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Location Spain, País Vasco
Central coordinates 2o 41.00' West  43o 22.00' North
IBA criteria B1i, C2, C6
Area 4,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 50m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

SEO/BirdLife



Site description A deep estuary with some remnant brackish marshes, extensive mudflats and sandbanks. There is a small rocky islet at the mouth of the estuary and a large coastal cliff in the west of the area.

Key Biodiversity This is an important site for passage and wintering waders and Platalea leucorodia and resident seabirds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
European Storm-petrel Hydrobates pelagicus breeding  1996  200 breeding pairs  poor  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia passage  1996  120 individuals  medium  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Falco peregrinus resident  1996  7-8 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 

IBA Monitoring

2008 very high very unfavourable medium
Habitat
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - shifting agriculture likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Agricultural expansion and intensification marine and freshwater aquaculture - subsistence/artisinal aquaculture likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Invasive and other problematic species and genes introduced genetic material happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - dams (size unknown) likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - persecution/control likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: large scale happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - type unknown/unrecorded happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Pollution garbage & solid waste happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Pollution industrial & military effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Transportation and service corridors shipping lanes happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors utility & service lines happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high

Sea   0 0 moderate (70-90%) poor (40-69%) very unfavourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Astondoko Dunak / Dunas de Astondo - ES2130004 Habitats Directive 5 protected area contained by site 5  
Gaztelugatxeko Doniene / San Juan de Gaztelugatxe - ES2130005 Habitats Directive 158 protected area contained by site 158  
Ria de Mundaka-Guernika Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 945 protected area contained by site 945  
Urdaibai UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve 21,992 protected area contains site 4,000  
Urdaibaiko Artadi Kantauriarrak / Encinares Cantábricos de Urdaibai - ES2130008 Habitats Directive 1,583 protected area overlaps with site 52  
Urdaibaiko Ibai Sarea / Red fluvial de Urdaibai - ES2130006 Habitats Directive 1,328 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Urdaibaiko Itsasadarra / R Birds Directive 3,242 protected area contained by site 3,242  
Urdaibaiko Itsasertzak eta Padurak / Zonas litorales y Marismas de Urdaibai - ES2130007 Habitats Directive 1,010 protected area contained by site 1,010  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline Tidal rivers & enclosed tidal waters  90%
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  10%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 10%
nature conservation and research 90%
fisheries/aquaculture 25%

Protection status National None International Partial945 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Ría de Mundaka-Guernika, 945 ha). 1,020 ha of IBA covered by Biosphere Reserve (Urdaibai, 23,000 ha). 1,020 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Urdaibai, 23,000 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Urdaibai - Matxitxako. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/12/2014

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