This site, located in the west and north-west of Portugal, includes a large estuarine area, salinas, freshwater marshes and alluvial forest associated with the River Vouga and its main tributaries, and shallower coastal waters offshore (to a depth of 20 m).
The site holds 20,000 or more wintering waterbirds on a regular basis, with important congregations of sea-duck offshore (Melanitta nigra) and waders on the intertidal flats (notably Calidris alpina). The freshwater marshes and estuarine areas support important breeding numbers of several waterbirds.
Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
The site is subject to several important impacts. The constant dredging of the channel that connects the whole area to the sea has increased tidal amplitude inside the lagoon system as well as water-flow. These two effects combine to increase erosion of sediments within the lagoon. The drainage and conversion to agriculture of inner parts of the lagoon are reducing the extent of alluvial forest and thus reducing the landscape diversity. Salinas are being destroyed by erosion or transformed into fish-farms. An invasive species of Acacia tree is strongly competing with native vegetation.
National 681 ha of IBA covered by Nature Reserve (Dunas de S. Jacinto, 681 ha). 51378 ha of IBA covered by Special Protection Area (Ria de Aveiro, 52,720 ha).International Special Protection Area Ria de Aveiro,
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ria de Aveiro. Downloaded from
http://www.birdlife.org on 29/03/2023.