An Eden of biodiversity in the Ebro Delta
The Ebro Delta is one of the most unique natural environments in the Spanish geography. Not only is it the place where the Ebro flows into the Mediterranean, one of the main rivers that backbone Spain, but due to its location and characteristics it is also a especially favorable area for biodiversity. But if something gives this area located in the province of Tarragona a very special ecological value, it is its wetlands.
The meeting of the fresh water from the Ebro river with the salt water of the Mediterranean allows the nesting of numerous birds in four different habitatss, especially in the lagoon of l´Alfacada, where they are classified according to their degree of salinity and flooding. In this way, sweet, brackish, saline and hypersaline wetlands favor the presence of all kinds of birds, which choose this privileged environment to settle and nest.
There are many and very diverse species of birds that call this lagoon home: the swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio), the grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis), the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), the red duck (Net rufina), the stilt (Himantopus himantopus) or the white-faced smoker (Chlidonias hybrida), in addition to various ardeidos such as the bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) and purple heron (Ardea purpurea).
In addition, the sosa alacranera (Arthrocnemum fruticosum), a very succulent plant adapted to saline soils, so there are not only enough space as for species like the bittern (Botaurus stellaris) or the osprey (Pandion haliaetus) use it regularly as stationary zone during migratory passages, but rather there is also food. A whole range of species full of life one of the most special environments of the Spanish geography, but it is not exempt from threats either.
Wetlands and climate change
The entire area that makes up the Ebro Delta is one of the territories most vulnerable to the effects of climate change in the Mediterranean. Fishing, agriculture and the impact on ecosystems of increasingly frequent seasonal storms are already realities that compromise the future of areas like this. Without going any further, temporary like Gloria and Filomena affected the areaBut they did it in a milder way than they should.
Why? The answer lies in coastal wetlands. Its restoration and adaptive management of these natural environments such as the l’Alfacada lagoon have proven to be key pieces to face storms, since they function as natural barriers, mitigating the impact of the sea waves and, therefore, reducing its consequences in the ecosystem.
A promising future
The Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation is in charge of carrying out the recovery and conservation actions of the coastal lagoon with the aim of improve ecological status and restore natural regime of the waters that converge here. Through the European project LIFE Delta Lagoon Foundations have been built, channels connected and islets created to favor the breeding of birds. In addition, the reintroduction of a total of 278 specimens of European pond turtle (You pay for a circular), a very rare species in the Delta, recovering the landscape and natural dynamics of l´Alfacada.
The next step, according to the Catalunya La Pedrera Foundation, is the creation of the Center for Climate Resilience, a project designed to apply mitigation and adaptation measures to climate change in an area very vulnerable to its effects.
Using technological means, the objective is to ensure that the coastal, inland and mountain territories are more resistant to the effects of a reality that affects all ecosystemsIn the same way that opportunities to generate economic activity in a sustainable, responsible and inclusive way are enhanced.