Site description This area is defined by the presence of a Globally threatened bird, the Balearic Shearwater, which occurs mainly in shallow coastal areas (Louzao et al. 2006). The water depth increases from 10 to 70 m at the end of the IBA, 25 km from the coast.
The boundaries of the IBA stretch from 4 km north of Praia de Mira and 4 km south of Praia da Vieira, being this coast characterized by an extensive chain of dunes and some limestone cliffs in the Figueira da Foz area. The mouth of the Mondego river, at the centre of the IBA, is recognized as being of ornithological importance (IBA PT039), as is the Ria de Aveiro ZPE, also designated as an IBA (PT007), north of the proposed area.
In terms of fishing, the Figueira da Foz harbour is one the most important in the country for off-loading pelagic species such as the sardine, since dragnet fishing and longline fishing are residual in this area.
Key Biodiversity Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus: The migratory and wintering habits of the Balearic Shearwater on the Portuguese coast have been known for several years (Paterson 1997). It already existed regular records of significant gatherings for this species here (Petronilho et al. 2004), being its importance confirmed during the Marine IBA LIFE project.
Other species observed in this IBA:
Common Scoter, Cory's Shearwater, Great Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-petrel, Leach's Storm-petrel, Gannet, Great Cormorant, Great Skua, Pomarine Skua, Parasitic Skua, Common Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Kittiwake, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Guillemot, Razorbill and Puffin.
Notes: Ria de Aveiro SPA - PTZPE0004;
Dunas de Mira, GÃ¢ndara and gafanhas SCI - PTCON0055
energy production and mining
Notes: Pilot area designated for trials on wave energy plants
Protection status Ria de Aveiro SPA (PTZPE0004); Decree-law nº 384-B/99, of 23rd September - 1% of the area coincides with the IBA.
Dunas de Mira, Gândara and Gafanhas SCI (PTCON0055); Cabinet Resolution, nº 76/00 of 5th July - < 1% of the area coincides with the IBA
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BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Figueira da Foz. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 20/12/2014
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