LIFE-SALINAS - Conservación de los hábitats y aves acuáticas en el LIC y ZEPA ES0000175 "Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar"

LIFE17 NAT/ES/000184

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Contact details:

Contact person: Julio Francisco Fernández Ramos
Tel: 34620504342
Email: gabp1@um.es

Project description:


The SPA Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar is the most important wetland in the Region of Murcia (Spain) for the conservation of waterfowl. In total, 170 species are regularly recorded, including 32 species listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive who use the site for wintering, breeding or resting during migration. The birds Salinas de San Pedro del Pinatar are therefore of importance at the regional, national, European and global levels. Audouin's gull (Larus audouinii) is a priority species for conservation under the Birds Directive, and all its breeding population occurs in this natural enclave in the region of Murcia. Since 2010, this species has been regularly nesting in the SPA, with growth in its reproductive population currently stabilised around 450 pairs. However, intra-and interspecific competition due to the scarcity of nesting surfaces can affect the population size.


LIFE-SALINAS aims at the conservation of Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii) and two priority habitat types of the Habitats Directive, Mediterranean salt steppes and Coastal dunes with Juniperus spp., in the Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar Natura 2000 network site.

Specific objectives are to:

  • Increase nesting habitat for Audouin’s gull and another six species of Annex I of the Birds Directive;
  • Improve water circulation in the Coterillo pond to rehabilitate habitat for 32 species listed in the Birds Directive, Spanish toothcarp (Aphanius iberus), and five bat species of the Habitats Directive;
  • Stop dune erosion at La Llana Beach to conserve Coastal dunes and another nine habitats of the Habitats Directive;
  • Control invasive plant species affecting priority habitats, which indirectly benefits another 12 Habitats Directive habitats;
  • Establish a land stewardship agreement for the long-term conservation of habitats and species in salt production areas; and
  • Implement a certificate of quality and environmental protection for salt from the Natura 2000 Network.
  • The project directly implements the Birds Directive and Habitats Directive. LIFE-SALINAS also contributes to the Water Framework Directive, by improving water quality, Climate Change Adaptation policy, by promoting ecosystem resilience (e.g. restored salt ponds reduce flood risk), and the protection of a Ramsar wetland site.

    Expected results:

  • Increase of 17 % in breeding habitat for Audouin’s gull and six other species sharing the habitat - avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), gull-billed tern (Gelochelidon nilotica), common tern (Sterna hirundo), little tern (Sterna albifrons) and Sandwich tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis) – through the creation of 1 800 m of new green infrastructure;
  • Improved water circulation at Coterillo pond (8 ha) through installation of green infrastructure linking Coterillo and Salinas, enabling natural water flow (salinity 40-90 g/l) and increasing food supply for Audouin’s gull;
  • Control of erosion in La Llana Beach dunes, with the installation of sand catchers to retrieve sand from dunes located beside the harbour (2 ha) in priority Coastal dunes habitat;
  • Re-vegetation of 2 ha with 16 000 seedlings of sand-loving (psammophilous) species, to improve the conservation status of Coastal dunes and nine other habitats listed in Annex I of the Habitats Directive;
  • Control of invasive alien plant species on at least 115 ha, including Agave americana, Carpobrotus acinaciformis, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Nicotiana glauca and Myoporum acuminatum;
  • Numerous environmental education actions, including volunteer activities, organisation of a Congress and two international forums, development of university courses and scientific articles;
  • A guidebook of standards for the environmental certification of salt production; and
  • Improved quality and productivity of salt.



Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Birds
Habitats - Coastal


voluntary work‚  restoration measure‚  erosion control‚  coastal area

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 92/43 - Conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora- Habitats Directiv ...
  • Regulation 1143/2014 - Prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien ...
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)

Target species

 Larus audouinii     

Target Habitat types

  • 1510 - Mediterranean salt steppes (Limonietalia)
  • 2250 - Coastal dunes with Juniperus spp.

Natura 2000 sites

SCI ES0000175 Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar



Coordinator Salinera Espaola, S.A. - Sucursal de San Pedro del Pinatar
Type of organisation International enterprise
Description Salinera Española is a salt production company that has exploited the Salinas of San Pedro del Pinatar since 1920. Salt is extracted through a technologically-advanced industrial process, though economic objectives are balanced against sustainable development and the conservation of the territory and biodiversity.
Partners Ayuntamiento de San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain Asociación de Naturalistas del Sureste, Spain Mãe d’água, Lda, Portugal Dirección General del Medio Natural, Spain Universidad de Murcia, Spain


Project reference LIFE17 NAT/ES/000184
Duration 01-SEP-2018 to 30-SEP -2022
Total budget 1,790,845.00 €
EU contribution 1,002,618.00 €
Project location Murcia(España) Lisboa e vale do Tejo(Portugal)


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