A large delta that protrudes into the Mediterranean Sea forming a complex of shallow brackish lagoons, saltmarshes, salt-lakes and sand beaches with dunes. The site includes approximately 1,500 ha of rice cultivation. Human activities include hunting, fishing, reed-harvesting, arable cultivation and livestock-farming.
One of the most important sites in the Mediterranean for breeding, passage and wintering waterbirds27,000 pairs of breeding waterbird occur in the summer and up to 180,000 waterbirds winter at the site. The site holds more than 60% of the world population of Larus audouinii.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The delta is poorly protected outside the Natural Park and suffers from a large number of competing interests for using the land. Threats include: increasing urban development; disturbance of waterbird colonies by tourists; a high hunting pressure and lead poisoning of birds from spent shot (`Other' threats, above); pollution from chemicals used in rice production; and a decline in sedimentation rates as a result of dams along the River Ebro. Bird monitoring is carried out by the regional government.
National Partial International Partial7,736 ha of IBA covered by Natural Park (Delta del Ebro, 7,736 ha). 2,700 ha of IBA covered by Natural Reserve (La Banya, 2,700 ha). 7,736 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Delta del Ebro, 7,736 ha). 7,736 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Delta del Ebro, 7,736 ha).
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ebro delta. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 29/03/2023.