A large saline coastal lagoon connected to the sea by three channels. There are several areas of saltpans surrounded by reedbeds (Phragmites) and saltmarshes.
This is an important site for breeding and wintering ducks, waders and seabirds. Species of global conservation concern that do not meet IBA criteria: Marmaronetta angustirostris (wintering).
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The most important threats are urbanization, particularly along the main sandbar, in-filling, dredging and canalization, road building and disturbance caused by tourists. A management plan is being prepared and a LIFE project has examined conservation of the area.
National Partial International Partial856 ha of IBA covered by Regional Park (Salinas y arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar, 856 ha). 50 ha of IBA covered by Regional Park (Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas y Peña del águila, 2,453 ha). 900 ha of IBA covered by Protected Landscape (Espacios abiertos e islas del Mar Menor, 1,154 ha). 14,933 ha of IBA covered by Ramsar Site (Mar Menor, 14,933 ha).