Albufera de Adra

The Albufera de Adra is a freshwater and saline wetland complex of 75 ha located at Adra River Delta along Mediterrenean coast in Adra, Almeria. Includes intertidal marshes, coastal lagoons, permanent brackish pools, and irrigated ricefields.The site, considered to be of national botanical importance, consists of two semi-saline endorheic lagoons surrounded by reedbeds. The area is a nesting and wintering site for, among others, the globally endangered white-headed duck Oxyura leucocephala . Threatened by agricultural pollution although hunting has been banned.

Information from Ramsar Directory of Wetlands of International Importance

Importance: The lagoons of Albufera de Adra hold significant populations of the fish Aphanius iberus, which is endemic to the Iberian peninsula and is currently in danger of extinction. The site is also important for the globally endangered duck species Oxyura leucocephala which nests and winters in the lagoons, and the threatened species Marmaronetta angustirostris which occurs as a passage migrant. Other nesting waterbirds include Podiceps cristatus , Ixobrychus minutus , Aythya ferina and Netta rufina , whilst A. ferina , A. fuligula and Fulica atra are the most numerous wintering species.

Wetland Types: The site includes intertidal marshes, coastal lagoons, permanent brackish pools, and irrigated rice fields. The most important parts are two large lagoons, the Albufera Nueva (29 ha) and Albufera de Adra (13 ha).

Biological/Ecological notes: The Albufera Nueva has an abundant macrophyte flora. The predominant species growing on the shore are Phragmites australis, Arundo donax, Typha angustifolia, Scirpus litoralis and Scirpus maritimus . There are extensive beds of Typha latifolia around the outermost parts of the lagoon. The submerged vegetation is dominated by Najas marina. Albufera Honda has lower salinity and nutrient levels, and its macrophyte vegetation is even richer than that of Albufera Nueva, with several additional species, including Cladium mariscus . The Albufera de Adra is considered a wetland of national botanical importance.

Hydrological/Physical notes: The Albufera Nueva and Albufera de Adra are endorheic lagoons within the eastern part of the delta of the Río Adra.

Human Uses: Traditional use of the marshes included fishing, hunting, and irrigated agriculture. Since the 1950s, cultivation under plastic has spread into the area. Within the reserve boundaries, all activities except those of a scientific or educational nature, are now prohibited.

Adverse Factors: The lagoons are subject to agricultural pollution, causing considerable die-back of aquatic vegetation.

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