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Location Spain, Murcia
Central coordinates 0o 45.00' West  37o 45.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3, C6
Area 14,933 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2000


Site description A large saline coastal lagoon connected to the sea by three channels. There are several areas of saltpans surrounded by reedbeds (Phragmites) and saltmarshes.

Key Biodiversity This is an important site for breeding and wintering ducks, waders and seabirds. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Marmaronetta angustirostris (wintering).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris breeding  1995  3 breeding pairs  poor  B2, C6  Vulnerable 
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis winter  1990  263-2,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus breeding  1994  68 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  1995  126 breeding pairs  good  B3, C6  Least Concern 
Charadrius alexandrinus breeding  1994  155 breeding pairs  good  B2  Not Recognised 
Sterna nilotica breeding  1995  25 breeding pairs  good  B2, C2  Not Recognised 
Audouin's Gull Larus audouinii winter  1996  96 individuals  good  A1, C1  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1994  138 breeding pairs  good  B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas y Peña del Aguila Regional Park 2,528 protected area overlaps with site 50  
Mar Menor Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 14,933 protected area overlaps with site 14,933  
Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar Regional Park 706 protected area contained by site 856  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland) Water fringe vegetation  -
Coastline Lagoons; Mud flats & sand flats; Salt marshes; Sand dunes & beaches  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture 90%
military 10%
tourism/recreation 95%

Protection status National Partial International Partial856 ha of IBA covered by Regional Park (Salinas y arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar, 856 ha). 50 ha of IBA covered by Regional Park (Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas y Peña del águila, 2,453 ha). 900 ha of IBA covered by Protected Landscape (Espacios abiertos e islas del Mar Menor, 1,154 ha). 14,933 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Mar Menor, 14,933 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Mar Menor coastal lagoon. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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