email a friend
printable version
Location Portugal, Centro
Central coordinates 8o 57.45' West  40o 13.35' North
IBA criteria A1, A4ii, B1ii, C2
Area 106,700 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2008

Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves

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.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus winter  2002-2003  1,100-3,000 individuals  poor  A1, A4ii, B1ii, C2  Critically Endangered 

IBA Monitoring

2012 high not assessed negligible

Energy production and mining renewable energy likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Pollution garbage & solid waste happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Very little or no conservation action taking place  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Sea Sea inlets and coastal features  100%

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
nature conservation and research 1%
Notes: Ria de Aveiro SPA - PTZPE0004; Dunas de Mira, Gândara and gafanhas SCI - PTCON0055
tourism/recreation -
energy production and mining -
Notes: Pilot area designated for trials on wave energy plants
military -

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

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Figueira da Foz. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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