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Location Portugal, Algarve
Central coordinates 7o 49.00' West  37o 1.00' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C2, C3, C4, C6
Area 23,296 ha
Altitude 0 - 39m
Year of IBA assessment 2002

Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves



Site description An extensive lagoon system with large areas of sandflats, mudflats and saltmarshes, located on the south coast of Portugal. The lagoons are protected from the open sea by a long, thin, discontinuous belt of sand-dunes.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope winter  2001  4,700-7,850 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus winter  2000  100-350 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C2, C6  Least Concern 
White Stork Ciconia ciconia resident  2002  50 breeding pairs  medium  C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia winter  1996  150-350 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia breeding  1996  5-11 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Ixobrychus minutus breeding  1996  frequent  C6  Not Recognised 
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio resident  2002  21-24 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Himantopus himantopus resident  1996  350-400 breeding pairs  good  C6  Not Recognised 
Himantopus himantopus winter  1996  350-400 individuals  good  C6  Not Recognised 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta winter  1996  650-750 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C2, C6  Least Concern 
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta resident  2002  218-247 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
Charadrius alexandrinus resident  1996  800-1,200 breeding pairs  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Not Recognised 
Charadrius alexandrinus winter  1996  2,000-4,000 individuals  unknown  A4i, B1i, C3  Not Recognised 
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola winter  1996  1,700-3,000 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula winter  1996  2,000-4,500 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica winter  1996  1,900-4,200 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres passage  1996  700-1,200 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres winter  1996  500-1,000 individuals  unknown  A4i, B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Dunlin Calidris alpina winter  1996  12,000-22,500 individuals  good  A4i, B1i, B2, C3  Least Concern 
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola breeding  1996  25-45 breeding pairs  good  B2, C6  Least Concern 
Little Tern Sternula albifrons breeding  1996  200-300 breeding pairs  good  C6  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds winter  1996  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii, C4   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Ria Formosa Nature Park 17,901 protected area contained by site 17,664  
Ria Formosa Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 16,000 protected area contained by site 16,000  
Ria Formosa - PTZPE0017 Birds Directive 23,538 is identical to site 23,296  
Ria Formosa/Castro Marim - PTCON0013 Habitats Directive 17,520 protected area overlaps with site 13,427  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Native coniferous woodland  -
Shrubland Sclerophyllous scrub, garrigue and maquis  -
Wetlands (inland) Rivers and streams; Standing brackish and salt water; Standing freshwater; Water fringe vegetation  -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land; Forestry plantations; Other urban and industrial areas; Perennial crops, orchards and groves  -
Introduced vegetation   -
Coastline Lagoons; Mud flats & sand flats; Salt marshes; Sand dunes & beaches; Tidal rivers & enclosed tidal waters  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
fisheries/aquaculture -
forestry -
military -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -

Protection status National Partial International High14,373 ha of IBA covered by Natural Park (Ria Formosa, 14,373 ha). 23,296 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Ria Formosa, 23,296 ha). 16,000 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Ria Formosa, 16,000 ha).

References Calado (1989), Ramos(1989), Batty (1992), Encarnação (1992, 1995), Farinha & Trinidade (1994), Pinto (1995), Grade (1996), Costa & Guedes (1996), Costa & Rufino (1997).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ria Formosa (Faro lagoon). Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/07/2014

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