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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.

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 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Dunas de Mira, Gândara e Gafanhas - PTCON0055 Habitats Directive 20,530 protected area overlaps with site 0  
Ria de Aveiro - PTZPE0004 Birds Directive 51,407 protected area overlaps with site 1,075  


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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Figueira da Foz. Downloaded from on 30/10/2014

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