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Location Spain, Cantabria
Central coordinates 3o 30.00' West  43o 30.00' North
IBA criteria B1i, B2, C2, C3
Area 6,907 ha
Altitude 0 - 378m
Year of IBA assessment 2000


Site description A coastal marsh with sand-dunes and extensive intertidal mudflats. Human activities include fishing and shellfish collecting.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  1995  2,391-5,828 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia passage  1995  52-110 individuals  good  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata winter  1995  426-1,450 individuals  good  B2  Near Threatened 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Costa central y R Habitats Directive 444 protected area overlaps with site 119  
Marismas de Santoña Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 6,907 protected area contained by site 6,907  
Marismas de Santoña , Victoria y Joyel - ES1300007 Habitats Directive 3,701 protected area contained by site 3,701  
Marismas de Santoña y Noja Natural Reserve 3,866 protected area contained by site 3,866  
Marismas de Santoña y Noja - ES0000143 Birds Directive 6,604 protected area contained by site 6,604  
Rio Ason - ES1300011 Habitats Directive 530 protected area is adjacent to site 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Standing brackish and salt water  -
Artificial - terrestrial Highly improved re-seeded landscapes; Other urban and industrial areas  50%
Coastline Mud flats & sand flats; Tidal rivers & enclosed tidal waters  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 60%
fisheries/aquaculture 10%
urban/industrial/transport -
forestry 40%

Protection status National Partial International High3,866 ha of IBA covered by Natural Reserve (Marismas de Santoña y Noja, 3,866 ha). 6,907 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Marismas de Santoña, 6,907 ha). 6,907 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Marismas de Santoña, 6,907 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Santoña marshes. Downloaded from on 31/10/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife