, and high densities of several raptor species. Human activities include hunting, fishing, boating, and substantially increasing tourism and recreation. Ramsar site no. 597. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Embalses de Cordobilla y Malpasillo. 04/10/94; Andalucía; 1,972 ha; 37º19’N 004º40’W. Natural Park. The site consists of two reservoirs fringed by dense riparian vegetation consisting of reedbeds, marshes and woodlands. The site supports an internationally important wintering population of the globally-endangered duck Oxyura leucocephala, as well as nationally important numbers of various other species of waterbirds. Agriculture is the predominant human activity. Ramsar site no. 703. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Humedales de la Sierra de Urbión. 27/01/06; La Rioja; 86 ha; 42º01'N 002º53'W. EU Directive Special Protection Area, Site of Community Importance, Natural Protected Area. A complex of ten 10 small wetlands located in a typical alpine high mountain environment of glacial origin, though it is located in the Mediterranean region. Over 90% of the area is occupied by alpine and sub-alpine grasses, while the surface covered by water and rock materials occupies less than 10%. The land is mostly used for cattle ranching, and in some sectors such as the Reserva Regional de Caza Cameros-Demanda hunting is also permitted. Nevertheless, the wetlands are in an excellent state of conservation and major impacts have not been detected. Ramsar site no. 1672. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Humedales del Macizo de Peñalara. 27/01/06; Madrid; 487 ha; 40º51'N 003º57'W. Natural Park, EU Directive Special Protection Area, Site of Community Importance, Biocynegetic Reserve. The morphological traits of the Macizo of Peñalara were shaped during the last ice age, which explain the high mountain characteristics presented by its wetlands and flora; there are 242 high altitude ponds and lagoons of glacial origin, some of them temporary, as well as some permanent and temporary creeks, and peatlands dominated by Sphagnum. The site also contains 11 natural habitat types in which the vegetation follows a clear altitude-specific distribution, with pine trees in the lower zones and high altitude shrublands higher up. All these factors combine to provide a great variety of landscapes. However, factors such as air pollution and forest fires also threaten the integrity of the ecosystem, and fungus infections have eliminated over 90% of a native toad (Alytes obstetricans). The contribution of traditional livestock grazing to the eutrophication of the wetlands is currently being investigated. Ramsar site no. 1673. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Humedales y Turberas de Padul. 27/01/06; Andalucía; 327 ha; 37º00'N 003º36'W. Natural Park, EU Directive Site of Community Importance, Andalucian Wetland. Comprising the remains of a fluvial swamp system located in the Lecrín Valley, next to the mountains of Sierra Nevada in Granada. The mountains surrounding these wetlands have been transformed over centuries by human activity, modifying the hydrology to create drainage channels and springs. This site constitutes the only wetland of endorrheic origin in the province and one of the largest peatlands in Mediterranean Europe. It is of high importance given the vast numbers of birds that frequent it, as well as for its cultural and socioeconomic characteristics. The wetland is an important site for reproduction, resting and hibernating seasons of many species, including Circus aeruginosus, Ixobrychus minutus, Vanellus vanellus, Porphyrio porphyrio, Egretta garcetta, and Circus cyaneus. The main threats include peat extraction leading to a lowering of the groundwater level and the presence of abundant water vegetation. A slow eutrophication process due to fertilizer run-off is also present. Ramsar site no. 1674. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Lago de Banyoles. 20/12/02; Cataluña; 1,033 ha; 42°08'N 002°46'E. Protected Natural Area. The main part (999 ha) consists of the upstream freshwater lake adjacent to Banyoles town (15,000 inhabitants) and its forested water catchment basin. Within the site, the lake itself, the small marshes Lagunas del Vilar y de las Guixeres, and the inflowing rivers Castellana y de la Puda cover together 132 ha. The site includes also a separate part (34 ha) of the catchment of the Laguna de Espolla pool. It is one of the best examples of a karst catchment on the Iberian peninsula. The local sulphur, iron and carbon cycles support characteristic bacterial communities. A rich and diverse aquatic vegetation of permanent and temporary pools and the associated fauna contribute to the environmental importance of the site. The turtles Emys orbicularis and Mauremys leprosa and the fish Barbus meridionalis are of EC interest. Human activities include tourism and recreation in most of the wetland area, except a few inaccessible parts. Small-scale farming and livestock rearing takes place in the surroundings. Ramsar site no. 1257. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Lago de Caicedo-Yuso y Salinas de Añana. 24/10/02; País Vasco; 26 ha; 42°48'N 002°59'W. Two wetlands situated in the geological Cantabrican deep with much salty resurgences. Lake Caicedo-Yuso (13 ha) receives salt groundwater, creating a particular water chemistry and inland saltmarshes Juncetalia maritimi, a natural habitat listed by the EC Directive. The dragonfly population of Coenagrion mercuriale is of international importance. The other wetland consists of the terraced brine panels of Añana (13 ha), located nearby in the geologically peculiar valley. The water terraces have been used since the 9th century, and still are today, to produce salt through solar evaporation, and they harbour an endemic variety of the brine shrimp Artemia parthenogenetica. Ramsar site no. 1258. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Laguna de Chiprana. 07/06/94; Aragón; 162 ha; 41º13’N 000º12’W. The site consists of the only deep endorheic, saline lake complex in Western Europe, and a saline lake. Vegetation consists of circles of salt-resistant vegetation distributed according to salinity gradients and inundation, and includes reed and sedge beds. Numerous species of mammals and reptiles are supported. The site is important for numerous species of waders passing through on migration and for nesting and wintering waterbirds. Human activities include livestock grazing and bird hunting. Ramsar site no. 654. