Laguna de la Ratosa

Laguna de la Ratosa
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Laguna de la Ratosa Nature Reserve is a 22.7 hectare wetland situated in the north of Malaga province, southwest of Alameda. Of varying dimensions, depending on winter rainfall, it is more or less semicircular, small and with shallow, salty waters.

Seasonal water fills the lake from early autumn through to late spring, drying up completely in summer. During the winter, spring and autumn, a small stream flows into the lake from the west. Being a seasonal lake with very high levels of evaporation, it has a high salt content, which is traditionally collected by local residents.

The vegetation round the lake is very scarce, basically made up of tamarisks, giant reeds and rushes, as well as shrubby sea-blite, adapted to salty substrata. But the most interesting plants are found underwater and it is also home to the endangered Althenia orientalis, a rare water plant that lives in the shallows. In the surrounding area, extensively modified by man, olive grove and cereals are predominant, home to buzzards and kestrels.

As regards the fauna, birds are abundant and they interact with the birds at Fuente de Piedra Lake: great-crested grebes, black-necked grebes, pink flamingos, mallards, white-headed ducks - an endangered species in Spain and Europe, for which the lake is an ideal feeding ground - marsh harriers, coots and avocets, among many others. Wading birds such as plovers and sandpipers find a good source of food in the invertebrates that inhabit the extensive marshes that become exposed as the water level drops.

Birds associated with marine environments, like black-headed gulls, common black-backed gulls, gull-billed terns and black terns, use the lake as a resting and feeding ground. Others, such as the stone curlew, benefit from the extensive farmland.

Among the mammals, you can see rabbits, hedgehogs and various species of rodents.

Laguna de la Ratosa Lake is part of a larger ecosystem which encompasses Fuente de Piedra Lake, Campillos Lake and Archidona Lake, as well as the mouth of the River Guadalhorce, a gateway from Africa to mainland Spain.

Nature Areas
Nature reserve
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Laguna de la Ratosa

Services and infrastructure

Target audiences

Lgbti, young people, For families, Couples, Seniors, Friends, I travel alone



Environmental units

Cuencas Intrabéticas basin

Statement date

28 / 07 / 1989

Area (m2)