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Location France, Languedoc-Roussillon
Central coordinates 3o 37.00' East  43o 24.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, B1i, C3, C6
Area 1,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 2m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Ligue Pour La Protection des Oiseaux

Site description A brackish lagoon with marshes, dunes and sand beaches, reedbeds (Phragmites) and a Pinus plantation.

Key Biodiversity This is an important site for breeding and passage waterbirds.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis winter  1997  500-2,000 individuals  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis passage  1997  1,000-2,000 individuals  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo winter  1997  500-1,000 individuals  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo passage  1997  1,000-2,000 individuals  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus breeding  1997  50-100 breeding pairs  C6  Not Recognised 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta breeding  1997  10-20 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Les Pres de Bauge Nature Reserve 10 protected area contained by site 10  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest  -
Wetlands (inland) Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  -
Coastline Lagoons; Mud flats & sand flats; Salt marshes  -

Land use

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

Protection status National Low International None10 ha of IBA covered by Voluntary Nature Reserve (Les Prés de Baugé, 10 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Etang de Thau. Downloaded from on 27/11/2015

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