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Laguna de El Hito. 20/12/02; Castilla-La Mancha; 573 ha; 39°52'N 002°41'W. Special Protection Area and proposed Site of Community Importance EC Directives. A temporary, endorreic, saline steppe lake on the central Iberian plain. The shallow pool may extend over most of the Ramsar site. However, as it is only rain-fed, it regularly dries out and may occasionally remain dry for prolonged periods. It is one of the best Spanish examples of a steppe pool with rich submerged aquatic vegetation and adjoining salt marsh and steppe (Limonietalia, Juncetalia maritimi) habitats. The surroundings of the receding pool provide important grazing areas for sheep and goats and serve as a refueling site for migrating cranes Grus grus (up to 12% of the flyway population). Ramsar site no. 1259. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Laguna de Fuente de Piedra. 08/08/83; Andalucía; 1,364 ha; 37º07’N 004º46’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Reserve. A shallow, seasonally variable saline lagoon (the largest lagoon in Andalucía) and associated marshland set in a closed drainage basin. The wetland is fed by five small rivers, rainfall, and highly mineralized groundwater. A salt-resistant vegetation fringes the lagoon, giving way to emergent reedbeds. The site is the second most important breeding site for Phoenicopterus ruber (12,000 pairs) and supports several species of wintering birds. Ramsar site no. 276. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Laguna de Gallocanta. 07/06/94; Aragón; 6,720 ha; 40º58’N 001º33’W. European Community Special Protection Area; National Hunting Refuge. The largest endorheic saline lake on the Iberian Peninsula, subject to seasonal fluctuations in water levels and salinity. The area supports a rich and varied flora consisting of deciduous trees, rush and reedbeds, and halophytic communities. The site is internationally important for numerous species of nesting, staging and wintering waterbirds. In particular, the site supports 80% of the Western European population of Grus grus during their fall migration. Human activities include agriculture and timber harvesting. Ramsar site no. 655. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Laguna de la Nava de Fuentes. 24/10/2002; Castilla y León; 326 ha; 42°04’12’’N 004°45’00’’W; Natura 2000 (SPA, SCI). Originally a steppe lake covering more than 2,000 ha in the north of Spain, after years of draining the lake had disappeared by 1968; the current shallow wetland is the result of a successful restoration project which began in 1990. The hydrological levels are artificially regulated and during the dry periods part of the lake area is grazed by sheep. The wetland plays a very important role as resting place for ducks and shorebirds during migration, reaching concentrations of more than 20,000 individuals, and more than 200,000 greylag geese Anser anser as well as over 10,000 mallards Anas platyrhynchos winter in the site. Several endangered species such as the Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris and Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola can also be found there. Some of the threats which might affect the ecological characteristics are mainly processes of eutrophication and pollution caused by agricultural activities. In recent years several ornithological, limnological and botanical studies have been carried out, and a new management plan for the site is in preparation. Ramsar site no. 1260. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Laguna de la Vega (o del Pueblo). 05/12/89; Castilla-La Mancha; 34 ha; 39º25’N 002º56’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Hunting Reserve. A semi-permanent, brackish, steppe lagoon set in an enclosed drainage basin. The site supports submerged vegetation with fringing grassland and reedbeds. The surrounding area includes urban development and traditional agriculture (vineyards, olive groves, and unirrigated cereal cultivation). The area is important for several species of nesting waterbirds and is one of the most important breeding sites in the Iberian peninsulafor Podiceps nigricollis. Large numbers of Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans, etc.) and Fulica atra occur in winter. Ramsar site no. 450. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Laguna de Manjavacas. 26/03/93; Castilla-La Mancha; 231 ha; 39º25’N 002º50’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Hunting Refuge. A highly saline lagoon and associated islands lying in a large enclosed (endorheic) drainage basin fed by spring rainfall and drying out in summer. Vegetation includes submerged aquatic plants and fringing reedbeds. An important area for nesting waterbirds, spring staging of migratory ducks and shorebirds, and up to 9,000 wintering waterbirds. The surrounding area is used for traditional agriculture, including the cultivation of vines, olives, and arable crops. Ramsar site no. 594. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Laguna de Pitillas. 18/11/96; Navarra; 216 ha; 42º24’N 001º34’W. Natural Reserve, European Community Special Protection Area. The site was originally a permanent brackish lagoon, but it has been converted into an artificial impoundment. It is a nutrient-poor wetland which holds 6-11% of the Spanish wintering population of Circus aeruginosus and 9% of the Spanish breeding population of this species. Botaurus stellaris nests regularly and Porzana porzana occasionally. The lake, which has a dense population and great variety in species of amphibians, is surrounded by dry kermes oak forest. The only activities permitted are observation by visitors. Ramsar site no. 871. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Laguna del Prado. 26/03/93; Castilla-La Mancha; 52 ha; 38º55’N 003º49’W. Wildlife Refuge. A shallow, highly saline lagoon with waters rich in organic matter, occupying an enclosed (endorheic) drainage basin. The lagoon supports submerged vegetation and reedbeds, and is fringed by salt-resistant vegetation. The site is important for nesting waterbirds and small numbers of wintering ducks. Vines, olives and cereals are grown in the surrounding areas. Ramsar site no. 596. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Laguna y Arenal de Valdoviño. 26/03/93; Galicia; 485 ha; 43º36’N 008º10’W. Wildlife Refuge. An artificially regulated coastal lagoon fringed by reedbeds and separated from the sea by a dune barrier and beach complex. Vegetation includes dune communities, fringing reedbeds, and an important riparian Salix sp. and Alnus glutinosa wood. Human activities include tourism, fishing, rush cutting, and cultivation. The area is important for staging birds, mainly ducks and shorebirds. Ramsar site no. 599. Most recent RIS information: 2007.

