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Location Spain, Cataluña
Central coordinates 0o 44.00' East  40o 43.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 32,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 185m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

SEO/BirdLife



Site description A large delta that protrudes into the Mediterranean Sea forming a complex of shallow brackish lagoons, saltmarshes, salt-lakes and sand beaches with dunes. The site includes approximately 1,500 ha of rice cultivation. Human activities include hunting, fishing, reed-harvesting, arable cultivation and livestock-farming.

Key Biodiversity One of the most important sites in the Mediterranean for breeding, passage and wintering waterbirds˜27,000 pairs of breeding waterbird occur in the summer and up to 180,000 waterbirds winter at the site. The site holds more than 60% of the world population of Larus audouinii.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Gadwall Mareca strepera resident  1996  200-300 breeding pairs  good  B2  Least Concern 
Gadwall Mareca strepera winter  1996  530-4,100 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  1996  3,000-13,700 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos winter  1996  17,200-42,800 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos resident  1996  9,000 breeding pairs  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata winter  1996  5,000-20,600 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Teal Anas crecca winter  1996  1,800-18,500 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina winter  1996  1,000-6,100 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina resident  1996  1,500-2,000 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Common Pochard Aythya ferina winter  1996  1,000-15,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus winter  1996  1,500-5,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus resident  1996  500-1,500 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus passage  1996  6,000-7,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Ixobrychus minutus breeding  1996  700 breeding pairs  good  B2, C2, C6  Not Recognised 
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis passage  1996  7,000-14,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Egretta garzetta resident  1996  1,000 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, C2, C6  Not Recognised 
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis winter  1996  2,000-3,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Egretta garzetta winter  1996  500-1,200 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Not Recognised 
Egretta garzetta passage  1996  2,000-6,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Not Recognised 
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis resident  1996  4,300 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris resident  1996  2-4 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Black-crowned Night-heron Nycticorax nycticorax resident  1996  160 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides breeding  1996  450 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea breeding  1995  500 breeding pairs  good  B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo winter  1996  1,600-2,500 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Baillon's Crake Zapornia pusilla resident  1990  50 breeding pairs  poor  B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio resident  1996  10 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Common Coot Fulica atra winter  1996  10,000-25,000 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus breeding  1996  5,000 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, C2, C6  Not Recognised 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta resident  1996  400-550 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B3, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  1996  700-1,500 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2  Least Concern 
Charadrius alexandrinus resident  1996  1,500-1,700 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Not Recognised 
Charadrius alexandrinus winter  1996  200-800 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Charadrius alexandrinus passage  1996  common  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Common Redshank Tringa totanus passage  1996  1,000-2,499 individuals  unknown  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  1996  2,000-4,600 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa passage  1996  10,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Near Threatened 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica winter  1996  50-500 individuals  good  B2  Least Concern 
Little Stint Calidris minuta passage  1996  abundant  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina passage  1996  abundant  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  1996  10,000-21,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea passage  1996  abundant  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola breeding  1996  39-99 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Sterna nilotica breeding  1996  300 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Not Recognised 
Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii resident  1996  11,300 breeding pairs  good  A1, A4i, B1i, B2, C1, C2, C6  Near Threatened 
Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii winter  1996  abundant  A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2  Near Threatened 
Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii passage  1996  common  A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2  Near Threatened 
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei resident  1996  600 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, C2, C3, C6  Least Concern 
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus winter  1996  8,000-16,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis breeding  1996  1,900 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  1996  5,000-5,500 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo passage  1996  abundant  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1996  450-650 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida breeding  1996  1,500 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon resident  1996  150 breeding pairs  good  C2, C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  1996  20,000-49,999 breeding pairs  unknown  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds passage  1996  20,000-49,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds resident  1996  20,000-49,999 breeding pairs  unknown  A4iii, C4   
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1996  50,000-99,999 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   

IBA Monitoring

2008 high favourable not assessed
Population
-

Agricultural expansion and intensification livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - nomadic grazing happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Climate change and severe weather storms and floods likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Energy production and mining mining and quarrying happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) very rapid to severe deterioration low
Energy production and mining renewable energy likely in short term (within 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Geological events avalanches/landslides happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Invasive and other problematic species and genes introduced genetic material happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - large dams likely in short term (within 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications other ecosystem modifications happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - persecution/control happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - herbicides and pesticides happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - sewage happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution excess energy - light pollution likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution excess energy - noise pollution happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution garbage & solid waste happening now some of area/population (10-49%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Pollution industrial & military effluents - seepage from mining happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Transportation and service corridors utility & service lines happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Bubulcus ibis Cattle Egret 3000 4049 individuals 100 favourable
Ixobrychus minutus 700 700 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Botaurus stellaris Eurasian Bittern 4 6 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Nycticorax nycticorax Black-crowned Night-heron 160 175 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Ardeola ralloides Squacco Heron 450 450 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Egretta garzetta 500 1000 breeding pairs 100 favourable
Phalacrocorax carbo Great Cormorant 2500 4595 individuals 100 favourable

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Delta de l'Ebre Nature Park 7,736 protected area contained by site 7,736  
Delta de l'Ebre - ES0000020 Birds Directive 48,385 protected area overlaps with site 14,791  
Delta del Ebro Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 7,736 protected area contained by site 7,736  
La Banya Natural Reserve 2,700 protected area contained by site 2,700  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest  -
Wetlands (inland) Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Other urban and industrial areas  75%
Coastline Lagoons; Salt marshes; Sand dunes & beaches; Tidal rivers & enclosed tidal waters  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture 70%
fisheries/aquaculture -
hunting 65%
nature conservation and research 25%
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -

Protection status National Partial International Partial7,736 ha of IBA covered by Natural Park (Delta del Ebro, 7,736 ha). 2,700 ha of IBA covered by Natural Reserve (La Banya, 2,700 ha). 7,736 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Delta del Ebro, 7,736 ha). 7,736 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Delta del Ebro, 7,736 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ebro delta. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/12/2014

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