La Mancha Wetlands
Area: 40 sq.km / 27 wetlands
Location: Castilla La Mancha District.
- Ruidera Natural Park
- Daimiel National Park
- Nature 2000 sites
- Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO)
La Mancha Wetlands form a unique habitat for highly specialised flora and fauna. Some endemic species are threatened, such as Helianthemum polygonoides. Many migratory birds winter in the wetlands, such as Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca), Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope), Gadwall (Anas strepera), Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala), Great Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) and Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis).
The wetlands are surrounded by Mediterranean forest, seasonal grasslands and fields (cereal, vineyards and olive trees). These farming activities have the greatest negative impacts on the groundwater and wetland conservation. For the irrigation of the fields, an immense amount of water is withdrawn. Also the use of nitrate and phosphate has very negative impacts on the wetlands biology.