Ria Formosa (Faro lagoon)

Country/territory: Portugal

IBA Criteria met: A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, C2, C3, C4, C6 (2002)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 23,296 ha

Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2005 low not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
An extensive lagoon system with large areas of sandflats, mudflats and saltmarshes, located on the south coast of Portugal. The lagoons are protected from the open sea by a long, thin, discontinuous belt of sand-dunes.

Key biodiversity
The site is important for numerous waterbirds, especially for beach-nesting Charadrius alexandrinus and Sterna albifrons and for wintering waders and duck, holding 20,000 or more wintering waterbirds on a regular basis. The reedbeds of the site are important for several nesting waterbird species, as well as for large numbers of migrating passerines during both autumn and spring migration.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ria Formosa (Faro lagoon). Downloaded from on 31/01/2023.