Lagunas de Alcázar de San Juan. 26/03/93; Castilla-La Mancha; 240 ha; 39º24’N 003º15’W. Wildlife Refuge. Two highly saline lagoons and associated islands located within an enclosed drainage basin. The area supports halophytic flora, reedbeds and submerged aquatic plants. An important area for various species of nesting and wintering waterbirds, especially ducks. The surrounding areas are cultivated for vines, olives and cereal. Ramsar site no. 595. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Lagunas de Cádiz (Laguna de Medina y Laguna Salada). 05/12/89; Andalucía; 158 ha; 36º37’N 006º03’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Reserve. Two shallow, saline lagoons (fed primarily by rainfall), within closed drainage basins set in a semi-arid, cultivated landscape. A rich emergent and submergent aquatic vegetation occurs. The lagoons are surrounded by agricultural land and used as supply sources for irrigation. An important area for several species of wintering and nesting waterbirds, including the endangered species Oxyura leucocephala, Fulica cristata and Porphyrio porphyrio. Human activities include fishing and reed harvesting. Ramsar site no. 445. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Lagunas de Campotejar. 07/01/11; Murcia; 61 ha; 38º06'35"N 001º13'11"W. Comprising the catchment area of a small seasonal creek as well as five artificial ponds originally constructed for water treatment purposes which are now used to store pre-treated water for irrigation. Reed belts have developed along the edges of the ponds. The site contains different habitat types of European interest supporting characteristic salt-tolerant vegetation as well as birds associated with saline inland habitats. The site is important for wintering, staging and reproduction of several water bird species, including the internationally endangered White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala and the vulnerable Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris. Invasive plant species threaten the ecological character of the site, but eradication and revegetation projects are foreseen in the near future together with the construction of a bird observatory. The site is used for research and environmental education. Ramsar Site number: 2035. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Lagunas de la Mata y Torrevieja. 05/12/89; Comunidad Valenciana; 3,693 ha; 38º00'N 000º42'W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Park, Hunting Reserve. Two large, saline lagoons lying below sea level and connected to the sea by an artificial channel. Vegetation consists of several endemic plants, fringing reedbeds and open areas of salt-resistant vegetation giving way to scrub. The site is of particular importance for various species of wintering and nesting waterbirds, notably Podiceps nigricollis (maximum may exceed 3,000), Anas clypeata, and Netta rufina. Up to 2,000 non-breeding Phoenicopterus ruber may occur. The site is used as a concentration area for commercial salt works. Management difficulties include illegal refuse disposal and unregulated tourism and recreation. Ramsar site no. 456. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Lagunas de las Moreras. 07/01/11; Murcia; 73 ha; 37º34´47"N 001º18'00"W. Covering the final stretch of the irregular stream Las Moreras that discharges into the Mediterranean Sea. At its mouth typical halophytic vegetation of European interest can be found. The site also includes an artificial pond, a former gravel pit, used as a water storage area. The site is an important area for wintering, staging and reproduction of many species of waterfowl, including the internationally endangered White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala and the vulnerable Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris which nest here. Furthermore, the site offers habitat to many different species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and invertebrates, including endemic and threatened species such as the Spanish Toothcarp Aphanius iberus, endemic to the Iberian Peninsula. The site is of cultural and archaeological significance and is being used for small-scale sheep grazing, research, environmental education and some bird watching tourism. The construction of a bird observatory is planned. Threats to the site include erosion and siltation, agricultural pollution as well as invasive species. Ramsar Site number: 2036. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Lagunas de Laguardia (Carralogroño, Carravalseca, Prao de la Paul y Musco). 09/12/96; País Vasco; 45 ha; 42°33'N 002°34'W. Protected Biotope. Proposed Site of Community Importance EC Directive. These are the northernmost meso-saline inland pools in Europe and represent the last examples of this characteristic ecosystem in the region. Of special interest is the aquatic flora, in particular the extremely rare Charophyte Tolypella salina. A variety of waterbirds (including nationally threatened Plegadis falcinellus and breeding birds Tachybaptus ruficollis and Podiceps cristatus) use the lagoons. The saline pools are not used by humans, but the lake of Prao de la Paul with some emergent vegetation is used for recreation. Area extended in October 2002. Ramsar site no. 880. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Lagunas de Puebla de Beleña. 20/12/02; Castilla-La Mancha; 191 ha; 40°53'N 003°15'W. Nature Reserve. Two temporary, endorreic, rain-fed freshwater lakes that may form into one during wet years, but dry out regularly. At the water's edge, rare plant communities with Elatine hexandra, Littorella uniflora and Isoetes sp. developed. The pools attract many migrating waterbirds, including cranes Grus grus. The site acts as a biodiversity island in the midst of the extensive cereal cultures in the surroundings of Guadalajara province. Ramsar site no. 1261. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Lagunas de Ruidera.23/09/11; Castilla-La Mancha; 6,639 ha; 38°56'23"N 002°51'35"W. Natural Park, Wildlife Refuge, Natura 2000 (SIC), UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. 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. Ramsar Site number: 2069. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Lagunas de Villafáfila. 