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Location Spain, Cataluña
Central coordinates 3o 7.00' East  42o 12.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 5,454 ha
Altitude 0 - 45m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

SEO/BirdLife



Site description A coastal wetland complex with saltmarshes, coastal lagoons and freshwater ponds, humid grasslands and riverine forest. The area is used for sheep-grazing and rice cultivation.

Key Biodiversity This is an important site for breeding, wintering and passage herons and wildfowl.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos winter  1994  18,000 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Ixobrychus minutus breeding  1993  35-40 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis non-breeding  1994  5,800 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris resident  1996  5-6 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea breeding  1996  49 breeding pairs  good  C2, C6  Least Concern 
Western Marsh-harrier Circus aeruginosus resident  1995  14 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio resident  1996  35 breeding pairs  medium  B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus breeding  1993  109-117 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 
Larus michahellis winter  1997  5,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida passage  1996  250 individuals  good  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor breeding  1997  12-20 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon resident  1997  common  C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

2008 very high very unfavourable medium
Habitat
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Climate change and severe weather drought happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Energy production and mining renewable energy happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - small dams happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - herbicides and pesticides happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration medium
Transportation and service corridors utility & service lines happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Wetlands (inland) Coastal lagoons  0 0 very poor (< 40%) very poor (< 40%) very unfavourable
Wetlands (inland) Water fringe vegetation  0 0 very poor (< 40%) very poor (< 40%) very unfavourable

Anas platyrhynchos Mallard 18000 0 breeding pairs 0 not assessed
Botaurus stellaris Eurasian Bittern 6 2 individuals 34 very unfavourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  Unknown  The conservation measures needed for the site are being comprehensively and effectively implemented  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Aiguamolls de l'Alt Empordà - ES0000019 Birds Directive 10,831 protected area overlaps with site 4,783  
Aiguamolls de l'Empordà Integral Nature Reserve 850 protected area contained by site 867  
Aiguamolls de l'Empordà Nature Park 4,824 protected area contained by site 4,784  
Aiguamolls de l'Empordà Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 4,784 protected area contained by site 4,784  
Riu Fluvià - ES5120021 Habitats Directive 1,324 protected area is adjacent to site 0  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest  30%
Grassland Humid grasslands; Mesophile grasslands  35%
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing brackish and salt water; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Highly improved re-seeded landscapes  70%
Coastline Lagoons; Mud flats & sand flats; Sand dunes & beaches  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research 90%
tourism/recreation 20%
agriculture 60%
forestry -

Protection status National High International High4,784 ha of IBA covered by Natural Park (Aiguamolls de l'Emporda, 4,784 ha). 867 ha of IBA covered by Integral Nature Reserve (Aiguamolls de l'Emporda, 867 ha). 4,803 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Aiguamolls de l'Empordà, 4,803 ha). 867 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Aiguamolls de l'Empordà, 867 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ampurdán marshes. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/12/2014

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