Albufeira do Caia

Year of compilation: 2002

Site description
The site included: Albufeira do Caia(Caia Lagoon), a little branch of a River Caia and the surrounding area that is boundaried by the closest roads. Albufeira do Caia is one of the largest in Alentejo, with a maximum of 1970 ha. of flooded area, and holds several islands. The margins, currently with rare water-fringe vegetation, are soft sloped.Evergreen woodland of oak, Quercus ilex, cereal cultivations and pastures are predominants, but also there are some olives, irrigation cultures, little areas with scrubs and water-fringe vegetation

Key biodiversity
Albufeira do Caia(Lagoon Caia) is one of the most important area for waterbirds, and the surrounding area holds significative populations of some steppic species.Breeding at site:Glareola Pratincola, Sterna albifrons, Himantopus himantopus (60-70 pairs in 2001), Netta rufina (20-25 adults in 1999) and ocasionally, Gelochelidon nilotica (minimum 12 adults in 1999).It is the only inner site where Sterna albifrons breeds.Herons breding here with 5 species registered. In the winter are registered important populations of anatidae, Fulica sp., Podiceps cristatus and gulls.In this season and during migration is usually the presence of Pandion haliaetus.This site is also important for passage of ciconiformes and limicolines. The surrounding area holds significative populations of Burhinus oedicnemus, Circus pygargus, Tetrax tetrax and Otis tarda, also Grus grus is here and sometimes passes the night in the albufeira

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
There is a management plan for Albufeira and a protected band of 500m, but the absence of control and politics will for implement it, permit almost everything.The mean causes of degradation of quality water are urban effluents, pasturing in flooded area and diffuse pollution of agricultural explorations. The recreation and tourism are serius disturbances for birds, especially in reproductive season.Due to SPEA and Natural Park of Serra de São Mamede there are some management measures especially managed to Glareola pratincola, Sterna albifrons and Pandion haliaetus.

Protected areas
National:proposal SIC Caia, 31.115 ha, included part of IBA.Proposal SIC Sâo Mamede,116.114 ha, included part of IBA.Management plan of Albufeira do Caia,.International: SICcandidature Caia and Sâo Mamede-

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Albufeira do Caia. Downloaded from on 30/06/2022.