Delta del Llobregat – Spain

 

The Llobregat Delta is the second largest delta in Catalonia and covers a surface of 98 sq. km. It lies in the south-west of Barcelona, with a distance of 15 km to the city. Because of the aquifer which has made the transformation of the agriculture possible and has facilitated a human intensive use, the Llobregat Delta is nowadays one of the richest agricultural zones in the Mediterranean.

 

The current delta is an area, which has been transformed by human action. A mosaic of landscapes is the result of these activities. There are natural spaces; farming; urban, industrial and service zones; railway and road networks; and infrastructures like the port and the airport El Prat of Barcelona. 14 different eco-systems are lying in the Llobregat Delta, there are under others beach, pine forests, marshland, coastal lagoons, farmland, the River Llobregat and the Mediterranean Sea.

 

The Llobregat Delta is one of the leading wetlands in terms of diversity of habitats and species. More than 22 species of orchids have been found in the humid meadows and in the pine groves. The Llobregat Delta is one of the most important resting places on the migratory route, more than 360 different species of birds gather together.

 

Since 1999, the delta is considered as a Global Important Bird Area (GIBA). Some tiny parts of the delta are reported as Natura 2000 and SPA areas.

 

The greatest threats to the Llobregat Delta are:

  • Loss of habitat by infrastructures (airport, naval port, roads, industries, tourist facilities ...)
  • Water pollution caused by agriculture, livestock and industries
  • Over-exploitation of groundwater which may entail drying out or salinization
  • Drying for conversion into farmland
  • Presence of foreign species
  • Fragmentation of the natural spaces
 

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