GNF - Albufera Lake

Albufera Lake – Spain


Background Albufera Lake – Spain

Albufera Lake lies approx. 12 km south of the city Valencia, the third greatest Spanish city with approx. 700,000 inhabitants. The shallow lake is separated by a sand barrier from the Mediterranean Sea. The fresh water lake covers a surface of 27 sq. km, its maximum depth measures 1.5 metres. Six small islands are lying in the Albufera Lake.

Other important ecosystems with a high ecological value that we can find in the surroundings of the lake are the beach, the dunes, the malladas (temporary small lagoons between the fringes of dunes), the wetland and the Mediterranean forest.

In 1986, an area around the lake with a size of 211 sq. km was declared a Natural Park (Parque Natural de l´Albufera de Valencia) by the regional authority. In December 1989, Albufera Lake and its surrounding wetlands were nominated as Ramsar site. Furthermore, the area was declared as a bird protection area, because till 250 different bird species have been living here.

Many migratory birds use the Natural Park as resting and also as nesting place, such as Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus), Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) and Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria). Many rare bird species live in the region: Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris), Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris), White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) or Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus). Many of the birds are listened in the Red Book Birds of Spain.

Two endemic and three threatened plant species are found in the area, also 11 endemic and 33 threatened animal species.

There are 13 municipalities with part of their areas inside of the Natural Park of l´Albufera. Some of the villages are traditionally linked to Albufera Lake, many inhabitants work as fishermen, farmers or are dedicated to host services for the visitors of the Natural Park, such as restaurants or camping sites.

Agricultural land, mostly used for rice fields (as a typical Valencian crop) and a small part for citrus fruits and vegetables, lies around the lake and the wetlands. The rice fields cover a surface of overall 145 sq. km. Some farmers use illegal products such as fertilizers or pesticides on their fields, which also cause the water pollution of Albufera Lake and the wetlands. Furthermore, great problems are caused by illegal hunting and fishing as well as the settlements at the borders of the Natural Park.

 To the Webpage: Humedales Artificiales en L'Albufera de Valencia, Reservas Naturales al Servicio de la Biodiversidad y la Calidad de las Aguas
 Barrier from Mediterranean Sea
 Fishing Works
 Works of traditional rice planting
 Traditional boat of fisherman
 Albufera Lake

Project measures Albufera Lake – Spain

October 2013

Kick-off of the EU Life Project Albufera:

Integrated management of three consructed wetlands in L´Albufera of Valencia


July 2013

The Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment supports wild populations of European pond turtles (Emys orbicularis) with the collaboration of Acuamed and Fundación Global Nature.


Seven turtles were reintroduced on 19th July at the Tancat de la Milia green filter Natural Reserve (Valencia, Spain). The green filters not only work as water treatment systems but also provide shelter for local species.


The turtles were released by students of Bioparc Summer School, where the turtles were bred. This is the second year that turtles are reintroduced. It is a very endangered species in La Albufera Natural Park and in the whole Mediterranean region in general, due to the destruction of wetlands. During the whole year, staff from Global Nature has tracked the signals from the transmitters.

 Release of the European pond turtles in July 2013
 First steps in the new Habitat.


Partner Organisations


Fundación Global Nature (FGN)

acts to reduce illegal pollution through education programmes for companies and all actors involved in the Natural Park, such as fishermen, hunters, farmers and hoteliers, in order to preserve the lake and its ecosystem.



Contact Details
Fundación Global Nature (FGN)
Antonio Guillem Avivar

C/. Juan Ramón Jiménez 38 ptaº23

46026 Valencia, Spain



 Logo Fundación Global Nature

FGN also carries out restoration projects, introduction and conservation of flora and fauna species and climate change mitigation projects such as:

LIFE Albufera:


Integrated management of three constructed wetlands in compliance with the Water Framework, Birds and Habitats Directives.



Ecological sustainable Governance of Mediterranean protected Areas via improved Scientific, Technical and Managerial Knowledge Base.

LIFE Paludicola:

Habitat restoration for the Spring and Autumn migration of the Aquatic Warbler in the Iberian Peninsula.

LIFE Wetlands4Climate:

Mediterranean Wetlands Management and Restoration as Carbon Sinks.


City Council of Valencia / Ayuntamiento de Valencia

The City Council of Valencia is the local authority managing the area. Its goal is the conservation of the natural values. Many projects have been developed, e. g. monitoring of the water quality and biodiversity, regulation of the use of the lake for fishing and boats, recovery of the dune ecosystem and the Mediterranean forest.



Contact Details

City Council of Valencia / Ayuntamiento de Valencia

Amelia Quintana Trenor

CV500 KM. 8,5 (Viveros Municipales)

46012 Valencia, Spain




Events and recordings


15th International Conference on Lakes and Wetlands

In 2019 FGN together with the Valencia City Council organised the 15th International Conference on Lakes and Wetlands, with La Albufera as host lake.

Go to the Website