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Location Spain, País Valenciano
Central coordinates 0o 40.00' West  38o 3.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B2, C1, C2, C3, C6
Area 3,755 ha
Altitude 0 - 10m
Year of IBA assessment 2000


Site description Two coastal lagoons which have been transformed for salt extraction. There is a narrow belt of reed (Phragmites) and halophytic vegetation.

Key Biodiversity The site is important for breeding, wintering and passage waterbirds. The site acts as an important refuge when there is hunting in the El Hondo (215) and Santa Pola (216) IBAs.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis winter  1997  844-2,100 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus breeding  1995  40-140 breeding pairs  good  B1i, C2  Not Recognised 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  1995  78-83 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Charadrius alexandrinus resident  1995  210-222 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2, C3  Not Recognised 
Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii winter  1997  482-1,900 individuals  good  A1, A4i, B1i, C1, C2  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1995  211-223 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida breeding  1991  57-78 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lagunas de la Mata y Torrevieja Nature Park 3,700 protected area contained by site 3,755  
Lagunas de la Mata y Torrevieja Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 3,693 protected area contained by site 3,700  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Shrubland Scrub  10%
Wetlands (inland) Standing brackish and salt water; Water fringe vegetation  90%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
urban/industrial/transport 40%
water management 20%
not utilised -

Protection status National High International High3,755 ha of IBA covered by Natural Park (Lagunas de la Mata y Torrevieja, 3,755 ha). 3,700 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Lagunas de la Mata y Torrevieja, 3,700 ha). 2,100 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Salinas de la Mata y Torrevieja, 2,100 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Mata and Torrevieja lagoons. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016

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