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Location France, Languedoc-Roussillon
Central coordinates 3o 12.00' East  43o 16.00' North
IBA criteria B1i, B2, C2, C6
Area 4,850 ha
Altitude 0 - 8m
Year of IBA assessment 2000

Ligue Pour La Protection des Oiseaux

Site description A Mediterranean coastal site comprising a shallow brackish lagoon, saltmarshes, dunes and sand beaches, ponds, ditches, Pinus plantations and abandoned fields.

Key Biodiversity The site is important for species breeding in reedbeds (Phragmites) and saltmarshes. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Crex crex (passage); Tetrax tetrax (breeding); Larus audouinii (5-10 passage individuals).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Ixobrychus minutus breeding  1997  5-15 breeding pairs  C6  Not Recognised 
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris breeding  1997  30 breeding pairs  B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea breeding  1994  234 breeding pairs  B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Western Marsh-harrier Circus aeruginosus breeding  1997  10-15 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus breeding  1997  30-80 breeding pairs  C6  Not Recognised 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding  1997  1-60 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1997  1-50 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida passage  1997  100-500 individuals  B1i, C2  Least Concern 
European Roller Coracias garrulus breeding  1997  10 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor breeding  1996  18-22 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Wood Lark Lullula arborea breeding  1991  10-100 breeding pairs  C6  Least Concern 
Moustached Warbler Acrocephalus melanopogon breeding  1997  230 breeding pairs  C2, C6  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Saint-Louis-de-la-Mer Hunting Reserve 113 protected area contained by site 113  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Alluvial and very wet forest  -
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing brackish and salt water; Standing freshwater; Tidal rivers and enclosed tidal waters; Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Highly improved re-seeded landscapes; Perennial crops, orchards and groves; Ruderal land  -
Coastline Lagoons; Salt marshes; Sand dunes & beaches  -

Land use

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

Protection status National Partial International None113 ha of IBA covered by Hunting Reserve (Saint-Louis-de-la-Mer, 113 ha).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Etangs de Vendres, Pissevache et Lespignan. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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