05/12/89; Castilla-León; 2,714 ha; 41º49’47”N 005º36’00”W. Catalogued Wetland, Regional Hunting Reserve, Nature Reserve, Natura 2000 (SPA, SCI). A complex of saline lakes subject to marked seasonal variations inside a closed drainage basin in a rolling steppe landscape. The lakes have extensive beds of emergent vegetation with fringing saline grassland. Large numbers of ducks and geese (on average 32,000 birds between 1995 and 2010) use the site for wintering, and during the breeding season the site also sustains more than 1% of the Sterna nilotica population. The area holds two important aquifers. The surrounding basin is used in a non-intensive way for cereal crops and grasslands where the threatened Great Bustard Otis tarda can be found. In 2005 a natural resources management plan was developed with conservation objectives and guidelines. Ramsar site no. 451. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Lagunas del sur de Córdoba (Zóñar, Rincón y Amarga). 05/12/89; Andalucía; 86 ha; 37º29’N 004º41’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Reserve. A group of six semi-permanent saline lagoons and two reservoirs subject to extreme seasonal fluctuations in water level and salinity, set in a cultivated steppe landscape. A distinctive flora and fauna are supported, consisting of emergent and submergent aquatic vegetation and various rare or endangered fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds. The site is one of the most important breeding areas in Europe for the endangered duck Oxyura leucocephala and provides habitat for several species of wintering and breeding waterbirds. Ramsar site no. 446. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Las Tablas de Daimiel. 04/05/82; Castilla-La Mancha; 1,928 ha; 39º09’N 003º40’W. Added to the Montreux Record, 4 July 1990. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Special Protection Area EC Directive; National Park. A complex of shallow pools and associated marshland lying in the great plain of La Mancha. The site receives fresh and brackish flood water inflows and supports a rich aquatic vegetation of emergent and submergent species. The area supports a diverse fauna, including 13 reptile species. It is particularly important for numerous species of nesting waterbirds and up to 10,000 wintering birds, mainly ducks Anas strepera and Netta rufina. Due to over-exploitation of the regional aquifer for intensive agriculture, groundwater levels have fallen dramatically. As a result the site has begun to dry up and the Guadiana River ceased flowing in the National Park. The site was added to the Montreux Record in 1990. Subject of a Ramsar Advisory Mission in 1988. Ramsar site no. 235. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Mar Menor. 04/10/94; Murcia; 14,933 ha; 37º43’N 000º48’W. Regional Park. The Mar Menor is the largest lagoon on the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Habitats include islands, beaches, salt pans, saltmarshes, and dune systems. The site is of special botanical importance for its well-developed halophytic and dune communities. Numerous species of nesting, passage and wintering waterbirds frequent the site, including the globally threatened duck Marmaronetta angustirostris. Human activities include tourism, recreation, agriculture, salt production, and fishing. Ramsar site no. 706. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Marismas de Santoña. 04/10/94; Cantabria; 6,907 ha; 43º25’N 003º26’W. European Union Special Protection Area; Natural Reserve. The most important coastal wetland for northern Iberian Peninsula waterbirds, consisting of an estuary supporting extensive salt marshes. Other habitats include meadows, beaches, dunes, cliffs, and stands of oak forest. The site supports a diverse flora representing halophytic and freshwater communities. Internationally important numbers of various species of waterbirds use the site for nesting, staging and wintering. Human activities include fisheries, marine aquaculture, and beach recreation. Ramsar site no. 707. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Marismas del Odiel. 05/12/89; Andalucía; 7,185 ha; 37º17’N 006º55’W. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Park, Natural Reserve. An extensive wetland of several distinct saltmarsh habitats, where vegetation is determined by frequency of inundatinon and salinity levels, and a series of dune spits. An extremely important area for several species of wintering ducks and nesting waterbirds, being one of two Spanish nesting sites for 400 pairs of Platalea leucorodia. Large numbers of shorebirds use the site for staging. Land use within the site includes salt extraction, forestry, agriculture, fishing, and shellfish harvesting. Ramsar site no. 447. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Marjal de Pego-Oliva. 04/10/94; Comunidad Valenciana; 1,290 ha; 38º52’N 000º04’W. Natural Park. The site, an extensive coastal basin marsh separated from the shoreline by a sand bar, includes cultivated areas and a network of channels. The site is subject to varying salinity levels and supports floating, submergent and emergent vegetation. The marsh supports an important range of nesting waterbirds, some of which are globally threatened. Human activities include agriculture, hunting, fishing, and livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 708. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Pantano de El Hondo. 05/12/89; Comunidad Valenciana; 2,387 ha; 38º10’N 000º42’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Park. Two large reservoirs and associated wetlands in the floodplain of two rivers. The site includes brackish and saline pools, halophytic and submerged vegetation, and emergent reedbeds. An extremely area important for various species of breeding waterbirds, notably the endangered duck Marmaronetta angustirostris (13-21 pairs). Large numbers of ducks occur in winter and various species nest in the area. The site is used for irrigation, and inflow and outflow are controlled as necessary. Other human activities include hunting and fishing, with intensive agriculture occurring in the surrounding areas. Ramsar site no. 455. