Site description Fenny humid zone formed by a main water area in the confluence of two rivers, and a large marshy zone extended to North-West. The lagoon is isolated from ocean by a continuous sandy barrier, that only opens when high precipitations or human intervention. Western and Northern surrounding areas are mainly agricultural, beeing constituted by crop-lands, traditional dryer orchards (figs, almonds and olive trees), and small vineyards. At the East, lagoon is limited by a golf course that holds artificial lakes with marshy vegetation. And at the South we find the robust sand-dune string that extends 4 kilometres to the West. The prominent vegetation is holphyte, formed by extensive patches of rush and reeds beds.
Key Biodiversity Lagoa dos Salgados is one of the only fenny humid zones of Algave's windward. At this moment, near 150 species have been here registered, like Porphyrio porphyrio and Himantopus himantopus. About P. porphyrio, 86 individuals have been here reported out of breeding season. This site holds a valuable heronry represented by seven species, three of them are nesting (Ardea purpurea, Ixobrychus minutus and Egretta garzetta), two are migratory (Ardeola ralloides and Nycticorax nycticorax) and two are typically wintering (garça cinzenta and Bubulcus ibis). This is the only national site with nesting records of Aythya nyroca. During migratory season, this area is very important for ciconeiforms like Platalea leucordia, several waders and for passerines too, especially for swallows that feed here in thousands.