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Location Portugal, Alentejo
Central coordinates 7o 12.00' West  39o 2.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, B1i, B2, C1, C2, C3, C6
Area 8,985 ha
Altitude 190 - 310m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves

Site description The site included: Albufeira do Caia(Caia Lagoon), a little branch of a River Caia and the surrounding area that is boundaried by the closest roads. Albufeira do Caia is one of the largest in Alentejo, with a maximum of 1970 ha. of flooded area, and holds several islands. The margins, currently with rare water-fringe vegetation, are soft sloped.Evergreen woodland of oak, Quercus ilex, cereal cultivations and pastures are predominants, but also there are some olives, irrigation cultures, little areas with scrubs and water-fringe vegetation

Key Biodiversity Albufeira do Caia(Lagoon Caia) is one of the most important area for waterbirds, and the surrounding area holds significative populations of some steppic species.Breeding at site:Glareola Pratincola, Sterna albifrons, Himantopus himantopus (60-70 pairs in 2001), Netta rufina (20-25 adults in 1999) and ocasionally, Gelochelidon nilotica (minimum 12 adults in 1999).It is the only inner site where Sterna albifrons breeds.Herons breding here with 5 species registered. In the winter are registered important populations of anatidae, Fulica sp., Podiceps cristatus and gulls.In this season and during migration is usually the presence of Pandion haliaetus.This site is also important for passage of ciconiformes and limicolines. The surrounding area holds significative populations of Burhinus oedicnemus, Circus pygargus, Tetrax tetrax and Otis tarda, also Grus grus is here and sometimes passes the night in the albufeira

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Egretta garzetta breeding  1997  90 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 
Black-winged Kite Elanus caeruleus resident  2001  common  B2  Least Concern 
Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax resident  2001  160 individuals  medium  A1, C1  Near Threatened 
Burhinus oedicnemus winter  2001  250 individuals  medium  B2  Not Recognised 
Burhinus oedicnemus breeding  2001  common  B2, C6  Not Recognised 
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola breeding  2001  87-93 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus winter  2001  7,000-9,000 individuals  medium  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1999  50-60 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Least Concern 
Black Tern Chlidonias niger passage  2001  common  C6  Least Concern 
Osprey Pandion haliaetus winter  2001  frequent  C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2005 low not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Transportation and service corridors utility & service lines happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) very rapid to severe deterioration low


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Broadleaved evergreen woodland  -
Wetlands (inland) Standing freshwater  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
forestry -
tourism/recreation -
water management -

Protection status National:proposal SIC Caia, 31.115 ha, included part of IBA.Proposal SIC Sâo Mamede,116.114 ha, included part of IBA.Management plan of Albufeira do Caia,.International: SICcandidature Caia and Sâo Mamede-

References Farinha & Trindade (1994)Costa & Guedes (1996)Farrobo & Leitão (1997)Rufino (1998)Catry (2000)

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Albufeira do Caia. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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