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Paraje Natural Brazo del Este. 27/01/06; Andalucía; 1,362 ha; 37º08'N 006º02'W. Natural Landscape, EU Directive Special Protection Area. The site comprises a stretch of the old Guadalquivir river bed that was channeled during the 20th century and displays a mosaic of cultivated fields with some remaining marshes and other wetlands. The importance of the site increases during the autumn season, when bird communities find a very attractive range of fish populations in the wetland, which promotes its use for feeding, resting and breeding. The fisheries of Brazo de Este have also been an important resource for non-commercial consumption, previous to its protection for conservation purposes. The past creation of rice fields has led to disruption of the hydrological functions of the wetland, leading to sedimentation. Ramsar site no. 1675. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Paraje Natural Laguna Grande. 17/09/09; Andalucía; 200 ha; 37°56'N 003°34'W. The Natural Area (paraje natural) was designated in 1989. It includes two seasonally flooded water bodies: Laguna Grande (with a mean inundated area of 21.6 ha) and Laguna Chica (5.2 ha) and the surrounding buffer zone. Historic sources show that a water compound exists at this place since at least the 17th century. Laguna Grande has structures to facilitate the irrigation of the surrounding olive plantations that provide it with an artificial water level regulation. It is a semi-permanent freshwater reservoir with a maximum depth of 4 meters and marked seasonal water level variations. Laguna Chica however kept the original water regime of a surface freshwater wetland (0.5 meter depth) with seasonal inundations depending on rainfall. Both are situated in a part of the Guadalquivir basin that is covered with large-scale, irrigated olive plantations that dominate the landscape and left only little remaining original Mediterranean matorral. The site is a functional part of the network of wetlands in the upper Guadalquivir basin (“Lagunas del Alto Guadalquivir”), connecting the wetland ecosystems of Doñana, the “La Mancha” plain and the Mediterranean coast, providing a large habitat for species as they are moving from one to the other. Ramsar site no. 1912. Most recent RIS information: 2010. Español | Français + photos

Paraje Natural Lagunas de Palos y Las Madres. 27/01/06; Andalucía; 635 ha; 37º09'N 006º52'W, EU Directive Site of Community Importance, Andalucian Wetland. The lagoons of Primera de Palos, La Jara, La Mujer and Las Madres constitute an important support area for the Odiel Marshes and the Doñana National Park. Among the most important species present are the white-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala), the Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) and the Red-knobbed Coot (Fulica cristata), although many other species like Netta rufina, Aythya nyroca, Circus aeruginosus and Pandion haliaetus also use the site as a breeding and wintering site. A project is currently underway to restore the original hydrological and peat characteristics of the site. Ramsar site no. 1676. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Paraje Natural Punta Entinas-Sabinar. 27/01/06; Andalucía; 1,948 ha; 36º42'N 002º42'W. Nature Reserve, EU Directive Special Protection Area, Site of Community Importance, Protocol for Especially Protected Zones in the Mediterranean, Barcelona Convention. Located in the Almería Province, the site is part of a permanent endorrheic catchment that also contains coastal sand shores and dunes, as well as traditional salt extraction sites (now abandoned). This site is of great importance for waterfowl migrating between western Africa and northern Eurasia. The predominant land uses include intensive agriculture, the extraction of land substrates as building materials (now forbidden), and some sheep herding. The threats to the site include infrastructure works, agricultural run-off, and exotic vegetation. Ramsar site no. 1677. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Parque Nacional de Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici. 27/01/06; Cataluña; 39,979 ha; 42º34'N 000º56'E. National Park, EU Directive Special Protection Area, Site of Community Importance. A good example of the typical glacier and raised bog valleys in the high mountain area of the Pyrenees, including mountainous and sub-alpine beech forests, mixed conifer forests and shrub-zones, including a diverse vegetation with many endemic species. The site also contains a rich diversity of natural hydrological systems such as mires, lakes and watercourses; as well as artificial ones including reservoirs and small dams. There are over 200 alpine lakes within the site boundaries. Among the negative impacts to the site are water extraction, infrastructure, electricity lines (which are expected to be removed in the future), and the increasing pressure created by tourism. Ramsar site No. 1678. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Prat de Cabanes-Torreblanca. 05/12/89; Comunidad Valenciana; 812 ha; 40º14’N 000º12’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Park. Developed through the long-term sedimentation of a coastal lagoon, the site is the largest marsh in the province. Characterized by well-developed wetland vegetation, underlain by extensive areas of peat and separated from the sea by a dune complex, the site is nearly pristine. Principal vegetation types consist of submergent and emergent aquatic plants, halophytic and dune communities. The area is very important for a number of rare or endemic plants, fish, and invetebrates and supports several species of nesting birds. Human activities include agriculture, livestock grazing, commercial peat extraction, hunting, tourism and recreation. The area plays an important role in conservation education, and there is a visitors’ centre. Ramsar site no. 458. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Reserva Natural Complejo Endorreico de Chiclana. 17/09/09; Andalucía; 793 ha; 36°27'N 006°05'W. The Nature Reserve of the endorheic wetland complex of Chiclana contains two water bodies, Laguna de Jeli (with a mean inundated area of 19 ha) and Laguna de Montellano (7 ha), and the surrounding buffer zone. Jeli is a semi-permanent wetland with a maximum depth of 2 meters that receives is water directly from rainfall and surface runoffs, as well as through a closed aquifer in its basin. Montellana is a temporary wetland on top of a non permeable argillaceous substrate with a maximum depth of 3m. Both are representative wetlands of the endorheic basins around Cádiz and Sevilla. They are surrounded by a landscape composed of non-irrigated agriculture, non-intensive pastures and some remains of Mediterranean matorral. They are strategically located close to the Guadalquivir marshes (Doñana) and other important wetlands, providing alternative breeding and stop-over habitat for many migratory waterbirds, particularly in dry years. Ramsar site no. 1914. Most recent RIS information: 2010. Español | Français + photos

