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Location France, Languedoc-Roussillon
Central coordinates 3o 0.00' East  42o 53.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iv, B1i, B1iv, B2, C2, C3, C5, C6
Area 218,160 ha
Altitude 0 - 69m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Ligue Pour La Protection des Oiseaux



Site description A complex of coastal habitats, including saltmarshes and lagoons.

Key Biodiversity The site is very important for breeding and wintering wetland birds and passage raptors and passerines. The site is a major migratory bottleneck, where 20,000 or more raptors regularly pass (including Pernis apivorus 15,000; Milvus migrans 3,000). Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Larus audouinii (passage).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus winter  1997  529-805 individuals  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus passage  1997  500-1,500 individuals  A4i, B1i, C2  Least Concern 
Western Marsh-harrier Circus aeruginosus breeding  1997  10-15 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  1997  50-60 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Charadrius alexandrinus breeding  1997  100-180 breeding pairs  B2  Not Recognised 
Larus michahellis winter  1997  5,615-8,700 individuals  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Larus michahellis breeding  1997  4,000 breeding pairs  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Slender-billed Gull Larus genei breeding  1997  50-100 breeding pairs  C2  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1997  50-100 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla breeding  1997  50-250 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon breeding  1997  50-250 breeding pairs  C2, C6  Least Concern 
A4iv Species group - soaring birds/cranes passage  1991  min 20,000 individuals  A4iv, B1iv, C5   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
CAP BEAR- CAP CERBERE - FR9112034 Birds Directive 38,450 protected area overlaps with site 6,043  
COMPLEXE LAGUNAIRE DE LAPALME - FR9101441 Habitats Directive 1,840 protected area contained by site 1,840  
COMPLEXE LAGUNAIRE DE SALSES - FR9101463 Habitats Directive 7,797 protected area overlaps with site 7,166  
COMPLEXE LAGUNAIRE DE SALSES-LEUCATE - FR9112005 Birds Directive 7,701 protected area overlaps with site 7,116  
COTE LANGUEDOCIENNE - FR9112035 Birds Directive 71,874 protected area overlaps with site 20,260  
COTES SABLEUSES DE L'INFRALITTORAL LANGUEDOCIEN - FR9102013 Habitats Directive 8,634 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
ETANG DE LAPALME - FR9112006 Birds Directive 3,904 protected area overlaps with site 3,118  
La Rigole Hunting Reserve 43 protected area contained by site 43  
PLATEAU DE LEUCATE - FR9101442 Habitats Directive 303 protected area contained by site 303  
PLATEAU DE LEUCATE - FR9112030 Birds Directive 303 protected area contained by site 303  
PROLONGEMENT EN MER DES CAP ET ETANG DE LEUCATE - FR9102012 Habitats Directive 13,733 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Salses-Leucate Hunting Reserve 1,250 protected area contained by site 1,250  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest; Broadleaved evergreen woodland; Native coniferous woodland  -
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis  -
Grassland Steppes and dry calcareous grassland  -
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Rivers and streams; Standing brackish and salt water; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation  -
Coastline Lagoons; Mud flats & sand flats; Rock stacks and islets; Salt marshes; Sand dunes & beaches; Sea cliffs and rocky shores  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Highly improved re-seeded landscapes; Perennial crops, orchards and groves; Ruderal land; Urban parks and gardens  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
hunting -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -

Protection status National Low International None1,293 ha of IBA covered by 2 Hunting Reserves (Salses-Leucate, 1,250 ha; La Rigole; total area 1,293 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Etangs de Leucate et Lapalme. 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