Reserva Natural Complejo Endorreico de Espera. 27/01/06; Andalucía; 514 ha; 36º52'N 005º52'W. Nature Reserve, EU Directive Special Protection Area, Site of Community Importance, Andalucian Wetland. Made up of a permanent, a semi-permanent, and a seasonal lagoon near the mouth of River Guadalquivir, essential for the breeding and resting of numerous migratory waterfowl, effectively constituting a functional extension of the Doñana marshes. Native vegetation has recently been reintroduced around the site as part of a broader conservation effort. The site suffers from soil erosion and silting from the surrounding agriculture, as well as other diffuse sources of pollution. Ramsar site no. 1679. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Reserva Natural Complejo Endorreico de Puerto Real. 17/09/09; Andalucía; 863 ha; 36°32'N 006°02'W. The Nature Reserve of the endorheic wetland complex of Puerto Real consists of three water bodies, Laguna del Taraje (with a mean inundated area of 19 ha and a maximum depth of 2 meters), Laguna de San Antonio (9.5 ha, 0.5 meters), Laguna del Comisario (21 ha, 1.5 meter), and the surrounding buffer zone. Taraje and San Antonio are permanent wetlands that receive additional water from a nearby drinking water station, while Comisario is a temporary wetland that depends on rainfall and surface water runoff only. They are representative wetlands of the endorheic basins around Cadiz and Sevilla. They are surrounded by a landscape composed of non-irrigated agriculture, non-intensive pastures and some remains of Mediterranean matorral. Strategically located close to the Guadalquivir marshes (Doñana) and other important wetlands, they provide alternative breeding and stop-over habitat for many migratory waterbirds, particularly in dry years. Ramsar site no. 1915. Most recent RIS information: 2010. Español | Français + photos

Reserva Natural Complejo Endorreico Lebrija-Las Cabezas. 17/09/09; Andalucía; 897 ha; 36°55'N 005°54'W. The Nature Reserve of the endorheic wetland complex Lebrija-Las Cabezas includes six water bodies and their surrounding buffer zones. It is composed of two distinct units: the seasonal Laguna del Charrodo (also known as Charroao or Bujadillo) and its buffer zone, plus the semi-permanent Laguna del Taraje, and the seasonal Lagunas del Pilón, de la Cigarrera, de la Galiana, and de la Peña surrounded by a common buffer zone. The maximum water level in these surface wetlands can reach 3 meters at Taraje, above 2 meters at Cigarrera and 0.5 meter at Charrodo. They are representative wetlands of the endorheic basins around Cádiz and Sevilla. They are situated in a landscape composed of non-irrigated agriculture, non-intensive pastures and some remains of Mediterranean matorral. They are strategically located close to the Guadalquivir marshes (Doñana) and other important wetlands, providing alternative breeding and stop-over habitat for many migratory waterbirds, particularly in dry years. Ramsar site no. 1913. Most recent RIS information: 2010. Español | Français + photos

Reserva Natural Lagunas de Archidona. 17/09/09; Andalucía; 204 ha; 37°06'N 004°18'W. The Nature Reserve of the Archidona wetlands contains two water bodies (about 1 km distant), Laguna Grande (7.96 ha) and Laguna Chica (7.88 ha), and a surrounding buffer zone. Laguna Grande is a permanent water body that receives its major part of water from an underlying karst aquifer on gypsum substrate. Laguna Chica is semi-permanent pond with important water level fluctuations that occasionally dries out when the level of the underlying aquifer drops too much. Both were created through the collapse of karst dolines that gave Laguna Chica its typical 8-shape. Laguna Grande has a maximum depth of 13.2 meters which makes it the deepest in Málaga province and the second in the Autonomous Region of Andalucía. Laguna Chica has a maximum depth of 8.3 meters. Together with the wetland complex of Los Hoyos, it is an outstanding example of karstic solution processes in the gypsum layer of the Triassic “German-Andalusian” deposit. Ramsar site no. 1911. Most recent RIS information: 2010. Español | Français + photos

Reserva Natural Laguna de los Jarales. 27/01/06; Andalucía; 147 ha; 37º18'N, 004º34'W. Nature Reserve, EU Directive Special Protection Area, Site of Community Importance, Andalucian Wetland. The pond and surrounding fields is important, among other things, for hosting species like the toad (Bufo calamita), which shows local adaptations to this particular lagoon. Agriculture is important around the site, with olive, wine grape and cereal plantations generating a certain degree of silting and contamination of the lagoon. The arrival and spread of the invasive Ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) is actively being prevented, as it tends to compete and interbreed with the white-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala). Ramsar site no. 1680. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Reserva Natural Laguna de Tíscar. 27/01/06; Andalucía; 185 ha; 37º25'N 004º49'W. Nature Reserve, EU Directive Special Protection Area, Site of Community Importance, Andalucian Wetland. This seasonal endorrheic pond belongs to a wetland complex of ponds situated to the south of Córdoba, of which the first three are Ramsar sites. Among the Andalucian Red List / EU Birds Directive Annex I species of endangered bird populations present on this site are Circus aeruginosus, Netta rufina and Podiceps nigricollis. The site also contains the Castiseco archaeological ground. Ramsar site no. 1681. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Reserva Natural Laguna del Chinche. 27/01/06; Andalucía; 221 ha; 37º36'N 0004º09'W. Nature Reserve, Andalucian Wetland. Located in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, the site constitutes an intermediate zone between the important palustrine wetlands of Doñana and Bajo de Guadalquivir Lagoons, on the one hand, and the La Mancha wetlands and the Mediterranean region, on the other. For many years the lagoon has been systematically drained through surface and underground extraction to provide water for olive plantations. Pollution from agriculture and poaching constitute further threats. Ramsar site no. 1682. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Reserva Natural Laguna del Conde o El Salobral. 27/01/06; Andalucía; 345 ha; 37º34'N 004º12'W. Nature Reserve, EU Directive Special Protection Area, Site of Community Importance, Andalucian Wetland. Of particular importance as feeding, breeding and nesting place for waterbirds, the value of the fauna in this wetland has the white-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala) as its emblem, for it used to have its last European population in this area. In order to ensure its permanence, measures have been taken to eliminate the Ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis), an invasive species believed to constitute a major factor in the decrease of white-headed duck populations. Ramsar site no. 1683. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Reserva Natural Laguna Honda. 27/01/06; Andalucía; 368 ha; 37º35'N 004º08'W. Nature Reserve, EU Directive Site of Community Importance. Together with Laguna del Chinche, Laguna Honda constitutes one of the best conserved palustrine formations in the province. Its ecological importance lies in its strategic location promoting connectivity, its geological processes, and its associated flora and fauna. Among the species present are the nationally endangered birds Oxyura leucocephala, Aythua nyroca, Ardeola ralloides, and a toad (Bufo calamita) registered in the EU Directive on Habitats and Wildlife, Annex IV. Adverse factors include agriculture and its associated groundwater extraction, infrastructure works, and illegal hunting. Ramsar site no. 1684. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Reserva Natural Lagunas de Campillos. 27/01/06; Andalucía; 1,342 ha; 37º02'N 004º49'W. Nature Reserve, EU Directive Special Protection Area, Site of Community Importance, Andalucian Wetland. Comprising five temporary ponds which form a functional unit with further ponds in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula. The site is also important on archaeological grounds, as it hosts the Roman Capacete ruins. Regulated hunting exists in some parts of the Reserve. Among the threats to the site, changes to the hydrology, agriculture, eutrophication and water extraction count among the main ones. Although the numbers of cattle present are not excessive, they exceed the carrying capacity of the site. Ramsar site no. 1685. Most recent RIS information: 2006.

Ría de Mundaka-Guernika. 26/03/93; País Vasco; 945 ha; 43º22’N 002º40’W. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; Wildlife Refuge. A coastal wetland complex near the mouth and lower reaches of the Guernika and Mundaka rivers.The site includes beaches, regularly and intermittently inundated salt marshes supporting salt-resistant vegetation, intertidal mud and sand flats with Zostera beds, and small sedge and reedbeds. The area is notable for its rich fauna, which includes a diversity of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Various species of waterbirds use the site for nesting, staging or wintering. Significantly, it is the second most important staging area in Spain for the Dutch breeding population of Platalea leucorodia. Presently, increasing tourism and shellfish, crustacean, and annelid worm harvesting are major human activities. Ramsar site no. 600. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Ría de Villaviciosa. 07/01/11; Asturias; 1,263 ha; 43º31'12"N 005º23'23"W. Nature Reserve, Natura 2000 (SPA, SIC). One of the best-conserved estuaries on the Cantabrian coast, containing a wide diversity of species of flora and fauna, including internationally threatened species such as the European Eel Anguilla anguilla, Aquatic Warbler Acrocephalus paludicola and the Gold-striped Salamander Chioglossa lusitanica. Amongst the different habitat types, four wetland types are listed as European priority habitats including coastal lagoons and dunes as well as Atlantic heaths. The site is an important wintering and staging area for numerous species of waterbirds. It is located along the pilgrim's trail "Camino de Santiago" and is of high cultural and archeological as well as touristic importance. Bird observatories, environmental education opportunities and an interpretation centre exist. Water contamination and invasive species threaten the site. Ramsar Site number: 2037. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Ría del Eo. 04/10/94; Galicia, Asturias; 1,740 ha; 43º30’N 007º01’W. Hunting Refuge. The site consists of the Eo River Estuary and supports typical coastal vegetation consisting of halophytic communities and particularly beds of eelgrass, Zostera marina and Z. noltii. The site is important for passage and wintering ducks and waders, supporting internationally important numbers of wintering Anas acuta. Human activities include commercial fishing, oyster and clam culture, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 705. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Rías de Ortigueira y Ladrido. 05/12/89; Galicia; 2,920 ha; 43º42’N 007º47’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Hunting Reserve. A rocky coastal inlet and estuarine complex at the mouths of the Mera and Ladrido rivers. Dominant vegetation consists of various species of reedbeds. Several species of shorebirds winter here, the most numerous being ducks. Human uses consist of fishing and shellfish harvesting. Ramsar site no. 453. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Saladar de Jandía. 24/10/02; Canarias; 127 ha; 28°03'N 014°20'W. Proposed Site of Community Importance EC Directive. One of the rare coastal saltmarshes on the Canary islands, extending along 2.5 km of the southern shore of Fuerteventura. The site contains many endemic invertebrates and reptiles, such as the lizard Gallotia atlantica mahoratae and the gecko Tarentola angustimentalis. It serves as a stopover and breeding site for several shorebirds. No human uses occur on site which is, however, adjacent to the expanding Morro Jable urban area and a coastal motorway. Ramsar site no. 1262. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Saladas de Sástago-Bujaraloz. 07/01/11; Aragón; 8,145 ha; 41º23'59"N 000º12'36"W. Natura 2000 (SPA, SIC). An endorheic complex of 26 seasonal saline lakes located in a salt steppe ecosystem representing a habitat which is unique in Western Europe due to its geomorphological, geochemical, hydrological and ecological characteristics. Many of the lakes contain water for only short periods of time following heavy precipitation events and are mostly covered with a typical salt crust. Only 16 of the lakes are flooded regularly. The site is exceptionally rich in species specifically adapted to such extreme saline environments. It contains several threatened and endemic species such as crustacean Candelacypris aragonica, endemic to these salt lakes, as well as 31 species of flora endemic to the Iberian Peninsula or to the Ebro basin like Limonium stenophyllum. Furthermore, 238 vertebrate species have been recorded in the wider area, many of them of European interest. The site is of cultural importance due to its history of salt exploitation. It is used to some extent for rain-fed agriculture, research and nature tourism. Threatening factors include the possible future transformation from rain-fed to irrigated agriculture and the use of some of the lakes as a waste dump due to a lack of appreciation of the site's values. Ramsar Site number: 2038. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

S'Albufera de Mallorca. 05/12/89; Baleares; 1,700 ha; 39º49’N 003º07’E. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Park, Hunting Refuge. An extensive, highly sedimented, freshwater marsh of dense reedbeeds, separated from the sea by a dune bar supporting scrub. The marsh is fed by surface runoff and groundwater and dissected by a network of former irrigation dikes and canals fringed by woodland and scrub. The area is internationally important for breeding, staging and wintering various species of waterbirds. Human activities include conservation education, ecotourism, and controlled fishing. Ramsar site no. 449. Most recent RIS information: 1998.

Salburua. 24/10/02; País Vasco; 174 ha; 42°51'N 002°39'W. A complex of two shallow lakes at the edge of Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of the Basque autonomous region (220,000 inhabitants). The marshes were drained during the 20th century and subsequently restored in the 1990s. Arkaute lake fulfils a key hydrological function in preventing flooding of the nearby part of town. The site contains the most extensive Carex riparia reedbed of the Iberian peninsula and other priority habitats of the EC Habitats Directive. The population of the globally endangered European mink Mustela lutreola is noteworthy. The area is used for research and environmental education. Specific trails and picnic areas are designated for nature tourists. Controlled grazing with a herd of deer is managing the emergent aquatic vegetation. Ramsar site no. 1263. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Salinas de Ibiza y Formentera. 30/11/93; Baleares; 1,640 ha; 38º46’N 001º26’E. European Union Special Protection Area; Nature Reserve, Natural Area of Special Interest. The site consists of various Mediterranean habitats including islands, coastal lagoons, and a complex of salt pans. Vegetation consists of halophytic communities and Juniperus scrub. The area is important to various species of nesting and migratory waterbirds. Ramsar site no. 641. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Salinas de Santa Pola. 05/12/89; Comunidad Valenciana; 2,496 ha; 38º08’N 000º37’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Park. An extensive complex of active salt pans (salinas) and seasonal saline pools, bordered by dunes and beaches. The vegetation varies considerably according to salinity, supporting stands of Carex and Juncus, interspersed with halophytic plants. The area supports a diverse fauna, including invertebrates, reptiles and fish. Its most important feature, however, is its importance as habitat for nesting, staging and wintering numerous species of waterbirds. Land uses include hunting, fishing, some agriculture, and transportation. Ramsar site no. 457. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Salinas del Cabo de Gata. 05/12/89; Andalucía; 300 ha; 36º44’N 002º12’W. Special Protection Area EC Directive; Natural Park. An area of salt pans (salinas) occupying a coastal depression at the foot of the mountains and separated from the sea by a dune complex. The immediate vicinity of the salt pans supports a salt-resistant vegetation. The area is important for breeding, staging and wintering various species of water birds. Ramsar site no. 448. Most recent RIS information: 1999.

Tremedales de Orihuela. 07/01/11; Aragón; 1,845 ha; 40º31'48"N 001º39'00"W. Natura 2000 (SPA, SIC). A high mountain site (1,400m asl) in the Mediterranean biogeographical region dominated by large areas of pine forest and interspersed with dense grassland which contains about 1,000 small peat bogs, including active raised and blanket bogs. Its very diverse and predominantly Mediterranean flora distinguishes this bog complex from others in Europe, offering habitat to more than 600 different plant species, 32 of them endemic. It is especially rich in bryophytes with 141 species of mosses reported, and some unique species of pteridophytes can be found as well. The site also harbours different species of amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and invertebrates, some of them threatened globally, such as the endangered European Freshwater Crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes. The site is geologically interesting due to its periglacial formations, namely "rivers of stone" on which the bogs have formed. Human uses include livestock feeding, forestry, fishing, hunting, research and recreational activities. The alteration of the hydrological regime due to water abstraction, changes in traditional land management, and touristic pressure threaten the site. Ramsar Site number: 2039. Most recent RIS information: 2012.

Txingudi. 24/10/02; País Vasco; 128 ha; 43°20'N 001°47'W. Coastal marshes in the estuary of the Bidasoa river at the Spanish-French border next to the towns of Irún, Hondarribia and Hendaye (France). Where fresh and salt waters mix, much food is produced for over 20,000 migrating waterbirds, including 250 spoonbills Platalea leucorodia (2.5% of the flyway population) and many rare and threatened species. Part of the area was recently restored to create an "ecological park" with a visitor education centre. Ramsar site no. 1264. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

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